News & Notes 

Play Outside NC Events Huge Success! Play Outside NC is an INstitute project supporting early educators growing their skills and knowledge about early math and science. The project participated in 3 events were held in Eastern NC during the Week of the Young Child, April 10-17, 2016. The Play Outside NC project contributed activities and UNC-TV costume characters (Read-A-Roo, Curious George and Sid the Science Kid) as part of a family-oriented party in the park in Rocky Mount, a children’s festival in Washington and a STEM event for kids in Bath. Watch Play Outside NC TV stories on UNC-TV’s SciTech Now on Wednesdays evenings at 7:30 PM or online. Click here to View Play Outside NC segment 1.

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Child Care Health Consultant Certification (NCCCHCC) Pilot Project Partners Present to NC CCHC Association Conference on April 6 in Chapel Hill. Institute Director, Torrence and Early Educator Certification Manager, Erin Belford, presented information about the first in the nation NC CCHC pilot project with partners NC CCHC Association’s President Amy Petersen, UNC-CH’s Gillings School of Global Health’s Dr. Jonathan Kotch and NC Partnership for Children’s Christina DiSalvo. Click here for a project overview. View the live blog! Funding for the project is provided by a Ribbon Of Hope grant from the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.


Join us in May in Greensboro! Institute to Present at the Smart Start 2016 National Conference.  Join in one of our five sessions being offered at this national conference between May 2-5, 2016 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

  • Advancing Quality Early Education AND the Workforce Through Effective Advocacy – Tuesday, 5/3/2016 08:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Go Outside for STEM! – Wednesday, 5/4/2016 08:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Child Care Health Consultants: Improving Outcomes and Strengthening Systems – Thursday, 5/5/2016 08:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Creating Your NextGen Professional Development System: Challenges & Solutions – Thursday, 5/5/2016 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Asheboro Directors Conversation Set for May.  Institute Director, Debra Torrence, is partnering with the Randolph County Partnership for Children to present Advancing the Early Childhood Profession on May 11 in Asheboro.

Institute Workgroups Conduct SWOT Analysis, Move to Strategies. Four Institute workgroups composed of early educators and partners from across the state engaged in a six month strategic planning effort to identify next steps in advancing the education, compensation and professional recognition of the NC early childhood workforce. The workgroups composed of diverse early educators and stakeholders from across the state include Compensation, Higher Education, Professional Development (non-credit opportunities) and Advancing the Education of the Workforce are now moving on to strategy development

Institute’s Play Outside NC! Launched! The Institute in collaboration with UNC-TV and partners in Eastern NC developed and offered a .5 CEU about early math and science skills using the outdoors for 40 early educators in ENC with support of PNC Foundation’s Grow Up Great Initiative. The training, tools and TV segments for three Play Outside NC ! will on Wednesday evenings starting on April 13 on PBS/UNC-TV’s program, SciTech Now.

Public Policy Training – Opportunities for Action. The Institute and NC Child Care Coalition ongoing collaboration has included a series of trainings to help early educators learn about what public policy is and how they can lift their voices to support your interests in advancing the field. These engaging sessions support early educators in building their capacity, knowledge and skills to support their interests in being early childhood leaders and advocates.


Getting it Right for the Workforce From the Start. Smart Start Executive Directors participated in a half day session provided by the Institute, Child Care Services Association and UNC-Greensboro in Kinston. The session about the NC early childhood workforce, systems and support for professional development of the workforce was provided on March 11, 2016. 

Public Education 

May 2, 2016 is Worthy Wage Day. We can all lift our voices to share the need for early educators to earn a worthy wage. 


April 5, 2016 – Institute Presents at NC Child Care Coalition Education Forum at McKimmon Center, Raleigh. Institute Director, Debra Torrence shared statewide work the Institute has been undertaking over the past year in four key areas focused on growing a highly qualified early childhood teaching profession and invited participants to join a webinar in May.

UNCW Master’s in Leadership Students Grow Policy & Advocacy Knowledge at Forum. Several students from the UNC-Wilmington Leadership Master’s degree program, coordinated by Dr. Susan Catapano, attended the NC Child Care Coalition Forum. Shown below with Institute Director, Torrence, who is teaching this semester’s Public Policy and Advocacy course for the program. 


Duke Center for Documentary Studies Highlights Low Wages of Early Educators. View Portrait of an Early Childhood Teacher .

Sandhills Community College Releases Career Videos. Sandhills Community College has released a set of College to Career videos, featuring Early Childhood Department students who have pursued degrees, articulated credits into four-year and graduate degrees, entered from home school settings. Click here.

New State of the Early Childhood Workforce Profiles Emerging!  The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment has released its first in a series of state profiles on the early childhood workforce. Check out the California profile here.

National Poll Shows Voters Rate Early Childhood Education as Top Priority. Click here to access the First Five Years Fund poll results.

FFYF 2015 National Poll infographic

IOM Report Calls for Supports for Creating a Highly Qualified, EducatedWorkforce. Click here to access the report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age Eight: A Unifying Foundation. Click here to access recommendations summary report. 

New Data on Today’s Nontraditional College Students – Early educators are non-traditional students. Recently, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released Demographic and Enrollment Characteristics of Nontraditional Undergraduates: 2011-12, a report with descriptive statistics about nontraditional undergraduate students.  CLASP highlights additional data points reflecting the nontraditional status of today’s undergraduates and makes policy recommendations to address these students’ complex circumstances.

NAEYC Poll Shows Support and Need for Specialized Ed & Higher Compensation. Click here to access the findings memo released by NAEYC.

Child Care is Crazy Expensive, But Child Care Workers Can’t Make Ends Meet. The new Economic Policy Institute report and blog notes that “Child care workers are already earning far less than other workers—poverty wages, in many cases—for doing one of the most important, taxing jobs out there. It’ll take the concerted action of both private employers and government entities to fix this tightening double-bind.” Click here to read blog.








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