Foundations Invest in NC Early Childhood Foundation to Support Children’s Success

The Goodnight Educational Foundation and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation are investing in the NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) to advance its vision that each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for lifelong health, education and well-being supported by a premiere birth-to-age-eight system. NCECF received:

  • A one-year grant of $85,000 from The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (2018)
  • A gift of $25,000 from the Goodnight Educational Fund

The funds will sustain NCECF’s work to:

  • Promote understanding. NCECF engages business, faith, law enforcement, and community leaders as early childhood champions to effectively communicate the broad societal impact of policies that affect early development and learning.
  • Spearhead collaboration. NCECF leads and support state and local collaborations – bringing together health, family support, birth-to-eight leaders across government, policy, private, nonprofit, philanthropic and research sectors – that are advancing a shared vision and coordinated strategies for maximum impact for children and families.
  • Advance policies. NCECF provides policymakers, advocates, business leaders and the public with research and analysis about the impact of federal and state birth-to-eight policy and innovations proven to achieve results for young children.

NCECF’s signature initiatives include:

  • The NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative successfully brings diverse state and local stakeholders and leaders together, across health, family support, and early learning and education disciplines; across government, policy, private sector and nonprofit actors; across birth-through-age-five and kindergarten-through-third-grade systems; and across political identities. Together, these stakeholders are defining a common vision, shared measures and coordinated strategies that support children’s optimal development beginning at birth.
  • Since 2015, the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation has led the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) in North Carolina. The Campaign is a collaborative effort by more than 360 communities across the country, including 3,900 local organizations and 450+ state and local funders working to ensure that more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.
  • Family Forward NC is an innovative business initiative to improve children’s health and well-being and keep North Carolina’s businesses competitive. Through research and the exchange of ideas among business leaders, employees and organizations, Family Forward NC promotes workforce investments that support children’s healthy development and a competitive business environment, both in the short and long term.
  • In 2016, the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation published a toolkit, the first of its kind in the nation, to support NC communities in pursuing local investments for early childhood. Our website – Local Funding for Early Learning: A North Carolina Community Toolkit – offers communities information on how local government works, the local budgeting process, funding streams, a community readiness assessment and case studies from across the country.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) strengthens federal support for early learning and provides new opportunities for birth-through-third grade alignment, accountability and funding. NCECF is leveraging ESSA as a tool to support state and local collaboration across birth-through-eight systems.
  • The First 2,000 Days is raising awareness about how children’s earliest years have a lasting impact on later learning, health and success and calls attention to how these issues impact our national security, safety and economic well-being.