This issue brief shares the results of a self-assessment of state-level policies around supporting babies' and toddlers' families and communities. Research demonstrates that when these policies are in place, babies and toddlers are more likely to thrive.
Guidance for NC school districts, Head Starts and other early learning partners about coordination required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Head Start Act.
This issue brief translates two national papers for North Carolina, examining the prevalence of infant and toddler child care deserts in the state and estimating the cost of infant and toddler child care as a portion of median income. The brief also provides some policies to consider to address these issues.
An overview of birth-through-eight provisions in Governor Cooper's 2019-21 budget proposal.
Hundreds of North Carolina leaders have worked across sectors, geography, and the political aisle to co-create a blueprint for North Carolina to improve a key developmental milestone for young children—reading on grade-level by the end of third grade. The NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Action framework outlines expectations for the state’s child and family serving systems and actions to support children’s social-emotional health, ensure high quality birth-through-age-eight early learning environments, and create the conditions for every child to be in school every day.
An acute shortage of child care subsidy funding exists, especially for families of infants and toddlers. In North Carolina, an estimated 102,971 infants and toddlers whose parents are working are eligible for child care subsidy.2 In 2018, 19,842 infants and toddlers received subsidy—only 19% of all eligible babies in North Carolina.3 Another way to estimate need is by looking at the child care subsidy waiting list. While not all eligible families apply for subsidy, in September 2018, 12,802 infants and toddlers remained on the waitlist. Of the children under age six waiting for subsidy, 56% were infants and toddlers.4 By any measure, there is a dramatic need to increase access to child care assistance and quality early care and learning programs in North Carolina.
Providing new parents with the opportunity to care for a child benefits everyone involved. The first weeks and months of a child's life are critical to development. Because of the important role of parents in this early period, paid family leave can have effects on relationship-building, parental involvement, health, and well-being that last throughout a child’s life.
A stable, secure relationship with a nurturing, caring adult is a key factor in young children’s development. Parents play the lead role in their children’s healthy development, but all parents are stretched in the earliest months and years of their children’s lives. Home visiting programs, which match parents with trained professionals to provide in-home support during pregnancy and throughout their child’s first years, are an effective method to support families, particularly when they are part of a comprehensive and coordinated system of services.