Think Babies Webinar Rewind!

We know what it takes to improve outcomes for babies and toddlers:
Ensuring health and development is on track
Providing high-quality early learning environments
Supporting families and communities

This spring NCECF and Think Babies™ NC hosted a webinar series to bring you up to speed on the state-level policy landscape for babies and toddlers. In each session, experts on the Think Babies Leadership Team shared the research behind policy priorities and gave updates on advocacy efforts. Issue briefs were released along with each webinar, examining where N.C. stands on policies and practices that research has shown improve outcomes for babies and toddlers. All three webinars outlined the Think Babies™ NC initiative and its connection with the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative and the NC Early Childhood Action Plan.

Click on the titles below to access the issue briefs, webinar recordings, and slideshows:

Ensuring Good Health and Development for North Carolina Babies and Toddlers
Children’s development during the first three years of life is strongly impacted by their health. Experiences during this time are hardwired into their brains and bodies, forming the foundation for all subsequent development. The webinar:

  • Recapped the NC Early Childhood Summit, hosted by the NC Department of Health and Human Services on Feb. 27, to release the Early Childhood Action Plan.
  • Released a new issue brief outlining findings from an assessment of NC’s state-level health policies for babies and toddlers.
  • Caught up with Rob Thompson and Tom Vitaglione of NC Child and Beth Messersmith of MomsRising to hear updates about their work on closing the coverage gap for uninsured adults and supporting workplace pregnancy accommodations.

High-Quality Early Learning Environments for North Carolina Babies and Toddlers
Children’s first three years lay the foundation for future learning, and high-quality child care helps prepare children for school and life success. The webinar:

  • Released two new briefs on the cost of infant and toddler child care, the prevalence of child care deserts, and an assessment of where N.C. is on state-level early learning and development policies for babies and toddlers.
  • Caught up with Michele Rivest and Elaine Zukerman of the NC Early Education Coalition to hear about their work on increasing access to high-quality infant and toddler child care.

Strong Families and Communities for Babies and Toddlers

Supportive families and communities, including stable, secure, nurturing relationships with competent, caring adults, play a critical role in building strong foundations for learning. Family support can help buffer the effects of poverty and family stress, which can compromise the quality of parent and child interactions. The webinar:

  • Released a new brief that assessed where NC is on state-level family support policies.
  • Caught up with Tina Sherman of MomsRising, Donna White of the North Carolina Partnership for Children/Smart Start, and Whitney Tucker of NC Child on their recent work on paid family leave, home visiting, and the 2020 Census.