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Governor Perdue Signs Legislation Transforming Georgia's Early Childhood Education System

Wednesday, May 12, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


WARNER ROBINS, GA - To help prepare Georgia 's children for a future of learning, Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law today his Bright from the Start legislation, Senate Bill 456, creating the Department of Early Care and Learning.

"Signing this legislation is a turning point for early education in our state," said Governor Sonny Perdue.  "This new office will coordinate and streamline Georgia 's early childcare programs to help ensure every child in Georgia enters kindergarten ready to learn and succeed."

The Department of Early Care and Learning (formerly the Office of School Readiness - OSR) will reduce bureaucracy, eliminate duplication of services, blend resources, and coordinate efforts between early care providers.  The new department will administer Georgia's Pre-K Program, license center-based and home-based child care, administer federal nutrition programs, house the Head Start Collaboration Office, coordinate the functions of the Georgia Child Care Council, distribute federal Even Start dollars for early literacy, and work collaboratively with Smart Start Georgia to blend federal, state, and private dollars to enhance early learning and education. 

After signing the bill at Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins, Governor Perdue swore-in Marsha H. Moore as the first Commissioner of the new department.  Moore, 51, has served as the Executive Director of OSR since August 2003.  Moore has worked twenty-two years in state government and has extensive practical and policy development experience in early care and education.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from West Georgia College and her Master of Public Administration degree from North Georgia College & State University.