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Early Childhood

Together, we can make Durham a place where ALL children from birth through 8 can THRIVE.

Check Out Durham County’s Early Childhood Action Plan!

The plan’s implementation is now being guided by a steering committee that brings together parents, early childhood providers, and community leaders from across Durham County.

Fill out the form on this site to learn more.
Fill out the form on this site to learn more.
Fill out the form on this site to learn more.
Fill out the form on this site to learn more.

Visit the pages below to see meeting materials and draft action plans as the plan was developed.

ECAP Recap

In 2019, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released North Carolina’s Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP). The plan sets forth a bold vision for North Carolina’s children, focused on making steady progress towards achieving ambitious goals relating to children’s health and development, safety and well-being, and learning.

Building off this statewide work, Durham is now the first county in the state to create an ECAP specific to our community. We are thrilled to share this report – “Grown in Durham: Durham’s Early Childhood Action Plan,” which serves as a blueprint for strengthening our early childhood systems in Durham.

An Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP) Rooted in Equity

In Durham, not all children and families have the same opportunities to thrive. The health, safety, and education of a child should not differ depending on the child’s race, the family’s wealth, or any other reason. As we respond to COVID-19 together and address racial injustices in Durham, this plan seeks to bring our community and resources together towards shared goals in support of all our young children. 

All ECAP Documents for Downloading
About the Planning Process

Four workgroups (Healthy, Basic Needs, Safe & Nurtured, and Learning & Ready to Succeed) met monthly from September 2020 through January 2021 to create recommendations to ensure all young children and their families in Durham thrive. Materials and recordings from those meetings are posted under each workgroup page.

Check-out the materials below from the ECAP Midpoint Check-in held on January 8, 2021:

From February 2021 – June 2021, 21 Action Planning Teams met to create action plans for each of the 21 Durham ECAP recommendations. Materials from the Action Planning Kickoff meeting:

Please reach out to for more information.


The Pediatrics Supporting Parents (PSP) initiative began in 2014. The goal of the program was to ensure that parents are able to establish the type of relationship with their pediatricians that fosters and amplifies a child’s growth. PSP employs strategies that negate the effects of systematic racism and health inequities that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) may face. These strategies and establishment of relationships simultaneously encourage a child’s social emotional development. 

Durham Partners for Early Relational Health (DPERH) involves a number of members within the early childhood sector in Durham, NC. The focus between the groups places emphasis on improving early childhood outcomes highlighted in both the North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP) and Grown in Durham: Durham County’s Early Childhood Action Plan. The overall goal is to provide Durham Children with the potential to grow and thrive in healthy and safe families, schools and communities. DCI was instrumental to the strategizing and development of Durham County’s Early Childhood Action Plan and houses the backbone team for the PSP initiative. The collection of these collaborative and community-based organizations strive towards in improving childhood experiences throughout Durham County. 

A highlight of the programs listed above is the aspect of community involvement. Each program prides itself on the involvement of parents and family members throughout the community. We place a meaningful and significant focus on our Parent Advisory Team, who lead change within the PSP Initiative and thought partnership on how early childhood experiences can be elevated. This year, funding has been granted for $436k. Priorities include focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, a family friendly clinic space, caregiver advocacy and engagement education series, Centering Parenting, and HealthySteps.