First Lady to Head Children's Cabinet

Jun 21, 2018


Credit Steve Helber / AP


Governor Ralph Northam will continue a tradition begun under former Governor Terry McAuliffe: hosting a children’s cabinet. The cabinet will be chaired by First Lady Pam Northam.



Pam Northam is a former elementary school science teacher. She’s made early childhood education one of her priorities as First Lady. According to a 2017 legislative study, a third of Virginia children aren’t ready for school when they start kindergarten.

“We know that there’s been great work done in Virginia, many wonderful pilot programs, and so now what we want to do is really grow that initiative zero to five,” Pam Northam said. “We want to make sure that every child is prepared for kindergarten. We want to catch that third that hasn’t been taken care of as well as we could, make sure that we’re getting the very best services to those.”

In addition to kindergarten readiness, the cabinet will also focus on school nutrition and addressing the role childhood trauma can play in learning.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.