§302L-2  Early learning system.  There is established an early learning system that shall ensure a spectrum of high-quality early learning opportunities for children throughout the State, from prenatal care until the time they enter kindergarten, with priority given to underserved or at-risk children.  The early learning system shall be developed and administered by the executive office on early learning to the extent permissible by law.  The early learning system shall:

     (1)  Be widely accessible and voluntary for both those served and program and service providers;

     (2)  Be a cohesive, comprehensive, and sustainable system in which:

          (A)  All existing early learning programs and services, whether publicly- or privately-run, which consist of a variety of early learning approaches, service deliveries, and settings, including center-based programs, family child care programs, family-child interaction learning programs, and home-based instruction programs designed to promote early learning, are coordinated, improved, and expanded;

          (B)  Public and private resources are maximized; and

          (C)  The use of public facilities for either publicly- or privately-run early learning programs is maximized;

     (3)  Provide high-quality early learning experiences with:

          (A)  Standards-based content and curriculum, and accountability; and

          (B)  Sufficient numbers of well-qualified educators and administrators who are fairly compensated and have access to continuing professional development;

     (4)  Offer opportunities for family and community engagement and parent education and support; and

     (5)  Be sensitive to family choice and cultural diversity. [L Sp 2008, c 14, pt of §2; am L 2012, c 178, §11; am L 2017, c 202, §6]