Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown announced today she is naming Megan Irwin as Director of Oregon's Early Learning System pending Senate confirmation. Irwin has served as the agency's acting director since August 2014.
“Megan was a strong partner in advocating for unprecedented new investments in early childhood education during the recent legislative session,” Governor Brown said. “I look forward to working with her as we implement programs that set children on pathways to success from cradle to career.”
Irwin oversees the state's Early Learning Division, which has regulatory, administrative, and quality improvement responsibility for the state's child care and preschool system, home visiting services, and respite care for families.
During her tenure, Irwin designed, oversaw and implemented the creation of the statewide Early Learning Hub System; designed and implemented early literacy grants; and designed and implemented the Kindergarten Partnership and Innovation Fund, the only state level investment in aligning early childhood education with K-3 practices. The agency is already seeing gains in kindergarten readiness after just one year of implementation. She has also brought accountability to the agency by enhancing policies and procedures that ensure full implementation of recommendations based on equity.
Irwin previously served as the agency's Director of Policy and Programs and oversaw Oregon's $30 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. Before entering the public service sector, Irwin served as the National Expansion and Program Director for Stand for Children, a multi-state education advocacy organization focused on working with parents, community members, and policy makers to ensure that all children who graduate from high school are prepared for, and have access to, college.
The Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education oversees the early learning system, including policies and programs that support stable and attached families and school readiness. The Division was created on July 1, 2013, and is overseen by the Early Learning Council, a 17-member public policy board.