302L-1.5 Executive office on early learning; director; general functions, duties, and powers. (a) There is established an executive office on early learning that shall be temporarily placed within the office of the governor; provided that on July 1, 2015, the executive office on early learning shall be permanently established within the department of education for administrative purposes only.

(b) The head of the executive office on early learning shall be known as the director of the executive office on early learning, hereinafter referred to as director. The director shall:

(1) Be appointed and evaluated annually by the board;

(2) Have professional training in the field of social work, education, or other related fields, including major coursework in early childhood education and child development, and preferably holding an academic degree in the field of early childhood education and child development;

(3) Have direct experience in programs or services related to early learning;

(4) Have recent experience in a supervisory, consultative, or administrative position;

(5) Be paid a salary set by the board that shall not exceed ninety per cent of the salary of the director of human resources development; and

(6) Be included in any benefit program generally applicable to the officers and employees of the State.

(c) The director shall be responsible for:

(1) Serving as the principal officer in state government responsible for the performance, development, and control of programs, policies, and activities under the jurisdiction of the office from prenatal care to entrance into kindergarten, including all state-funded prekindergarten programs and private partnership-funded prekindergarten programs in the public schools, except for special education and Title I-funded prekindergarten programs;

(2) Supervising and directing the performance of the director's subordinates in various activities, including planning, evaluation, and coordination of early learning programs;

(3) Administering funds allocated for the office and applying for, receiving, and disbursing grants and donations from all sources for early learning programs and services;

(4) Assessing the policies and practices of other agencies impacting early learning and conducting advocacy efforts for early learning;

(5) Advising agencies on new legislation, programs, and policy initiatives relating to early learning;

(6) Employing and retaining staff as may be necessary for the purposes of this section; and

(7) Contracting for services that may be necessary for the purposes of this section, including through master contracts, memoranda of understanding, and memoranda of agreement with other state agencies receiving federal and state funds for programs and services for early learning, and purchase of service agreements with appropriate agencies.

(d) In developing the early learning system established pursuant to section 302L-2, the office, among other things, shall:

(1) Establish policies and procedures governing its operations;

(2) Develop a plan, with goals and objectives, for the early learning system, including the development, execution, and monitoring of a phased implementation plan;

(3) Coordinate, improve, and expand upon existing early learning programs and services for children from prenatal care until the time they enter kindergarten;

(4) Establish policies and procedures to include existing early learning programs and services;

(5) Establish additional early learning programs and services, including public and private partnerships, where applicable;

(6) Establish policies and procedures governing the inclusion of children with special needs;

(7) Develop incentives to enhance the quality of programs, services, and educational professionals within the early learning system;

(8) Coordinate efforts to develop a highly-qualified, stable, and diverse workforce;

(9) Develop and implement methods of maximizing the engagement of families, caregivers, and teachers in the early learning system;

(10) Develop an effective, comprehensive, and integrated system to provide training and technical support for programs and services within the early learning system;

(11) Develop standards of accountability to ensure that high-quality early learning experiences are provided by programs and services of the early learning system;

(12) Collect, interpret, and release data relating to early learning in the State;

(13) Recommend the appropriate proportion of state funds that should be distributed to programs and services across the early learning system, to ensure the most effective and efficient allocation of fiscal resources within the early learning system;

(14) Promote awareness of early learning opportunities to families and the general public; and

(15) Consult with community groups, including statewide organizations that are involved in early learning professional development, policy and advocacy, and early childhood programs.

(e) The Hawaii head start state collaboration office shall be transferred from the department of human services to the executive office on early learning. [L 2012, c 178, pt of 2; am L 2015, c 108, 7; am L 2017, c 202, 3; am L 2019, c 276, 7]



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