The North Carolina Early Learning Network, funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), provides early learning communities with professional development and technical assistance to support preschool children with disabilities and their families through the vision of DPI's Office of Early Learning:
"Each child is honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life."
The Early Learning Network promotes the development and successful participation of North Carolina’s preschool-age exceptional children in a broad range of activities and contexts, including their homes, early learning programs, and communities. The Network provides professional development and technical assistance based on guiding principles and values, aligned with and reported in the State Performance Plan (SPP)/Annual Performance Report (APR). Preschool coordinators have access to multi-tiered levels of support and facilitated cross-sector professional development.
Goals of the Early Learning Network:
- Providing technical assistance and training to help establish the systems and policies needed to adopt and sustain initiatives
- Managing the statewide system of professional development and providing training and implementation support for statewide initiatives
- Designing, developing, and providing training and ongoing TA (consultation, coaching, and facilitating) to support transfer of learning and implementation of evidence-based practices to fidelity
- Consulting with and providing targeted TA to build and expand capacity for providing high-quality inclusive settings and practices to improve the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of young children with, and at risk for, developmental disabilities or delays
- Consulting with and providing individualized TA to early childhood leadership to build their capacity to understand, communicate, and use program data to inform planning, decision-making, and improvement
- Providing intensive support for the essential statewide implementation structures needed for successful statewide Preschool Pyramid Model (PPM) implementation and scale-up
- Managing a statewide Preschool Pyramid Model implementation and coaching data system
Early Childhood System in North Carolina
- Infant Toddler Program provides services and resources for young children (birth-3) with disabilities.
- Office of Early Learning (OEL) of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) administers state and federally funded programs for young children including Preschool Exceptional Children, Title I Preschool and the Head Start State Collaboration Office.
- Exceptional Children Division provides services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to NC children and youth ages 3 – 21 who have disabilities.
- Developmental Day Center Program (DDC), funded through the State Board of Education, assists in providing special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities who are placed in accredited development day centers by local education agencies.
- Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) regulates child care in the state and collaborates to promote enhanced service delivery of care and education across the state.
- NC Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC) provides statewide oversight of the Smart Start initiative.