New Report on Raising Family Voice to Guide Early Childhood Policy

A new report by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) highlights how communities across the state, including Guilford County’s work through Ready for School, Ready for Life, are leveraging family voice to build a more responsive, innovative and effective early childhood system.

 Not About Me, Without Me, lifts up the voices of more than 2,000 North Carolina families who shared what works and doesn’t work in their early childhood systems. According to NCECF, “This meta-analysis…is intended to educate policymakers and state and community leaders about parents’ needs, constraints, options, and preferences as they strive to support their children’s success.”

In 2015, Ready for School, Ready for Life conducted family meetings with 240+ families representing the diversity of Guilford County. We found that all families have big dreams for their children, and all families face barriers to achieving those dreams. The data we gathered from those meetings were used by NCECF to understand the wants and needs of families in our community, and are synthesized in the report to paint a more comprehensive picture of what helps and hinders families in North Carolina as they support their young children’s healthy development.

The report includes themes and quotes from families around three key areas: good health and on-track development; supported and supportive families and communities; and high-quality education from birth through third grade, which all help ensure that children will be reading on grade level by the end of third grade. The report also includes factors that families identified as important for elected officials, teachers, and community leaders to know, providing guidance for policymaking.

For more information about the report, visit the NCECF website.

To download the full report, click here.