Statewide Early Childhood Nonprofit Hires New Executive Director

The NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) has a new Executive Director. Muffy Grant comes to NCECF as a strong fund development professional and non-profit leader. Most recently she served as the Director of Development for Prevent Child Abuse NC and prior to that as the Director of Development for the Institute for Child Success.

Muffy brings experience in fundraising through a variety of private and public sources, in blending and braiding funding and in significant gifts. She holds an MA from Georgetown University in International Affairs and a BA in History and Humanist Studies from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame.

“We are excited to be bringing on board an Executive Director with strong fundraising experience, knowledge of early childhood issues and a clear dedication to North Carolina’s children,” said Easter Maynard, Chair of the NCECF Board of Directors. “Muffy’s career to date has demonstrated her commitment to the public and nonprofit sectors and her belief in the power of collaboration. She will be a great asset to NCECF.”

NCECF has a bold vision that each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for lifelong success and reading proficiency, supported by the nation’s best birth-to-eight system. To achieve that vision, NCECF builds public will, promotes practice and policy solutions and is a catalyst for aligned action with a focus on equity.  

NCECF spearheads the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading, focuses on aligning policies and advancing coordinated strategies that are proven to make progress on shared birth‐to‐eight measures of success. It is driven by collaborative action and is based on the recognition that together we can realize greater outcomes for young children than any one organization can produce on its own. This is a collaborative initiative with NC Child, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., and BEST NC.

Since 2015, NCECF has led the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in North Carolina. The Campaign is mobilizing communities to ensure that more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, business leaders and government agencies. Across the country there are more than 360 communities, including 3,900 local organizations and 450+ state and local funders who have joined the effort. In North Carolina there are 14 rural and urban communities participating in the Campaign.

Through its newest initiative, Family Forward NC, NCECF is working with NC businesses to improve children’s health and well-being and keep North Carolina’s economy competitive. It is business-led change to increase access to research-based, family-friendly practices — big and small — that improve workplace productivity, recruitment and retention; grow a strong economy; and support children’s healthy development. NCECF has recently published a Guide to Family Forward Workplaces, detailing research-informed policies that positively impact children’s health and well-being and provide a positive return on investment for employers. Sample policies, NC case studies and tools to get started are part of the Guide.

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