Hugh McQuaid photo
One day after creating the Office of Early Childhood, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy appointed Myra Jones-Taylor as its executive director.

Jones-Taylor currently serves as the director of the state Office of Early Childhood Planning inside the Office of Policy and Management — a position she’s held since 2012.

“Dr. Jones-Taylor has an impressive background, specifically her research on the impact that poverty can have on young children’s overall success in our education system,” Malloy said in a press release. “We must make quality early childhood programs available to more of our young people so they can get the preparation they need, and eventually graduate high school and attend college. With her extensive knowledge and experience, she is a perfect fit as the first executive director of this new office.”

Before coming to work for the state, Jones-Taylor served as an assistant professor and faculty fellow at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. Her research focused on the effects of early care and education reform on child care providers in low-income urban communities and the children and families who are intended to benefit from those reforms.

She received her doctorate in American studies and anthropology from Yale University, where she also received two master’s degrees: one in African American studies and the other in American studies. Jones-Taylor was grinning from ear-to-ear Tuesday as she was introduced by Malloy to the other state agency commissioners.

“It is a distinct honor to be given the opportunity to serve under Governor Malloy’s direction. His passion and vision for early childhood will be the force that will drive Connecticut to the forefront of quality early childhood programs and services for children,” Jones-Taylor said.

Jones-Taylor of New Haven also serves on the New Haven Board of Education. Her salary for her new position will be $134,000 a year.