Early Childhood Care & Education

NC Child “builds a strong North Carolina by advancing public policies to ensure all children – regardless of race, ethnicity, or place of birth – have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.” Its section on what children need provides a good overview of these issues.

The NC Early Education Coalition “accomplishes [its] mission of advocacy and education by: developing policy positions shared with elected officials; researching and producing fact sheets for our members, policymakers, and the media; providing training and resources on critical early education issues; engaging early childhood policy staff and a full-time lobbying team at the NC General Assembly; and creating advocacy alerts to mobilize [its] members to action on early education issues.” Here is a snapshot of what is happening in North Carolina.

NC Early Childhood Foundation has a mission “to marshal North Carolina’s great people, ideas and achievements to build a foundation of opportunity and success for every child by the end of third grade.” They include a fact sheet covering their accomplishments and goals.

The First 2000 Days is a critical period for child development. The toolkit provides a host of resources for all to use.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), North Carolina Chapter offers a number of resources and news here.

The Annie E Casey Foundation is focused on “[b]uilding a Brighter Future for Children, Families and Communities.” The Kids Count Data Center provides a wealth of data on children. This link connects you to the North Carolina link which you can break down into county data.

The First Five Years Fund has a mission to “create a smarter, stronger, healthier, and more productive America through early childhood education for disadvantaged children through bipartisan federal advocacy.” They offer information on the need and why it matters here.

Zero to Three “promotes good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences for all infants and toddlers, with special emphasis on those who are the most vulnerable and in need.”

Key Allies

The Buncombe Partnership for Children “invests in the First 2,000 Days of a child’s life — in children ages 0-5 and their families by partnering with local organizations to provide programs that improve the quality of early childhood education; increase access to affordable, high quality early care and education; expand early literacy opportunities; and provide family support.”

Get involved: Contact Amy Barry at (828) 407-2054 or amy@buncombepfc.org.

 

Smart Start brings together all the people involved in a young child’s life—families, teachers, doctors, caregivers, social workers, and many others—to ensure every child has all they need for healthy growth and development. Smart Start was created in 1993 as an innovative solution to a problem: Children were coming to school unprepared to learn. Policymakers recognized that progress would require tapping into the same innovative spirit that inspired private sector advances, and therefore, established Smart Start as a public/private partnership. 75 independent, private Smart Start local partnerships work across North Carolina, serving children in all 100 counties. 

Get involved: Contact Michael Leighs, Policy Officer (919) 821-9532 or mleighs@smartstart.org.

 

The WNC Early Childhood Coalition is a partnership that includes Children First/Communities in Schools, Buncombe Partnership for Children, YWCA, Pisgah Legal, Verner, Child and Family Resource Center (Henderson Co), and Southwestern Child Development Commission (based in Sylva and serving western counties). This coalition is funded by the WNC Community Foundation.

Get involved: Contact Greg Borom via email at gregb@childrenfirstbc.org to hear about ways you can connect with the effort.