Early Childhood
Action Plan

In February 2019, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released North Carolina’s Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP). The NC ECAP puts forth goals that, if achieved, would “provide all North Carolina’s children, birth through age 8, with a fair opportunity to grow up healthy in safe and nurturing families, schools and communities, so that they are learning and ready to succeed.”

Durham will be the first county in North Carolina to create an ECAP specific to our community. To do so, the Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI), with the support of Durham County, will bring together families, community members, and family-/child-serving agencies to envision a future with a stronger, more aligned early childhood system. The ECAP process will build upon the incredible collaboration already underway in Durham.

Stay Up-To-Date with ECAP

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

Materials from the January 8th Midpoint Check-in Meeting:

ECAP has reorganized from four workgroups into 21 action planning teams in order to draft plans based on the Durham ECAP recommendations. The plans will be shared more broadly throughout the process and there will be many opportunities for your input. To learn more about next steps and to stay up-to-date on ECAP progress, please fill out this form here and stay tuned!

Materials from Action Planning Kick-Off Meeting on February 17th:

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, we have an opportunity to bring our community and resources together towards shared goals in support of all our young children.


The ECAP workgroups have completed a needs and assets assessment to analyze local data relevant to the NC ECAP targets and sub-targets, inventory existing early childhood services and supports, and listen to the wisdom of parents through a parent survey, focus groups, and informal interviews.

The workgroups used that information to consider potential strategies, prioritize them (with special weight to strategies proposed by parents, families and communities), and the highest priority strategies have been grouped into 21 recommendations.

Action planning teams have been assembled to determine the strategies within each recommendation and to build action plans to implement those strategies. Each action planning team will designate one member to share monthly progress with a review team made up of workgroup and community members. Throughout this process, there will be opportunities for parents and community members to participate through focus groups and community feedback sessions.

If you are interested in joining an action planning team, please contact Bonnie Delaune (bonnie.delaune@dci-nc.org).