Topics Related to Child Development and Early Education

PRESS RELEASE — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today released an update to its Early Childhood Action Plan to address key actions the department is taking to improve early childhood development in North Carolina. As Governor Roy Cooper proclaims this week as Week of the Young Child in North Carolina, the updated action plan and efforts to improve children’s behavioral health in North Carolina support the department’s mission to ensure all children get a healthy start in life and develop to their full potential in safe and nurturing families, schools and communities.

MEDIA ADVISORY — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Director of Child Development and Early Education, Ariel Ford will participate in two upcoming child care forums in North Carolina. The events seek to raise awareness to the child care crisis in the state and the need for more child care opportunities in North Carolina which support children’s healthy development and learning, allow parents to work and keep businesses running.

PRESS RELEASE — Recognizing the role everyone plays in helping North Carolina’s children reach their full potential, Governor Roy Cooper declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This Child Abuse Prevention Month, community organizations, government agencies, businesses, faith groups and other stakeholders will come together to focus on creating partnerships to prevent child maltreatment from occurring and the importance of building hope for children and families.

PRESS RELEASE — This week, Southwestern Child Development announced it will be closing seven child care centers in North Carolina’s westernmost counties effective Oct. 31, 2023. Combined, these early care and learning programs serve nearly 300 children from birth through 5 years old, the majority of whom receive child care subsidy or NC Pre-K services. Southwestern, county departments of social services and NCDHHS are working with other area child care providers, Head Start programs and local public schools to ensure as many children as possible continue to have access to quality early care and learning.

MEDIA ADVISORY — In celebration of NC Farm to School and Early Care and Education Month, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services leaders will join the annual NC Crunch on Wednesday, Oct. 18. NC Crunch recognizes the importance of healthy eating habits in supporting child and family well-being while promoting North Carolina agriculture by crunching into locally grown fruits and vegetables.

PRESS RELEASE - North Carolina is making it easier for aspiring and current early childhood teachers to get classroom experience and college credit to meet the state’s growing child care needs. The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced today early care and learning teachers can now use their previous training and skills development to qualify for NC Community College credits to earn certificates and further their higher education.

Today, the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood-PLUS (MCCYN-PLUS) initiative launches in North Carolina to make it easier for military families to access and afford quality child care from community providers. The program is funded and run by the U.S. Department of Defense and critical in our state as North Carolina is home to the fourth largest military presence in the nation.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced a $4 million Preschool Development Grant that will help support children’s health and well-being, improve access to high-quality early care and learning for families across North Carolina, and invest in the state’s early care and learning workforce. NCDHHS will use the federal funding through the end of the year to enhance North Carolina’s Family Child Care Home (FCCH) network. This includes providing access to more professional training, tools to improve classroom curriculum and instruction and more family engagement opportunities for the FCCH workforce. This work will pilot new practices to improve the availability and quality of care for families served by the FCCH network.

In observance of Family Engagement Month this November, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is proud to announce new early learning resources for families with young children.

Grant support to boost compensation for North Carolina’s early care and learning teachers and staff will continue through December 2023, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced today.