Think Babies™ NC Community Partners

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Learn more about our 2020 Think Babies™ NC Community Partner Micro-Grant Recipients!

The following organizations received micro-grants in 2020 to support community advocacy efforts focused on infants, toddlers, their educators, and their families in North Carolina:

Alamance Partnership for Children conducted a qualitative research process to engage community stakeholders most impacted by issues of maternal and child health in the process of exploring the feasibility of implementing Family Connects, an evidence-based universal postpartum home visiting model, in Alamance County. This information was shared with local stakeholders and policymakers to help inform decisions on funding and services.

Alliance for Children* created a State of Union County Babies campaign to raise awareness of how babies and their families are doing in Union County. The campaign included traditional and social media outreach, story collection engaging parents and early educators, a virtual child care center visit, and a virtual forum with a multi-disciplinary audience to focus on policies that support infants and toddlers.

Buncombe Partnership for Children collected qualitative data about changing parent perceptions of ideal program size, quality, and equity in infant-toddler child care, in light of the COVID-19 crisis and heightened awareness of systemic racism. Stories collected were used in a public awareness campaign and the data was presented to local and state policymakers to highlight the severe shortage of infant-toddler child care and parents’ experiences in accessing child care before and after COVID-19.

Partnership for Children of Johnston County* launched a digital billboard campaign to raise awareness of issues impacting babies, their families, and those that care for them. They also ran a traditional and social media campaign featuring the voices of parents, child care providers, and community partners.

Partnership of Ashe* created videos about local challenges facing babies and their families, which were shared in multiple venues to raise awareness, engage stakeholders, and inform policymakers. They held virtual meetings targeting groups of early childhood advocates, community stakeholders, and policymakers in order to show the videos and facilitate discussions around the importance of quality care and education and family support.

Randolph County Partnership for Children* worked with their Family Engagement and Leadership Coalition on a letter-writing campaign to raise public awareness of issues affecting infants and toddlers in Randolph County. They assisted parents in telling their stories, identifying barriers parents face in being a voice for their children, and then guiding them to platforms upon which their messages can be amplified for policymakers and the general public.

Rockingham County Partnership for Children* created a Family Stakeholder Advisory Council to share stories of impact from COVID-19, inform decision making in early childhood systems, and gain advocacy and leadership skills. They used these stories to elevate family voice through the existing Birth to Three: Invest in Me public awareness campaign and to inform policymakers of local needs and challenges facing babies and their families.

Smart Start of New Hanover County* collected stories from parents of infants and toddlers to create videos about the needs of infants and toddlers and their families and how those needs are and are not being met. The videos included a call to action to viewers to support programs and policies that further the health, development, education, and overall well-being of infants, toddlers and their families.

Smart Start of Pender County* performed a local needs assessment of the availability of high-quality infant and toddler care in light of COVID-19. Upon completion of the assessment, they held a virtual presentation for the public and policymakers where they discussed the findings and specific areas of advocacy for infants and toddlers in the county.

Smart Start of Yadkin County worked with their existing Early Education Advocacy Group to host a community forum on infants, toddlers, their families and their educators that includes a screening of the documentary No Small Matter.

*indicates a previous recipient of a Think Babies™ NC Community Partner Micro-Grant.

Learn more about the work of our Community Partners in 2018-2019

Alliance for Children addressed issues impacting young children and families in Union County through a public awareness and media campaign, as well as a series of community forums to engage community leaders, business leaders, parents, grandparents, early childhood educators, social workers, direct service providers and other stakeholders.

Ashe County Partnership for Children, held two community forums to engage and educate community leaders, elected officials, business leaders, parents and early child educators about early childhood policies, while also addressing current and emerging issues in the community that impact the lives of infants and toddlers.

Chatham County Partnership for Children built on their existing work of the Chatham Action for Resilience Initiative by holding 10 small group sessions for key community leaders to view and discuss the film, Resilience. The forums included small groups of policymakers, child care directors, first responders, caregivers, educators and judges to increase the awareness of ACES among the people who make and influence decisions in their community.

Lee County Partnership for Children, in collaboration with Central Carolina Community College Early Childhood Education Department, promoted the importance of quality child care and social-emotional development for infants and toddlers through a series of events, continuing education and presentations throughout Lee County that engaged child care providers, early childhood education students, health educators, social workers, business leaders and policymakers, including an educational booth and presentation at the Lee County Fair.

Mecklenburg Partnership for Children hosted a series of Coffee and Conversation forums featuring medical professionals speaking about early brain development and toxic stress. These community conversations were targeted to reach state legislators, business leaders, and neighborhood groups. They also hosted a public policy forum to engage and educate policymakers, community advocates, business leaders and public officials on the economic and social benefits derived from supporting the parents of infants and toddlers. To see what Mecklenburg Partnership for Children is doing to Think Babies™, visit

Montgomery Partnership for Children, in collaboration with the Montgomery THRIVE Task Force, held a community screening of the documentary Resilience. This screening took place as part of a community resource fair and was followed by a guided panel discussion of the film.

Partnership for Children of Cumberland County presented an infant-toddler advocacy training for child care providers. The training included a call-to-action for each participant to inform policymakers about the importance of focusing on policy issues impacting infants, toddlers, their families, and their educators. Facilitators continued to engage participants to offer support and guidance for connecting with policymakers.

Partnership for Children of Johnston County invited state-level policymakers, local businesses, civic, education and government leaders to take part in a Think Babies™ Bus Tour, lunch, and conversation with parents and early childhood educators to highlight the disparities in accessibility to high-quality child care throughout the county.

Partnership for Children of Wayne County held a community forum and bus tour focused on the issue of infant and toddler child care availability in their county. The forum shared information on the current demographics and provided advocacy strategies to advance policies and programs that support infants, toddlers and families in the community. A tour for policymakers and community leaders of a local child care program highlighted the need for additional infant toddler spots and increased awareness of the overall importance of early childhood education.

Randolph County Partnership for Children, serving as the lead agency for the county’s KidsReadyNC Initiative, held roundtable events at local libraries for policymakers, parents and the general public to discuss issues impacting young children and families. A tour for policymakers and community leaders was also coordinated to showcase high-quality child care programs and facilitate conversations with parents and educators.

Rockingham County Partnership for Children, as part of the STRIVE Initiative, conducted a Family Perceptions Study to engage community members and learn about their experiences with early education and family support. This assessment was shared with policymakers and community leaders at the 3rd Annual Eggs and Issues breakfast, which served as the launch for a county-wide campaign to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood education.

Smart Start of New Hanover County implemented an extensive, multi-step public awareness campaign focused on infants and toddlers. They formed a county-level collaborative to focus on infants and toddlers to lead the campaign, which included local radio and television, social media, and other promotional materials. They also held an advocacy training for students in early childhood education programs at local colleges and universities.

Smart Start of Pender County hosted a series of trainings around the Resilience documentary for child care providers and community partners. With information from a 2018 community health assessment, the hosts focused on the top three issues identified by residents affecting quality of life in the community. The trainings drew connections between toxic stress facing infants and toddlers and the identified issues of alcohol, drug or medication abuse, low income/poverty, and child abuse and neglect.

The Enola Group, Inc., an Early Head Start partner in Burke County, hosted a Resilience screening and discussion panel. Their goal was to raise awareness of ACES and how they affect the development and overall needs of infants, toddlers and their families. Community partners assisting with this event included local institutions of higher education, the local Smart Start Partnership, as well as the regional CCR&R agency.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro increased awareness of the needs of the early education workforce by facilitating a range of activities, including focus groups with infant and toddler teachers, a public awareness and advocacy campaign, and a strategic job shadowing event that allowed policymakers and other leaders to learn about infant/toddler development and gain first-hand experience in high-quality infant and toddler classrooms.

UNC Pembroke Foundation increased public awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) among policymakers and key stakeholders through a community forum and conversation with policymakers and local leaders about how to address the prevalence of ACEs in their community.

2019 Community Partners Report

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2018 Community Partners Report

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Funding for the Community Partner Micro-Grants is made possible by ZERO TO THREE.