By Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips
The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) announced today that it will implement five new projects aimed at infant and toddler health this fall, two of which relate directly to the NCIOM’s Essentials for Childhood Task Force recommendations.
The new projects include: a training and technical assistance initiative that will help make the places young children spend most of their time healthier and safer; a consultation service program that will provide three regional Registered Nurse Child Care Health Consultants to work with early childhood programs; Infant Toddler Educator AWARD$ to invest in the state’s youngest children; a pilot program for intensive infant and toddler technical assistance; and a new team of experts on trauma-informed infant and toddler care.
The last two—the Infant Toddler Educator AWARD$ and Trauma-Informed Infant & Toddler Care—are directly related to the work of our Task Force on Essentials for Childhood.
Under the Infant Toddler Educator AWARD$ program, more than 900 eligible educators of infants and toddlers across the state will receive salary supplements to address the compensation gap between these teachers and those whose students are older. The NCIOM Task Force recommended that DCDEE and additional state partners continue work toward adequate wages and benefits for the early care and education work force, specifically through salary supplementation and workforce development.
The E4C task force also recommended the establishment and continuation of trauma-informed practices and communities in North Carolina. Now the Duke Center for Child & Family Policy is building a professional development program for people who work with young children to learn how to identify the signs of toxic stress and promote resilience.
Read more about the Task Force on Essentials for Childhood.
In addition, Growing Up Well: the NCIOM Task Force on the Mental Health, Social, and Emotional Needs of Young Children and Their Families, recommended alignment of professional development standards to increase focus on social-emotional health. Under the new DCDEE initiatives, the Child Care Services Association will identify three regions to participate in a pilot program to increase the scope of technical assistance provided to child care providers; this shift will focus on improving teacher interactions and outcomes for young children.
Read more about Growing Up Well.
Read more about the new DCDEE initiatives.