Together with parents and teachers, we are reimagining an early childhood education system that truly meets the needs of the families it serves.

The Care and Learning (CandL) coalition is a collaboration between several North Carolina organizations, including the NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF). CandL’s work is deeply rooted in our shared belief that early education should be possible for every young child. The coalition’s goal is to put quality, affordable childcare within reach for all of  North Carolina’s families, whatever their income or background. CandL also seeks to ensure that early education teachers are paid fair wages and childcare providers earn enough to be sustainable in every community.

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Are you an early childhood educator? A parent of young children? Do you want to be more involved in efforts to advocate for child care and early education in our state? 
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We are a cross-sector, multidisciplinary, inclusive coalition of families, communities, grassroots organizations, early childhood organizations, funders, businesses and early care and education providers. We are committed to working with families and communities to engage their strengths and address their values as we reimagine and rebuild early care and education in North Carolina for all children, regardless of zip code.  We are committed to ensuring that this work is equitable and inclusive, centered around family voice and lived experience, and provides equitable access and opportunities to each North Carolina family, so that all children will be more successful in life.

CandL has partnered with local organizations across the state to host listening sessions where childcare providers, teachers, and parents can voice their concerns and share what they want the early care and learning system to look like. All the data from those listening sessions is being used to build an actionable list of items that the CandL stakeholders will then advocate for in the state legislature and beyond. 

Advancing Work

May 2023

The CandL Coalition, in partnership with The Link Group, organized and publicly presented a collection of insights and data collected from the 34 listening sessions conducted across 34 NC counties in 2022, as well as plans to use these findings to shape a policy agenda to bring to the NC General Assembly. 

Jan - Sept 2022

To ensure that the voices and needs of parents, teachers, and providers were heard, CandL conducted listening tour of focus groups among these stakeholders across the state. The listening tour aimed to more fully understand the wants, needs, and dreams of families and providers in early care and education (ECE) as well as provide an opportunity for families and providers to co-design with advocates, community leaders, and policy makers, a system so very vital to their everyday lives.

February 2021

The CandL Coalition debuted under coordinating leadership from NC Child, Black Child Development Institute-Charlotte, and NC Early Childhood Foundation, with the long term goal of establishing a publicly funded mixed delivery early care and education system in North Carolina. In addition to being a coordinating leadership organization, NCECF led the communications work and assumed the role of fiscal sponsor


Many thanks to the Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina Foundation for supporting CandL


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