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NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development

North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development is the document of North Carolina’s early learning and development standards that were revised, enhanced and released in 2013. The document is a resource that describes children’s learning and development from birth to age five and serves as a shared vision for what we want for our State’s children. Foundations has been widely distributed in print form and is also available in pdf version here:

This project was tasked with the development of a 0.5 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) introductory course, to be provided by the Child Care Resource and Referral Network (CCR&R) and cross-sector early care and education partners to ensure awareness and adoption of the new revised standards across early care and education programs. Throughout the course of the project, over 100 individuals from across the state were trained as trainers for the 0.5 CEU course. The CCR&R network has provided trainings that reached 3,194 participants by the end of 2015. From 2016 forward, the CCR&R network continues to provide this introductory Foundations training in locations across the state and has aligned all trainings on teacher practice with the content of Foundations.

In addition to the seated 0.5 CEU course, an online 0.5 CEU course and an online train-the-trainer module for the 0.5 CEU course were developed and are now offered. In 2016, North Carolina also added an online intermediate level Foundations course to its training options. The intermediate level course was developed by North Carolina community college faculty. For more advanced training, North Carolina also added an online course developed by the Early Learning Network, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This advanced course focuses on the emotional/social domain and incorporates the work of Head Start/Early Head Start in the area of family engagement. All of the online trainings are available through the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education’s Moodle site for professional development.

Recognizing the importance of grounding pre-service education in these standards, NC Community Colleges are also incorporating NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development into early childhood education coursework as part of the Growing Greatness Project. Staff from this project have worked closely with the Growing Greatness project staff to provide access to training and other supports around the Foundations document. In March and April 2015, three Early Childhood Higher Education and Technical Assistance Institutes were held to guide the incorporation of the revised Foundations into college coursework and technical assistance services.


RTT-ELC Reform Area: Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children