A Strong Start_purpleThe first 2,000 days of a child’s life have a lasting impact on later learning, health, and success. A child’s earliest experiences determine how his or her brain will be wired, lay the groundwork for future health, and form the foundation of the social and emotional skills needed for academic and workplace success.

High quality early care and education programs help prepare children for school and life academically, socially, and emotionally. NC Child promotes access to high quality early care and education, and works to make such programs accessible to all children. While children from all backgrounds benefit from the availability of high quality, affordable child care, at-risk children (such as those from low-income families or with disabilities or limited English proficiency) often show the greatest gains in cognitive, language, and social skills.Specifically, NC Child works to protect and strengthen the key components of North Carolina’s early childhood care system, which includes Smart Start, NC Pre-K, and child care subsidies.

Resources and Helpful Links:

NC Early Childhood Foundation
NC Smart Start
NC Pre-K
NC Division of Child Development and Early Education
Child Care Services Association of NC

In recent years, North Carolina’s legislative leaders have zeroed in on early literacy and particularly third-grade reading skills, and rightly so. The beginning of fourth grade marks the time in a child’s education when she is no longer learning to read, but is reading to learn. The National Research Council has found that high school graduation “can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing someone’s reading skill at the end of third grade.”

To support grade-level reading success, we need to recognize that literacy is a cumulative process that develops from birth and is rooted in early brain development. Child development is a dynamic, interactive process that is not predetermined. It occurs in the context of relationships, experiences and environments. A child’s health, access to high quality early learning opportunities, and family stability all impact literacy development.

Resources and Helpful Links:

NC Early Childhood Foundation

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