Raising The Quality Of Early Care And Education

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 | Author: Eric

A top priority for Smart Start is increasing the quality of early care and education across the state. The goal is to promote high quality early care that is child-focused, family-friendly and fair to providers. For years, Smart Start subsidy funds have been used to increase the quality of early child care and education in the state.

  • The percentage of children in 4 and 5 star programs increased from 33 percent in 2001 to 73 percent in 2013.
  • The average star rating for children receiving subsidized care increased from 2.68 in 2001 to 4.32 in 2013.

Smart Start partnerships manage subsidy funds within their communities to continue to improve early care and education across the state.

  • This allows for targeted solutions that address specific community needs by boosting quality, promoting access for children that are at the highest risk, supporting families, and assisting providers.
  • While the model for what works best looks different in every community, Smart Start subsidy scholarships allow communities to make data-driven decisions that best meet local needs.

Smart Start partnerships use subsidy funds to:

  • Improve the quality of child care programs across North Carolina.
  • Collaborate with other local organizations to ensure access to comprehensive early care and education for all participants.
  • Support families so parents can be active partners in their child’s success.
  • Assist child care providers in maintaining a sustainable business model for high quality care.
  • Prioritize subsidy funds for children and families that are most at risk.
  • Identify local needs and work with community partners to address challenges.

Pre-K, the Great Debate by Nicholas Kristof. The Opinion Pages, New York Times

Thursday, January 30th, 2014 | Author: Eric

Jan. 29, 2014

Nicholas Kristof

Against all odds, prekindergarten is gaining ground.

President Obama called again in his State of the Union address for Congress to support high-quality preschool for all, noting that 30 states are already moving ahead on this front (including New York).

“Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education,” Obama said. The House speaker, John Boehner, who sat stonily through most of Obama’s speech, applauded that line. Congress also unexpectedly increased financing this year for early education.

Aside from apple pie, preschool may also be the only issue on which voters agree. A poll last year found that 60 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats support expansion of prekindergarten. Republican-led states like Oklahoma have been leaders in early education for a simple reason: It works.

Read the rest of the article…

Press Release – NC Partnership for Children Hosts Faith Summits Across State

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 | Author: Eric

Contact: Heather Strickland – hstrickland@smartstart.org, 919-821-9564

NC Partnership for Children Hosts Faith Summits Across State

Faith Leaders Will Discuss the Vital Role They Play in Building Strong Foundations for Children

RALEIGH, NC—The North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) is hosting a series of regional summits across the state bringing together faith leaders, community leaders, and early child care experts to discuss the critical role places of worship play in building a strong foundation for learning and health for North Carolina’s youngest citizens.

The First 2000 Days Faith Summits, taking place in September and October, will provide attendees with the understanding of how significant the first years of life are in critical brain development. Additionally, each summit will host a discussion panel with representatives from community colleges, local places of worship, and child development organizations.

“For many North Carolina children, their first consistent exposure to public settings beyond immediate family is their church, synagogue or mosque,” said Nancy Brown, Board Chair of NCPC. “Our faith leaders coming together to talk about their role in providing high quality early care, and connecting to resources that will help their members invest in early learning, will have a profound impact on our local communities and state.”

Summits will be hosted in the following locations:

  • Greenville, NC – September 12, 9:00 a.m. – Noon at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church
  • Concord, NC – September 17, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at McGill Baptist Church
  • Fayetteville, NC – October 1, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church
  • Rutherfordton, NC – October 15, 10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. at Second Baptist Church
  • Burlington, NC – October 29, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church


Smart Start, a network of nonprofit local partnerships led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC), creates innovative solutions to measurably increase learning and the healthy development of children birth to five. Smart Start gives local communities the freedom and responsibility to determine how to increase the health, well-being and development of their children based on the needs and resources of their local communities. NCPC establishes measurable statewide goals and communities determine the best approach to achieving them. For more information, visit www.smartstart.org.

CCDBG Reauthorization Bill Introduced in Senate

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | Author: Tracy

(ChildCare Aware of America) Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have introduced a bill to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance for families and funds child care quality initiatives. Child Care Aware® of America supports the measure, S. 1086, “Child Care Development and Block Grant Act of 2013,” which would reauthorize the program for the first time since 1996.

Under the Reauthorization Bill, states would be required to ensure that all child care providers who care for CCDBG-funded children:

  • Receive health and safety training in specific areas
  • Receive comprehensive background checks (including fingerprints, checks of the sex offender and child abuse registries)
  • Receive on-site monitoring

This bill includes many measures to improve the quality of child care and ensure that all children in child care settings are safe.

Read the ChildCare Aware of America press release here.


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NC Child Care Workers Increase Education Levels

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 | Author: Tracy

Between 2011 and 2012, more child care center directors, teachers and family child care providers have increased their levels of education, according to a study by the Child Care Services Association. The 2012 North Carolina Child Care Workforce Study

The report addresses:

  • Education of the Early Care and Education Workforce,
  • Earnings of the Early Care and Education Workforce,
  • Professional Support of the Early Care and Education Workforce, and
  • Experience and Turnover of the Child Care Workforce.

It can be downloaded at http://www.childcareservices.org/_downloads/research/WorkforceReport2013/WorkforceReport_2013.pdf.

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Webinar on Scale and Sustainability: Implications for State and District Policy

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 | Author: Tracy

The PreK-3rd Grade National Work Group announces the last webinar of its 8-part series:

Scale and Sustainability: Implications for State and District Policy

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 – 3:00pm to 4:30pm EST

Registration: Register here.

By definition, the PreK-3rd approach requires bringing together disparate systems across multiple sectors. Creating an aligned educational experience for children from prekindergarten through third grade involves building a collaborative infrastructure that includes school districts, local and state government agencies, and community-based organizations. New administrative structures that govern and fund PreK-3rd work often must be established (at both state and local levels) and their roles and responsibilities coordinated to support meaningful and sustainable implementation. In this webinar we will examine strategies to integrate and align federal, state, and local policies, regulations, and funding to create a coherent system of learning from prekindergarten through third grade. (Webinar times are listed for Eastern Standard Time.)


Jacqueline Jones, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education

Vincent Costanza, Early Childhood Program Specialist, Division of Early Childhood Education, New Jersey Department of Education

Kimberly Kinzer, Director of Early Learning, PreK-5th Grade, Seattle Public Schools

Moderator: Kristie Kauerz, Research Assistant Professor, P-3 Education Policy & Leadership, College of Education, University of Washington


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Child Care Services Association Will Welcome New President in July

Tuesday, January 08th, 2013 | Author: Tracy

Chapel Hill, NC – The Board of Directors of Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is pleased to announce the selection of Anna Carter as its new President and CEO. Carter begins July 1, 2013, replacing Sue Russell who had previously announced her plans to step down from that role in July. Russell will continue in a part-time role with a focus on CCSA’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Technical Assistance and Quality Assurance Center. Carter will join CCSA in March to begin her transition into her new role.
Carter is currently the Deputy Director of the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE), where she has worked for 20 years. “Anna brings a wealth of knowledge about early childhood systems, public policy and program management. We believe she has the knowledge and skills to lead CCSA in this transition,” said Dan Hudgins, CCSA’s Board Chair.
“I am very excited about this new opportunity. CCSA is an agency I have worked with for years, and I have great respect for the work and impact of the organization. I am honored to have been selected to serve in this role,” said Carter. Kelly Maxwell, Chair of the Selection Committee, reported that Carter was selected after a rigorous search process that involved multiple interviews, presentations and meetings. “We believe we have the right person to lead CCSA in the future,” said Maxwell. As Deputy Director of DCDEE, Carter has provided leadership for a large state agency responsible for implementing quality program standards, helping families access child care through child care subsidies and supporting improved early care and education across the state.
Founded in 1974, Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is a nationally recognized nonprofit working to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality child care for all children and families. The organization accomplishes its mission through direct services, research and advocacy. CCSA provides a nutrition program for children in child care settings, free referral services to families seeking child care and quality improvement assistance to child care businesses. CCSA’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project provides educational scholarships to early childhood educators in every North Carolina county and is licensed in 21 other states and the District of Columbia. The Child Care WAGE$® Project provides salary supplements to child care providers throughout the state and is licensed in three other states. For more information, visit www.childcareservices.org.

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Governors Role in Aligning Early Education and K-12 Reforms

Tuesday, October 02nd, 2012 | Author: Tracy

The National Governors Association has published a new white paper titled, Governors Role in Aligning Early Education and K-12 Reforms: Challenges, Opportunities, and Benefits for Children. The paper calls on Governors to bring state agencies together and develop coordinated strategies to better serve all children, starting at birth. Recommendations include:

  • Leadership and Governance—Redesign or create new governance structures that facilitate alignment of ECE and early elementary policies and practices.
  • Learning Standards—Ensure early learning standards and early elementary standards are aligned with each other.
  • Child Assessments—Develop aligned birth-to-grade 3 assessments that help monitor children’s progress toward the academic and developmental goals that are reflected in states’ early learning standards and the CCSS.
  • Accountability—Incorporate promising practices from early learning into accountability policies that apply to the early elementary grades.
  • Teacher/Leader Preparation and Professional Development
    • Strengthen the capacity of ECE teachers/leaders to prepare children for the CCSS.
    • Help ECE and K–3 teachers align their approaches to teaching and learning.
    • Develop credential and certification policies for elementary teachers and principals that support both the CCSS and best practices in early education.
  • Resource Allocation and Reallocation—Realign resources to support access to high-quality ECE programs.

Download the paper.


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Despite Weak Economy, Child Care Costs Continue to Rise

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 | Author: Tracy

Quality child care is becoming increasingly difficult to afford for working families

According to a report released today by Child Care Aware® the cost of child care continues to increase while families struggle to afford quality care. Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2012 Report provides results from a survey of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) State Networks and local agencies, which asked for the average fees charged by child care programs in 2011.

The report provides the average cost of child care in 2011 for infants, 4-year-olds, and school-age children in centers and family child care homes nationwide. It shows that in 36 states (including the District of Columbia), the average annual cost for center-based care for an infant was higher than a year’s in-state tuition and related fees at a four-year public college. In every state and the District of Columbia, center-based child care costs for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) exceeded annual average rent payments.

In North Carolina, the average annual cost of care for an infant in child care center was $9,185 and for a four-year-old was $7,774.

“Families need child care in order to work,” said Ollie M. Smith, Child Care Aware® of America’s Interim Executive Director. “But, child care today is simply unaffordable for too many families. This is not a low income issue. Families at nearly every income — except for the very wealthy –struggle with the cost of child care.”

According to the report, in 2011, the average annual cost of full-time child care for an infant in a center ranged from about $4,600 in Mississippi to nearly $15,000 in Massachusetts. The average annual cost of full-time care for a 4-year-old child in a center ranged from about $3,900 in Mississippi to nearly $11,700 in Massachusetts. In New York, parents of school-age children paid nearly $11,000 a year for part-time care in a center. The report also found that in 2011, the average annual cost of full-time care for an infant in a family child care home ranged from $4,500 in South Carolina to nearly $10,400 in New York. The average annual cost for a 4-yearold in a family child care home ranged from $4,100 in South Carolina to about $9,600 in New York.

The report ranks the 10 least-affordable states for center care based on the cost of child care as a percentage of state median income for a two-parent family. The 10 least affordable states (in ranked order) for full-time center-based infant care in 2011 were: New York, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The least-affordable states (in ranked order) for full-time care for a 4-year-old in a center in 2011 were: New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Indiana, Maine and Rhode Island. “During the critical years of birth through age 5, 90 percent of a child’s brain is developed and essential learning patterns are established which affect school-readiness,” said Smith.

“Affordability is important because for many families, the cost affects the settings they are able to choose. Parents want quality care. They want their children to be safe. But, too many families struggle with the cost of care as they hope for the best for their children.”

Download the report.

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Foundation for Child Development Announces 2013 Young Scholars Competition

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 | Author: Patti Mulligan

The 2013 Young Scholars Competition

FCD’s Young Scholars Program (YSP) supports a new generation of scholars conducting research on the development of young children (birth-10) in immigrant families, particularly those who are low-income.
The deadline for proposals is Thursday, November 1, 2012.  Download the following PDF documents:
Announcing FCD’s 2012 Young Scholars
Since 2003, FCD has made grants to 37 researchers through the Young Scholars Program.

The 2012 Young Scholars are:

Jennifer Keys Adair, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Texas at Austin
“Towards a Culturally Relevant Continuity of Development for Latino Children of Immigrants in PK-3 Educational Settings”
Lisseth Rojas-Flores, Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Marriage and Family Department, Fuller Theological Seminary
“Parental  Detention and Deportation and the Adjustment of Latino Citizen Children”
Tiffany Green, Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
“Prenatal Insurance, Prenatal Care and Early Life Health Among the Children on Black Immigrants”
Kevin J.A. Thomas, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Demography, and African Studies, Pennsylvania State University
“Parental Education- Occupation Mismatch Status and Child Poverty in Black Immigrant Families”
Jessica Zacher Pandya, Assistant Professor, California State University, Long Beach
“Multimodal Digital Composition with English Language Learners”
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