The Football Association board today gave the green light to a new FA Women's Super League to run over the summer months, starting in 2010.
Clubs would be invited to apply for membership of the competition, with the lower tiers continuing to run over the traditional August to May period.
The board also approved the introduction of central contracts for England players which would give them the financial support to at least reduce their outside work commitments.
In addition, they have backed the proposal to appoint a women's performance manager.
FA chairman Lord Triesman said: ''It is very good news that the biggest female participation sport in England will achieve perhaps the biggest boost in its history.''
England Women's coach Hope Powell said: ''This is another massive step forward for women's football and the England teams.
''The new Super League will provide a concentrated, high-quality competition, and during the summer months give the game an exposure when there is no other top-flight football being played.
''I also hope that it will prevent our best players from joining the Women's Professional Soccer organisation in the USA.
''I am very confident that the new Performance Unit and central contracts will help us raise the bar further at the elite level and build upon recent successes.
''Our teams will now arrive at tournaments in early or mid-season, rather than at the end of a long nine to 10 months, as was the case at Euro 2005 and in last September's FIFA World Cup in China. These are very exciting times for everyone involved in the women's game.''