Each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for life-long health, education, and well-being, supported by a comprehensive and equitable care and education system, from prenatal through third grade.


To marshal North Carolina’s great people, ideas, and achievements to ensure equitable access to opportunity and success for every child.

What does success look like?

North Carolina’s people, agencies and organizations work collaboratively towards a common goal,

  • agreeing on how to measure progress,
  • coordinating strategies for the shared measures that take into account all aspects of children’s healthy development, and
  • aligning policies and practices with the measures and along the developmental continuum, starting at birth.

Government, policy, and nonprofit leaders make policy, practice, and program decisions based both on research, data, and analysis about what improves outcomes for children birth-to-eight and their families, and on the experiences of those who shape children’s environments.

Private sector leaders engage in practices and policies that improve outcomes for children and families and use their voices to call for birth-through-eight investments and policies.

North Carolinians support and expect early learning investments and policies that are rooted in how children develop and that support each child in fulfilling his or her potential.

All recognize that literacy is rooted in birth-to-age-eight child development, and includes:

  • Health and Development on Track Beginning at Birth
  • Supported and Supportive Families and Communities
  • High Quality Birth-to-Age-Eight Learning Environments and Regular Attendance

What We Do

Change happens through coordinated action across communities. We help improve the health, education, and well-being of North Carolina’s children from birth-to-age-eight and their families by:

Promoting understanding.

• Effectively communicating the importance of early childhood investments

• Centering racial equity in our work and communicating why it is critical to close the opportunity gap for children of color in their earliest years

• Engaging business leaders and elected officials to champion early care and education

• Lifting up community and family voices to guide decision making

Spearheading collaboration.

• Convening state and local health, education, family, business, and policy leaders, to build strong alignment across early childhood systems and actively foster discussion, dialogue, and collaboration

• Encouraging accountability

Advancing policies.

• Providing policy analysis, resources and data

• Inspiring innovation and action for change

• Connecting and clarifying the complex landscape of policies, programs, research, and state agency agendas that impact children and families

Our Principles

We are boldly positive.

The best way to make positive change happen is to believe it is possible and achievable, illuminate paths forward, and back it up with real results.

We promote what works.

We promote policies and programs grounded in research. We use data and research to pinpoint problems, identify promising solutions and engage in continuous quality improvement. We hold ourselves accountable for making measurable progress and aligning our work with other efforts to improve third grade outcomes.

We support state and local solutions.

Progress on third grade achievement takes sustained state and local effort and investment. We help identify and create leverage points and accelerate change.

We are appreciative and inclusive leaders.

We believe the best results are achieved when we tap into the potential and positive energy of diverse perspectives and cultures. We value and respect differing opinions and contributions, and actively seek to include them in our work.

We are intentional and grateful partners.

North Carolina has a wealth of great leaders and organizations working to improve outcomes for children. We seek to add value by prioritizing communication and creating opportunities for shared learning, problem solving, credit, and successes.