Local Preschool Expansion; Strategies and Lessons Learned from Three Communities

With our community partners from Durham, Buncombe and Forsyth counties, NCECF hosted a workshop on local financing for early learning at the 2018 National Smart Start Conference on May 3rd.

In North Carolina, state and local leaders are increasingly focused on ways to ensure that more of our children are reading on grade level by third grade. For many communities, expanding publicly funded prekindergarten is being actively considered as a specific strategy to prepare children for academic and life-long success.

Buncombe, Durham, and Forsyth counties have been engaged in substantive local expansion efforts. Representatives from these initiatives – Amy Barry from Buncombe Partnership for Children, Laura Benson from the Durham’s Partnership for Children, Linda Chappel of the Triangle Area Child Care Resource & Referral Services and Larry Vellani of Smart Start of Forsyth County – discussed their efforts to build on existing early childhood systems to expand access through local investments.

NCECF provided an overview of our Local Funding for Early Learning: A Community Toolkit and how to use it to assess a community’s readiness to consider a local financing initiative.  In North Carolina, several counties are already investing in early learning with many more considering their options.

View slides from the workshop.