By Wendy Osher
Governor Neil Abercrombie today selected former Maui Child Education Coordinator, Terry Lock as the new Coordinator for the state. Locke has more than 35 years of experience in early childhood education, serving in posts for Maui County, as a Fellow for the National Head Start program in Washington, D.C., and most recently as an Early Childhood Coordinator at Kamehameha Schools.
“If we’re going to really be serious about our future, we have to invest in it,” said Gov. Abercrombie in making the announcement today. “If we’re going to be genuinely serious, and sober-minded, about how we’re going to accomplish it, then we’re going to have to take the steps necessary at the beginning, and that means early childhood education,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
“It’s an honor and privilege for me to accept this appointment,” said Lock. “I’m looking forward to the public-private partnerships that we’ll be forging ahead, as we create a system that really serves our children, and can be a leader in our nation,” said Lock, who officially begins her new post in mid-July.
The state’s Early Childhood Coordinator is a newly created position within the Administration. In her new capacity, Lock will be tasked with planning the state educational structure that supports and improves outcomes for children prenatal to 5 years old. Lock will also lead the coordination among state agencies and develop partnerships that advocate and improve education for Hawai’i's keiki.
During her time on Maui, Lock served as the Early Childhood Resource Coordinator the County. She is a graduate of Maui High School. Lock went on to receive her B.S. in Human Development from University of Hawai’i at Manoa and her M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California.
Governor Announces Continued Support of Healthy Start Program:
Governor Abercrombie also announced today that the Department of Health (DOH) will continue the Healthy Start program–which supports the state’s most at-risk families. Over the last few years, funding for the program has declined significantly from $15.6 million in 2008 to $1.5 million this year.
With zero funding allocated by the state legislature this session, DOH officials reallocated $3 million annually for the next two fiscal years from the Tobacco Settlement Fund to maintain the current program.
“We will find ways to invest in the right services, like Healthy Start, and ensure that all children get the chance to reach their full potential,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
According to state officials, a total of 4,130 families, including 4,411 children, benefit from Healthy Start statewide.