NC Institute for Child Development Professionals

The mission of the North Carolina Institute for Child Development Professionals (Institute) is to promote the implementation of a comprehensive professional development and recognition system that links education and compensation for the early care and education workforce to ensure high quality care and education services for young children and their families. The Institute is a field-based, non-profit organization that provides both free and fee-based services.

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Fast Facts

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Lead Agency NCICDP Board of Directors
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Racial Equity Lens
  • The Institute’s work is guided and directed by a diverse board of directors. It intentionally seeks the voices of diverse practitioners that represent the Early Childhood Education (ECE) field both in terms of racial and ethnic diversity, as well as auspices/roles within the ECE field.
  • The Institute’s work is based upon the critical goal of building an early childhood profession and system with sufficient funding which ensures all ECE members (nearly all of whom are women and many of whom are women of color) receive equitable compensation and professional recognition that reflects the importance of their work.
  • Annually the Institute offers our “Lean-In and Learn” professional development event. In the past three years, two of those have been focused on advancing equity in ECE.
    • 2020: Equity, Bias and Social Justice in Early Childhood Education: Challenges and Opportunities
    • 2022: Making Real Change to Address Equity Issues in ECE
Community Voice
  • The Institute offers a voluntary professional certification process for those working directly with or on behalf of children and families. The Early Educator Certification (EEC) system was developed in response to interests by the field in developing an individually-held, portable form of certification which recognizes an individual’s level of education in the ECE field.  The process was developed by and for early educators who guide the implementation of EEC in NC.
  • The Institute oversees several standing workgroups related to our mission and goals.  Each workgroup is comprised of Institute Board Members as well as additional ECE community members from across the state of NC and beyond.  Our workgroups are actively involved in a variety of tasks and initiatives to support the field particularly centered around the areas of compensation, professional development, advancing the education of the workforce and higher education.
  • Provided high quality professional development opportunities to the field of ECE in NC.
  • Collaborated on development of new high-quality resources for the ECE field (e.g. a robust and up to date ECE research/resource library; career roles/my profession website; Institute publications – i.e. Busting the Myths for the EC Workforce; compensation model salary scale for ECE; research on the impacts of Covid on NC ECE Higher Education Programs, etc.)
  • Provided early educator certification (EEC) and professional endorsements to the NC ECE field
Next Steps
  • Development of a companion model salary scale toolkit and professional development trainings to further increase the understanding and use of the model salary scale to further compensation efforts.
  • Development of an ECE career pathways resource site for assisting in recruitment and retention of professionals in ECE (i.e. a companion and expansion to our current career roles/my profession website)
  • Development of additional ECE professional development opportunities including those that can be accessible “on-demand.”
Primary Partners

The Institute partners and collaborates with a variety of ECE programs, agencies and organizations in NC and beyond.  Some common partners include: 

  • State Agencies responsible for child care and NC Pre-K such as:
    • NC Division of Child Development and Early Education
    • NC Department of Public Instruction and Office of Early Learning
  • Agencies and organizations working on behalf of the ECE workforce, children and families such as:
    • NC Child Care Resource & Referral Council and System
    • NC Partnership for Children (Smart Start) & local Partnerships
    • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) & NC-AEYC
    • NC Early Education Coalition
  • NC Institutions of Higher Education & faculty associations (NC-ACCESS, Birth to Kindergarten Higher Education Consortium)
  • Early Childhood Education programs working directly with children and families such as:
    • NC PreK programs
    • Local child care centers
    • Family child care homes
    • Head Start/Early Head Start programs
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