Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

June 14, 2007

Executive Order Establishes Children’s Cabinet

Governor Eliot Spitzer today announced an Executive Order establishing an ongoing task force of high level state officials to advance programs and policies to benefit children.

The Governor’s Children’s Cabinet held its inaugural meeting today. Its first two priorities are to help ensure the successful implementation of the Governor’s plan for providing health insurance coverage for currently uninsured children and offering high quality pre-kindergarten programs to young children.

"It is critical that governmental agencies work collaboratively to develop and implement effective programs and policies to address the needs of New York’s children and families," Governor Spitzer said. "The Children’s Cabinet will play a pivotal role in the implementation of our children’s agenda and provide critical oversight and accountability."

The Children’s Cabinet will be chaired by Director of State Operations Olivia Golden, and Co-Chaired by Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services Dennis Whalen and Deputy Secretary for Education Manny Rivera. Deputy Secretary for the Environment Judith Enck and Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs Marty Mack will also serve in the Cabinet.

Heads of the following agencies will also serve on the Children’s Cabinet:

Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with


Consumer Protection Board

Department of Agriculture and Markets

Department of Environmental Conservation

State Education Department

Department of Health

Department of Labor

Department of State

Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

Division of the Budget

Division of Criminal Justice Services

Division of Housing and Community Renewal

Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Office of Children and Family Services

Office of Mental Health

Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

The enacted budget extended Child Health Plus eligibility to 400 percent of the federal poverty level and provided the funding to insure the state’s 400,000 uninsured children. A coordinated approach is now required to ensure that all children find their way into the system and the Children’s Cabinet is tasked with developing and implementing such a plan.

Universal pre-kindergarten is a critical component of New York State’s "birth to five" early childhood learning approach. The Children’s Cabinet will identify strategies for ensuring that high quality early learning opportunities are available and accessible to all of New York’s children and for closing systemic gaps that have allowed far too many children to fall behind unnoticed.

2007 Press Releases