Early Care & Education

Early Care & Education

A child’s earliest years have a profound and lasting impact on their school success, their career success, and their lives.

Those who care for and educate young children– parents and families, caregivers, teachers – are essential to their healthy development. Programs focused on the development of children from birth to age five are rarely regarded as economic development initiatives. However, education serves as an equalizer with the potential to nullify the deficits many children face due to socio-economic circumstance, providing a unique opportunity for long-term public benefit.

Quality early care and education have resounding effects. They lay the groundwork for individuals to complete high school and postsecondary education, while decreasing the likelihood of the need for public assistance and chances of coming into contact with the criminal justice system. Research shows that children enrolled in high quality preschool programs are less likely to repeat grades, less likely to run into trouble with the law, and typically earn around $2,000 more per month as adults than those not enrolled.

Strategies to Address Early Care and Education

  • Strategy C/3

    Make the necessary investments to ensure all children in Mecklenburg County from birth to age five have access to quality early childhood care and education.

  • Strategy D/4

    Strengthen the early care and education workforce to improve the quality and experiences of early care and education available to children ages birth to five.

  • Strategy E/5

    Support parents and other caregivers as a child’s first teacher in promoting positive early brain development, social and emotional health and early literacy beginning at birth.

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Agents of Change

Leading on Opportunity works alongside community to improve early care and education.

Yuly Rodriguez

Community Impact Director

Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, Ph.D.

Executive Director

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Early Care & Education.

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The Agent of Change for Opportunity in Charlotte

WSOC TV • Kevin Campbell - June 10, 2019

“Our child and family stability strategies need to ensure that parents who are coming into a housing challenge of figuring out where they’re going to live have immediate access to resources,” Cooper-Lewter said. Among the many Cooper-Lewter has connected is a group of community organizations that have been champions for change, including, A Child’s Place, Community Link, Charlotte Works, Goodwill, Crisis Assistance Ministry, For Charlotte, Northside Baptist Church and more.

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Celebrating Our Community's Response

Leading on Opportunity

Our 2017 Opportunity Report provides a roadmap for improving social and economic mobility for all residents. Following our strategies, our community's public, private and nonprofit sectors are improving our children's future.

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GreenLight Fund Invests $1 Million in Early Childhood Initiative

Queen City Nerve • Ryan Pitkin - May 29, 2019

“This investment connects directly to our early care and education strategies,” [Leading on Opportunity Executive Director] Cooper-Lewter continued. “It aligns and fills a gap where early care recommendations were not being addressed and says, ‘This is something that we can do differently as a community.’”

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We invite you to join our movement to increase pathways to opportunity and upward mobility for all children, youth and families.

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