Issues

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.

Brains are built, not born. 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 earliest months and years of their child’s life. Our state and our communities all have a role to play in providing parents with support they may need at this especially critical time. Policies and programs should ensure healthy beginnings 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 them in their earliest years, we prepare young children to grow, learn and succeed—and our communities, workforce and economy become stronger and more productive.

Download the 2019 Think Babies™ NC Policy Agenda

Download the 2019 Think Babies™ NC Policy Agenda Infographic

Download the Coalition’s 2019 Early Education Policy Agenda

Early Childhood Education

Children’s development and learning in the first few years lay the foundation for all of the years that follow. Children who attend high-quality early education programs are better prepared for success in school— academically, socially and emotionally. Children in higher quality programs have more advanced language and math skills, more advanced social skills and more supportive relationships with their teachers. Access to high-quality child care with well-educated, well-compensated teachers helps prepare children to grow, learn and succeed.

Child Care Assistance

Learn more

Child Care Availability

Learn more

Early Education Workforce

Learn more

NC Pre-K

Learn more

Supported Families and Supportive Communities

A stable, secure relationship with a nurturing, caring adult is a key factor in young children’s development. Parents play the lead role in their children’s healthy development, but all parents are stretched in the earliest months and years of their children’s lives. Communities can provide parents with support they may need at this especially critical time.

Home Visiting and Parenting Education

Learn more

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Learn more

Accurate 2020 Census Count

Learn more

Healthy Beginnings

Children’s development during the early years of life is strongly affected by their health. Healthy adults are more likely to conceive healthy babies, and women with health insurance are more likely to get timely and adequate prenatal care. When parents have health insurance coverage, children are more likely to have insurance, keep insurance and access needed health care services. Parents with health insurance are healthier and can better support children’s development. Supporting pregnant women at work reduces infant mortality, improves mom and baby’s health and reduces doctor and hospital visits. When children have good health in utero, good birth outcomes and access to needed health services, they are more likely to have good physical health and on-track development during childhood and throughout life.

Closing the Coverage Gap

Learn more

Accommodations for Pregnant Employees

Learn more