Business Smart. Family Friendly. Future Ready.

Family Forward NC is an innovative business initiative to improve children’s health and well-being and keep North Carolina’s businesses competitive. By increasing family friendly workplace practices, business, families and our state all win.

Through research and the exchange of ideas among business leaders, employees and organizations, Family Forward NC promotes workforce investments that support children’s healthy development and a competitive business environment, both in the short and long term. That’s a goal we can all rally behind.

Though the number of working families has risen dramatically over the last few decades, family workplace initiatives have not kept pace. The immediate and long-term business advantages of these offerings are well-documented.

Family Forward NC is an initiative of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation with founding sponsorship from Blue Cross NC.

Visit the Family Forward NC website to learn more.


  • The launch of Family Forward NC at the Institute for Emerging Issues 2018 Forum attracted 100 people to hear about the initiative.
  • As a result of the launch, two op-eds authored by NC business leaders were published in the Greenville Daily Reflector and the Wilmington Star News.
  • Media outlets shared our research.  We were interviewed on WUNC’s the State of Things and a radio story that aired on 86 stations.
  • Our social media launch using the hashtag #FamilyForwardNC resulted in 62 posts, 80,529 reach, and 18 users.

Promote Understanding

Our Listening Tour will learn from and engage NC businesses of all sizes. We are working with local Chambers of Commerce, Workforce Development Boards and economic development organizations to generate awareness, hear from business leaders about opportunities and challenges, and identify businesses already offering these benefits.

NCECF published the Research Basis for Family Friendly Policies and Practices to highlight evidence of workplace policies that have a positive impact on business competitiveness, employees and their children’s well-being.

Spearhead Collaboration

We will create an Advisory Council of business leaders from across the state to inform Family Forward NC. The Council will review materials, provide endorsements and host Family Forward NC tour stops.

We are engaging industry sector and trade associations through member surveys to learn more about their family friendly workplace offerings and challenges to providing benefits. Survey results will be analyzed for associations to advance industry-wide collaboration.

Advance Policy

By the end of 2018 we will publish a Family Forward NC Toolkit. Guided by the research and what we learn from businesses and employees, the toolkit will outline a range of options that are responsive to best practice and NC business and employee needs. The toolkit will also provide information for businesses on how to engage employees on the topic, including a business self-assessment to get started.

Advancing Work

March 2018

NCECF delivers the keynote about Family Forward NC for UNC-TV’s Early Childhood Summit in Hickory, NC to 200 community leaders.

February 2018

Family Forward NC is launched at the Institute for Emerging Issues 2018 Forum – kidoNomiCs.

Fall 2017

300 NC employers are interviewed about their family friendly workplace policies to inform the Family Forward NC initiative. 300 NC employees are surveyed to understand their needs and desires concerning family friendly workplace policies and practices.

Founding Sponsor

  • Blue Shield and Blue Cross of North Carolina


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