Community Leaders from Guilford, Transylvania and Watauga Learn about Local Financing for Early Learning

On December 15, 2017, the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) hosted a day-long training on local financing for early learning with our partner the NC Budget and Tax Center.  Thirty community leaders – elected officials, Chamber and business leaders, local Smart Starts and philanthropists – from Guilford, Transylvania and Watauga counties spent the day in Boone, becoming familiar with local financing options (both public and private) for early learning and learning how to prepare a local funding initiative.

Elizabeth Gaines, Senior Fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment, shared her knowledge from working with communities across the country that have succeeded in their efforts to gain local revenue streams to expand access to early learning programs. Greg Landsman, City Council member from Cincinnati, who spearheaded the successful Preschool Promise through a city property tax levy, shared his experiences to convince voters to spend $15 million per year to expand preschool in the city.

This is the second training for NC communities on local financing.  Participants learned to:

  • Understand the current local public revenue streams available to NC municipalities and counties and the opportunities and challenges each present. Private funding strategies are also discussed.
  • Navigate local government in NC when pursuing a public funding stream.
  • Learn about success across the country from a national expert on local financing for children.
  • Hear from and engage peer communities that have created local funding streams for early learning.
  • Assess one’s community readiness for a local funding strategy.

If your community is interested in a training in 2018, please contact Lisa Finaldi at