Early Childhood State Plan Launched
Gov. David Ige and state leaders launched the first-ever Hawai‘i Early Childhood State Plan 2019–2024 with the signing of an agreement between state government leaders to work together to implement the plan on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. The comprehensive, widely accepted plan aims to guide public and private efforts to improve the lives of keiki and their families.
The plan helped the state secure a $1 million federal grant last month called Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will help to ensure the implementation of the state plan.
The Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL)—the lead state agency charged with overseeing the development of a statewide early-childhood learning system—will continue to facilitate the plan along with the Early Learning Board and stakeholders across the state.
The five-year plan sets the foundation for a statewide early-childhood system for pre-natal through age 8 that goes beyond academics and includes children’s health, safety and well-being; family partnerships and support; and early care and learning. The plan starts with:
- The approximately 154,000 children under the age of 8 who reside in Hawai‘i
- Some 17,500 annual births
- The 40% of 4-year-olds not served by any early learning programs
- About 109,000 keiki under age 6 with working parents and who need care
- 1,622 homeless kids under age 5, who in 2017, received shelter and outreach services
“Starting with prenatal care, we are setting the foundation to ensure that all keiki develop to their fullest potential and with them, our communities,” said Gov. Ige. “I am excited that this new plan will drive collective action to improve the lives of our children, their families and our communities by preparing our keiki for their future and the 21st century workforce.”
“We position our young children and Hawai‘i for success when we leverage and invest our resources in them wisely, ensuring that public and private communities coordinate and collaborate with each other,” said EOEL Director Lauren Moriguchi. “To make a difference for our keiki, we need a support system that addresses their holistic needs. It must start from the earliest years and continue throughout a child’s educational career.”