Early Care and Education

Reflecting on Infant/Toddler Mental Health and the Early Care and Education Workforce in North Carolina

September 1, 2023

COVID-19 has led to a child care workforce and mental health crisis for staff, families, and children under age three (infants and toddlers). The current level of stress for chil­dren, families, and infant-toddler early care and education professionals and its impact on infant and toddler well-being needs our attention.

Understanding Heterogeneity in the Impact of Public Preschool Programs

June 13, 2023

Estimates indicate that a child’s exposure to higher NC Pre-K funding was positively associated with that child’s academic achievement 6 years later. NC Pre-K funding effects on achievement were positive for all subgroups tested, and statistically significant for most.

Universal Teacher-Child Interaction Training in Early Childhood Special Education: A cluster randomized control trial

February 27, 2023

Current findings build support for the effectiveness of TCIT-U as universal prevention of behavior problems with an ethnically and racially diverse sample of teachers and children, including children with developmental disabilities.

Effects of Daily School and Care Disruptions During the Covid-19 Pandemic on Child Mental Health

January 15, 2022

The pandemic profoundly affected American children with disruptions to their schooling and daily care. A new study found that service sector workers who had a young child reported disruption on 24 percent of days in fall 2020. The disruptions were more common in remote learning and had a negative impact on children’s behavior and on parenting mood and behavior.

The Benefits of Early Childhood Education Can Persist in the Long Run

October 26, 2021

This brief examines how the benefits of high-quality ECE might simultaneously diminish and persist in the long run. Strategies are then discussed to sustain the impacts of ECE during elementary school.

Light-touch design enhancements can boost parent engagement in math activities

September 1, 2021

Early proficiency in math skills is increasingly being seen as an independent area worthy of early curriculum development and policy investment to reduce socioeconomic disparities in children’s school readiness.

Promoting and Protecting Early Relational Health For Infants & Toddlers in Child Care

February 1, 2021

The science that informs best practice in early intervention, early childhood education, and early childhood mental health is clear: the most important resource infants and toddlers have is the relationships they develop with adult caregivers. For young children in child care programs, relationships with their teachers are a resource they depend on.

Learning from Pre-K Teachers

August 1, 2020

During the spring of 2020, a statewide survey was undertaken to understand how early childhood educators sought to navigate the transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“New Normal” for Children and Families: Developing a Universal Approach with a Focus on Equity

August 1, 2020

This brief provides an overview of the various channels through which COVID-19 has affected the lives of children and families, and proposes 4 key actions to help communities heal and build stronger, equitable systems: Create a “new” public health system centered upon a universal approach to care with a focus on equity. Invest in early…

The North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program and Remote Learning Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

July 1, 2020

Findings from a Statewide Survey of Teachers, by Robert C. Carr, Ph.D.

NC Pre-K Remote Learning Survey Results | COVID-19 Response

May 1, 2020

Children’s earliest experiences shape their brain’s architecture and create the foundation for healthy development and future learning. High-quality early learning environments support children in meeting critical developmental milestones, and children who attend high-quality early education programs are better prepared for success in school — academically, socially and emotionally.

Strategies to Support the Well-Being of Essential Child Care Staff and Young Children During COVID-19

April 1, 2020

Inside: Protecting the Physical Well-Being of Essential Child Care Providers and Young Children Supporting the Social-Emotional Well-Being of Essential Child Care Providers and Young Children Caring for Older Children Supporting Child Care Administrators Whose Facilities are Staying Open to Meet Essential Needs

Gender Differences in the Impact of North Carolina’s Early Care and Education Initiatives on Student Outcomes in Elementary School

March 1, 2020

Based on growing evidence of the long-term benefits of enriched early childhood experiences, we evaluate the potential for addressing gender disparities in elementary school through early care and education programs.

State of Empowerment: Low-Income Families and the New Welfare State

February 21, 2020

Carolyn Barnes uses ethnographic accounts of three organizations to reveal how interacting with government-funded after-school programs can enhance the civic and political lives of low-income citizens.

Impact of North Carolina’s Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School

November 17, 2016

North Carolina’s Smart Start and More at Four (MAF) early childhood programs were evaluated through the end of elementary school (age 11) by estimating the impact of state funding allocations to programs in each of 100 counties across 13 consecutive years on outcomes for all children in each county-year group (n = 1,004,571; 49% female; 61% non-Latinx White, 30% African American, 4% Latinx, 5% other).

Impact of North Carolina’s Early Childhood Initiatives on Special Education Placements in Third Grade

December 1, 2015

This study examines the community-wide effects of investments in two early childhood initiatives in North Carolina (Smart Start and More at Four) on the likelihood of a student being placed into special education.