State administrators and regional consultants collaborate on early learning

The NC Department of Public Instruction, NC Head Start, the NC Early Childhood Foundation and EducationCounsel have continued to offer support for Local Education Agencies (LEAs), Head Start programs and other early learning leaders to explore new opportunities made possible through ESSA for birth to third grade alignment, accountability, and funding as well as meeting the requirements for coordination.

In Raleigh this week, the team invited state-level administrators for early learning programs and the regional consultants for those programs and agencies to come together for a day of learning, relationship-building, and collaborating around how to best support coordination among local early learning agencies and programs. Attendees represented a wide variety of early learning partners, including:

  • Department of Public Instruction (DPI), including the Office of Early Learning, Federal Program Monitoring, and District and Regional Support
  • Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R)
  • Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE), including licensing, subsidy, and NC Pre-K
    Head Start
  • North Carolina Partnership for Children (Smart Start)

Participants learned more about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and other requirements and opportunities across early learning programs, heard about the work the state ESSA team has done in 2018 and 2019 to support local coordination and collaboration around early learning, and saw how the local coordination work connects with state-level early childhood initiatives. In the afternoon, they had an opportunity to think together in role-alike small groups about how they as regional consultants can best support coordinated early learning systems at the local level by acting as resources for local collaborative planning and action. Participants then switched into cross-agency small groups based on geography, so they could learn more about each others’ roles, consider early childhood data for their regions, recognize opportunities to collaborate, and start to develop strategies to support local collaboration on early learning.

All meeting materials, including Pathways to Grade-Level Reading shared measures of success data by county/district, are available for review here.

In addition, this webpage shares all the resources Head Start, DPI, EducationCounsel and NCECF have created and shared over the last two years in our work to support the local teams, including links to webinars, guidance documents, meeting agendas, regional meeting events, MOU examples, and more. 

For more background on our collaborative work on the Every Student Succeeds Act, including a timeline, check out NCECF’s ESSA initiative webpage.