When we support our youngest children in having the opportunity to fulfill their potential, we create the best outcomes in health, education and economic well-being for everyone in North Carolina.
The science is clear: early experiences matter. During the first years of life, children’s experiences are built into their bodies — shaping brain development and building the foundation for all future learning, behavior and health. Parents play the lead role in their child’s healthy development, but all parents are stretched in the early months and years of their child’s life. Families of color or with low income face additional barriers and are often overburdened and under-resourced, and these inequities can impact their children even before birth. Our communities and our state all have a role to play in providing every parent with the extra support that is needed during this especially critical time in order to help prepare the children who will be our future workers, innovators, and leaders. When families have what they need to thrive, our economy works. When policies embody equity, all children have opportunities to reach their full potential, and our society is stronger.
Every child, regardless of their race, family income, or zip code, deserves an equitable opportunity to thrive and succeed in life. Policies, programs, and funding should ensure healthy beginnings prenatally and at birth, support families with young children, and make high-quality child care and learning environments more accessible and affordable to all parents who want them. When we support young children in their earliest years, we prepare them to grow, learn and succeed—and our communities, workforce and economy become stronger and more productive.