Our Approach

Local Funding for Early Learning: A North Carolina Community Toolkit

NCECF now offers a toolkit for NC communities interested in investing in children’s early years.  Local Funding for Early Learning: A North Carolina Community Toolkit, details funding mechanisms that can be implemented at the local level to expand early childhood investments.

In North Carolina, early childhood funding has typically come from federal, state and lottery dollars. Local revenue streams offer another means to expand early learning programs and practices for communities, particularly as child populations are growing and demand for programs is increasing.

Municipalities and counties across the country that are on the cutting edge of investing in early learning are profiled in the toolkit. Both rural and urban communities recognize the importance of early learning for the well being of their children and their economy. Building vibrant, desirable places for people to live and businesses to grow begins with ensuring each child in a community has the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential.

The toolkit describes financial mechanisms to generate local revenue, details those that can be employed now without state policy change and those that would require a change in state policy. The toolkit also provides background on how local governments are organized, the local budget process, existing federal and state funding streams for early learning and tools to assess community readiness for a local investment initiative.

A five-member Advisory Council provided expert consultation on the development and content of the toolkit.

  • Linda Struyk Millsaps, Research Director of the NC Association of County Commissioners
  • Kara A. Millonzi, Associate Professor of Public Law and Government at the University of North Carolina School of Government
  • Jerry Schafer, Vice President for Worldwide Development for McDonald’s Corporation
  • Mark Wells, rural economic development expert.
  • Joe Waters, Vice President of the Institute for Child Success

NCECF and the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center collaborated to produce the toolkit.

Download our new fact sheet on local investments in early learning and read more about our work to advance policies that create a stronger NC today and tomorrow.