A newly formed Early Childhood Caucus at the NC General Assembly met this week to learn about young children in North Carolina from early childhood experts. Muffy Grant, NCECF’s Executive Director, shared polling data with the Caucus showing broad bipartisan support among NC voters for investing in early childhood programs and services.
Other presenters included:
- Whitney Tucker, NC Child, who shared NC data on young children and a brief overview of the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative
- Dan Tetreault and Tara Galloway, DPI Office of Early Learning, who shared NC Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) and third grade reading proficiency data
- Dan Wuori, Hunt Institute, who shared an inventory of NC organizations and agencies working on early childhood issues
Susan Gale Perry, NC Department of Health and Human Services, was also on hand to answer questions.
The Early Childhood Caucus founding members include four Democrats and four Republicans, four Senators and four Representatives, and four health-focused members and four early education-focused members:
- Rep. Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford), co-chair
- Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union), co-chair
- Rep. Gale Adcock (D-Wake)
- Sen. Jay Chaudhuri (D-Wake)
- Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey)
- Sen. Rick Horner (R-Johnston, Nash)
- Sen. Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford)
- Rep. Donna White (R-Johnston)
In attendance at this week’s meeting were Representatives Clemmons, Horn, Adcock, and White, and Senators Chaudhuri and Horner.
The Caucus’ goal is to educate members of the legislature on early childhood issues and ultimately create a bipartisan legislative agenda for early childhood in North Carolina. Membership will be opened to more Representatives and Senators in the future.