What We Love About Our Work for NC Early Childhood

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A reflection from NC Early Childhood Foundation Staff

It is still early in the year, and we are excitedly exploring how to celebrate ten years of our organization. A season of transition and thinking about what we love about our work. A season of reflection and new beginnings, assessing the best ways to honor Black History and support families, while also continuing with the work that we love. 

We hope you’ll consider a gift to the NC Early Childhood Foundation to continue this important work and build on our momentum into the next chapter. Click here to make a contribution and help celebrate this labor of love.

We love working together for a shared mission on early childhood in North Carolina. And we love what we do for a variety of reasons.

Here, our team shares their individual experiences and perspectives about what draws them to our mission:

Fowota Mortoo

What I love about our work is that we approach advancing early childhood well being in a holistic way, recognizing all the larger societal influences that impact children beyond the classroom. This understanding is built into the very fabric of our Pathways Initiative and shapes how we approach all our collaborations and other work.
Fowota Mortoo, Data and Policy Associate


Kaylan Sloane

What I love about my work at NCECF is that I get to share it with a passionate, driven, and genuine group of early childhood advocates, our staff. Our team’s varied skill sets, creativity, and support blend together in our efforts to build a comprehensive and equitable birth to age eight system in NC.

Kaylan Sloane, Finance and Operational Manager


Lindsay K. Saunders

Our work is so meaningful to me, as a first time new parent, but that’s not the only reason why I wanted this job. I love that I get to work with good people at the intersection of what’s most important and equitable for children, their families, our educators and caregivers, and our economy. What I love about our work is the driving impact on the direction of a child, family, and community. There is so much more development under the influence of early childhood and I’m honored to give a small lift to the stories of those involved in this meaningful work.
Lindsay K. Saunders, Marketing and Communications Leader


Crystal Folmar

What I love about our work at NCECF is that it is far-reaching, inclusive, and inspiring. Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and ensuring that this opportunity is granted to children across the state not only affects a countless number of individual lives but it also paves the way for a brighter collective future.
Crystal Folmar, Project Coordinator 


Muffy Grant

I love being in service to advocates, policy-makers, and non-profit leaders who are working to change systems towards a more equitable and abundant state for young children and their families. The notion of our work acting as a bridge between agencies and systems fills me up – you need strong and well-supported bridges to move from one place to another. I love working to move us forward for kiddos!

Muffy Grant, Executive Director


Lisa Finaldi

We’re celebrating NCECF’s 10 year anniversary later this year! Since our inception and as the organization matures, a lot has changed and a lot hasn’t. I’ve been here since that first day with all the excitement of possibility and commitment to change. That hasn’t changed. Our team comes to work every day with that same commitment and mindset of change makers. And the welcoming of new, different and crazy ideas and space to discuss and debate them feeds our growth. That’s what I love about our people and our organization and that’s why I’m here. 
Lisa Finaldi, Community Engagement Leader

Everyone finds a motivation to continue what they’re passionate about with a different driving force. Some things change, but over the years, our possibilities are still about being a force for good for early childhood – our love of families, children, education, community, and making a difference in an equitable way to truly transform our state.  

Keep in Touch with NCECF and Support Our Work

Please be sure to subscribe to our biweekly newsletter and consider making a donation today to start 2023 off strong by helping us transform the lives of North Carolina families, from their earliest days, while also supporting a small growing, family-friendly team. 

The NC Early Childhood Foundation is driven by a bold – and achievable – vision: Each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for life-long health, education, and well-being supported by a comprehensive, equitable birth-to-eight ecosystem. We build understanding, lead collaboration, and advance policies to ensure each North Carolina child is on track for lifelong success by the end of third grade.