Our work to promote understanding, spearhead collaboration, and advance policy is embedded in all that we do, including our signature initiatives.

Current Work:

Pathways to Grade-Level Reading

What would be possible if… We adopted shared, whole child, birth-to-age-eight measures that put children on a pathway to grade-level reading? We coordinated strategies to support children’s optimal development beginning at birth? We aligned policies and practices that were rooted in how children develop? The NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways) initiative is all about possibility. This collaborative of diverse leaders is building on North Carolina’s history of innovation and success to reach for a bold vision… Learn More

Family Forward NC

Business Smart. Family Friendly. Future Ready. Family Forward NC is an innovative initiative to improve children’s health and well-being and keep North Carolina’s businesses competitive. It is a business-led change to increase access to research-based, family-friendly practices big and small — that improve workplace productivity, recruitment and retention; grow a strong economy; and support children’s healthy development… Learn More

NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Mobilizing Community Action Since 2015, the NC Early Childhood Foundation has served as the state lead for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in North Carolina. The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has mobilized 300 communities across the country to ensure that more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. It is a collaborative effort by foundations, non-profit organizations, business leaders and government agencies supporting children’s school readiness, summer learning and regular school attendance… Learn More

Care and Learning (CandL)

The Care and Learning (CandL) coalition is a collaboration between several North Carolina organizations, including the NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF). Together with parents and teachers, we are reimagining an early childhood education system that truly meets the needs of the families it serves… Learn More


Founded in 2019, The EarlyWell Initiative brings together families and organizations across North Carolina who value infant and early childhood mental health to ensure all families are supported in ways that work best for them. The work is built on enacting recommendations from the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Action Framework and strives to build a robust, evidence-based, and accessible early childhood mental health system in North Carolina.… Learn More


Past Work:

First 2000 Days

Early Investments. A Lifetime of Results. NCECF’s First 2000 Days Campaign has: Built bipartisan support for investments in children’s early learning by positioning early child development as an issue that impacts all North Carolinians… Learn More

Local Financing for Early Learning

Since 2016, NCECF has supported NC communities in pursuing local investments for early childhood. We published a toolkit and website, Local Funding for Early Learning: A North Carolina Community Toolkit, which details local funding mechanisms to expand early childhood investments… Learn More