Initiatives for Improving Practices in Early Learning

The Early Learning Network provides professional development and program support focused on expanding skills and increased family participation to improve the performance and success of preschool children in North Carolina. Our beliefs, supported by research are:

  • Early identification and provision of intervention services has a positive impact on young children’s school readiness and success in later years.  
  • Every child, regardless of ability, should be able to play, develop and learn in a variety of places, including home, early childhood programs, neighborhoods, and other community settings.
  • Every child, given the appropriate support and differentiated instruction, can demonstrate positive outcomes in all areas of development and learning.
  • Children and families should be supported through times of transition into the preschool program and again when transitioning to Kindergarten.

Ongoing projects and initiatives:

two girls on playgorundChild Find and Assessment
Child Find is the continuous process of public awareness, screening, and assessment designed to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children with disabilities who are in need of preschool special education services. The Network Child Find supports include authentic assessment procedures such as Transdisciplinary Play Based Assessment and Transition from Infant-Toddler to preschool services.


smiling girlEarly Childhood Outcomes
Outcomes are measured for each child receiving special education by comparing his/her development from entrance to exit of the preschool program. The NC Preschool Pyramid Model (formerly NC Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (SEFEL) project), designed to help improve child outcomes and increase opportunities in least restrictive environments, promotes healthy social-emotional development for ALL children birth through five years of age. The North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development, a common set of Goals and Developmental Indicators for children beginning at birth, is a shared vision for what children should learn before they enter kindergarten. North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five Online Tool expands the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development goals into observable behaviors at two-, three-, and six-month intervals.


children on riding toysInclusion
The North Carolina Preschool Inclusion Initiative is a cross-agency collaborative planning process that helps communities increase inclusive opportunities for young children with special needs, ages three through five years.  Providing specialized instruction through embedded intervention is a key professional development feature of this initiative.