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.
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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 20 recommendations.
Action planning teams are now being assembled to determine the strategies within each recommendation and to build action plans to implement those strategies. Parents are central to the planning process and will be consulted through participation in action planning teams, focus groups, and community listening sessions.
If you are interested in joining an action planning team, please contact Bonnie Delaune (firstname.lastname@example.org).