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Governor Says New "Children's Cabinet" Will Review Early Ed Report, Make Recommendation

Contact: Heidi Hansen 517-335-6397

April 20, 2004

LANSING – A report compiled by a legislative task force on early education and care will be reviewed by a newly formed Children’s Cabinet in state government and make a recommendation to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm in 60 days about improving early childhood education and child care in Michigan.

Granholm said the Children’s Cabinet, which is being formed by Family Independence Agency Director Marianne Udow, will focus on strengthening early childhood development and education programs and training of child care workers in Michigan.  As a first order of business, the Children’s Cabinet will delve into the task force report presented to the Governor on Monday in Clare by task force chair State Representative Jennifer Elkins (D-Clare) and will make recommendations to the Governor by mid-June.
 
The Children’s Cabinet will include Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski, Department of Labor and Economic Growth Director David Hollister, and State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tom Watkins.
 
“This is a mission-critical assignment, because children start learning and developing their intellectual skills the moment they are born,” Granholm said.  “Making sure that children are cared for, stimulated, and exploring their full potential is among the greatest economic developments this state will ever do.”
 
“Clearly, a lot of time and effort was put in by this task force comprised of legislators and leaders from the early childhood education and child care communities around the state,” Granholm said.  “There are solid recommendations in this report, among them being the great need we have to strengthen child care licensing standards and education for early childhood providers.”