North Carolina Observes Month of the Young Child


North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services employees and partners are recognizing the Month of the Young Child with events across the state to support the 250,000 young children enrolled in child care centers and family child care homes across the state.

Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed April as the Month of the Young Child and the week of April 16 has been designated as an opportunity for volunteers to read to children at licensed care facilities. North Carolina licenses 4,607 child care centers and 1,878 family child care homes. 

“Investing in the health, safety and well-being of young children is critical for North Carolina families and a foundation for long term success,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “We will continue to support the tireless work of institutions across the state that serve young children and strengthen our families.”

DHHS is celebrating the week of April 16 with reading events at early education sites across the state. Participants include First Lady Kristin Cooper, Secretary Cohen and more than a dozen volunteers in leadership positions within DHHS.

“Teachers in those classrooms are integral to building each child’s capacity to reach their full potential,” said Anna Carter, director of the Division of Child Development and Early Education. “During the Week of the Young Child we want to take the time to both acknowledge and thank those in the early education field for the important work that they do every day in the life of a child.”

Early education programs, such as NC Pre-K and Smart Start, provide high-quality educational experiences that enhance school readiness for eligible children. These programs have been shown to positively impact a child’s language development, communication skills, cognitive development and social and emotional development. Research has shown that for every dollar spent on comprehensive, high-quality, birth-to-five early education saves $7 in future costs.

Established in 1971 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Week of the Young Child recognizes the importance of laying the foundation for a child’s success in school and throughout life in the early years, from birth through age 8.

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