NC Early Education Coalition

The NC Early Education Coalition works to ensure that all children – regardless of race, family income, or zip code – have access to high-quality early care and learning experiences. Since 1990, we have highlighted the proven power of early education by sharing information and resources with parents, professionals and policymakers. 

The Coalition is the only statewide advocacy coalition dedicated to promoting high-quality, accessible and affordable child care in North Carolina. We accomplish our mission of advocacy and education by: developing policy positions, researching and producing fact sheets, providing training and resources, cultivating relationships with policymakers and the media, engaging a full-time lobbying team at the NC General Assembly, mobilizing advocates and Coalition members, and collaborating with state and national early childhood partners. 

The Coalition is the backbone organization for the Think Babies™ NC Alliance and also leads the Worthy Wages NC Campaign.

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Fast Facts

Relevant Actions
State or Local? State
CountiesAll Counties
Lead Agency NC Early Education Coalition
Type of Agency


Racial Equity Lens
  • We use disaggregated data whenever possible to shape our policy agenda and evaluate the impact of policies, programs and funding
  • We are guided by input from people of color and child care providers and teachers through regular conversations with our Coalition members and Board of Directors
  • We prioritize policies that are known to improve outcomes for children of color, primarily through increased access to high-quality early education and improving compensation for child care teachers
Community Voice
  • We engage parents and community members through various engagement efforts, including Parent Leadership Councils, the Worthy Wages NC campaign, the Family Child Care Home Advisory Team, and other initiatives
  • Successfully advocated and lobbied for federal funds to be used to support the more than 22,000 children on the Child Care Subsidy waitlist
  • Launched the Worthy Wages NC campaign, bringing together thousands of child care teachers and providers, parents, and community advocates to build public awareness and policymaker support for increasing compensation for the early childhood workforce
  • Got bills introduced during the last two legislative sessions to increase funding for Child Care Subsidy Assistance, expand access to the Child Care WAGE$ program, and improve Child Care Subsidy reimbursement rates.
Next Steps
  • We will continue engaging our Coalition members and other child care providers, teachers, parents, and community members in advocacy efforts at the state and federal level focused on successfully passing, accepting, and implementing the transformative investments in the Build Back Better Act.
Primary Partners
  • Coalition members and advocates
  • Other early childhood nonprofits
Primary Funders
  • Pritzker Children’s Initiative
  • Smith Reynolds Foundation
  • Private donations and membership
Contact Elaine Zukerman

Active Counties