Federal law requires all states to create or designate early childhood advisory councils. In January 2010, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch appointed a Steering Committee to create New Hampshire’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, now called Spark NH. The Steering Committee defined Spark NH’s vision and mission, secured two federal stimulus grants, established functioning committees and task forces, selected the membership, and hired a director and support staff.
The federal funding provided the start of a unique opportunity to firmly establish an early childhood advisory council with the authority, attention, and capacity to provide strategic direction and strengthen coordination and collaboration among a wide array of early childhood services and programs across the State.
Spark NH was enacted by Governor Lynch by Executive Order on September 7, 2011. The Council has 23 public and private members who are early childhood professionals representing early education, health and family support. The four committees that inform Spark NH’s work include non-Council members from across the state.