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Early Childhood Advisory Council

About the Council

Governor Cooper established the North Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council (NCECAC) through Executive Order 40 in February 2018.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary, NC Department of Health and Human Services, chairs the Council, which includes 25 members appointed by the Governor from education (from early childhood through higher education), as well as representatives from business, government, research, philanthropy, health care, mental health, social services, and parents.

The purpose of the NCECAC is to promote a shared early childhood action plan driven by measurable goals and impacts for young children and families.  The NCECAC will support a vision for action in North Carolina to advance early childhood health, education, and well-being (birth through age 8).  It will also fulfill the federal requirements for state advisory councils that support statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs in the state.

Council Members



Name Title Organization
Susan Butler-Staub Instructor of Early Childhood Education Piedmont Community College
Anna Carter Director, Division of Child Development and Early Education NC Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Lisa Chapman System Senior Vice President/Chief Academic Officer NC Community College System
Dr. Mandy Cohen Secretary NC Department of Health and Human Services 
Gerald "Jerry" M. Croan Senior Fellow Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. 
Terry David Director of Head Start and Early Head Start Programs Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project
Stephanie Fanjul Retired  
Dr. Laura Gerald President Kate B. Reynolds Foundation
Eric Hart Head, Properties Department  Triad Stage
Kathy Higgins CEO Healthier Generation
Velva Jenkins Vice President of Continuing Education, Economic & Workforce Development Brunswick Community College
Dr. Dore LaForett Researcher Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Dr. Kelly Maxwell Senior Research Scientist Child Trends
Karen McKnight Director Head Start - State Collaboration Office
Susan Perry-Manning Principal Deputy Secretary NC Department of Health and Human Services
Mamie "Bernadette" Rogers Director/Owner Smiling Faces Childcare Center
Meka Sales Director of Special Initiatives Duke Endowment
Dr. Pam Shue Associate Superintendent for Early Childhood Education NC Department of Public Instruction
Janet Singerman President Child Care Resources, Inc.
Dr. Ray Spain Superintendent Warren County Schools
Dr. Betsey Tilson State Health Director NC Department of Health and Human Services
Banu Valladares Executive Director Charlotte Bilingual Preschool
Kristin Walker Deputy Director of State Budget NC Office of State Budget and Management
Cindy Watkins President NC Partnership for Children
Michelle Winstead Director New Hanover Department of Social Services