Early Learning Offices & Organizations

NCDPI Office of Early Learning Website
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
The Office of Early Learning is a new office that focuses on Pre-K - Grade 3 to support children's success in the early grades. The Office of Early Learning combines the Department's staffs in primary education and prekindergarten and promotes other linkages for reforming early education for North Carolina's children. Through this Office, the Department is partnering with the FirstSchool initiative of the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. FirstSchool is a Pre-K - Grade 3 initiative to promote public school efforts to become more responsive to the needs of an increasingly younger, more diverse population. FirstSchool unites the best of early childhood, elementary and special education.

FPG Child Development Institute
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
FirstSchool is a PreK-3rd grade approach to improving early elementary school experiences for African American, Latino, and low-income children and their families. We form close partnerships with educators at the state, district, and school level to 1) foster collaborative inquiry and a more effective use of data, 2) develop curriculum that is aligned, balanced, integrated, relevant, and developmental, 3) promote sound instructional practices within cultures of caring, competence, and excellence, 4) strengthen two-way home-school partnerships that view families as important sources of knowledge about their children and 5) work across grade levels to create a more seamless PreK-3rd grade experience for children and families

Professional Associations

National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAEYC's mission is to serve and act on behalf of the needs, rights and well-being of all young children with primary focus on the provision of educational and developmental services and resources.

North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children

The North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children (NCaeyc) is the state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We are a membership association for anyone who is concerned with the development and education of children ages birth through eight. NCaeyc has over 3000 members across the state and NAEYC has nearly 100,000 members across the country. Our members include teachers, child care providers, administrators, directors, researchers, college faculty, education coordinators, quality enhancement specialists and others.

K-3 Early Childhood Assessments

K-3 Assessment Wiki

In response to legislation passed by NC General Assembly, and to meet requirements of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, NCDPI’s Office of Early Learning is designing a developmentally appropriate, individualized assessment for K-3 children.

Assessment for Learning and Development in K-3

A Report by the K-3 North Carolina Assessment Think Tank
In response to a mandate by the North Carolina State Legislature and the requirements of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Challenge Grant, NC Superintendent June Atkinson convened the K-3 Assessment Think Tank.

North Carolina Read to Achieve Live Binder

House Bill 950/S.L. 2012-142

Part 1A. North Carolina Read to Achieve Program.
"§ 115C-83.1A. State goal.
The goal of the State is to ensure that every student read at or above grade level by the end of third grade and continue to progress in reading proficiency so that he or she can read, comprehend, integrate, and apply complex texts needed for secondary education and career success.SL2012-142 Session Law 2012-142 Page 39

K-3 Read to Achieve Resources
Third-grade students receive extra attention in North Carolina because of the state’s Read to Achieve legislative initiative, a part of the Excellent Public Schools Act. Under this state law, third-grade students who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade will receive special help, including summer reading camp and other interventions to make sure that they can read well enough to be able to do fourth-grade work.

K-3 Literacy Resources Website

In partnership with all North Carolina stakeholders, we will provide support and services for the implementation of North Carolina's Read to Achieve Program. All children will be proficient readers by the end of third grade.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice

Principles of child development and learning that inform developmentally appropriate practice
Developmentally appropriate practice is based on knowledge about how children develop and learn. As Katz states, "In a developmental approach to curriculum design, . . . [decisions] about what should be learned and how it would best be learned depend on what we know of the learner's developmental status and our understanding of the relationships between early experience and subsequent development" (1995, 109). To guide their decisions about practice, all early childhood teachers need to understand the developmental changes that typically occur in the years from birth through age 8 and beyond, variations in development that may occur, and how best to support children's learning and development during these years.

NAEYC Position Statement
The purpose of this positiion statement is to promote excellence in early childhood education by providing a framework for best practice. Grounded both in the research on child development and learning and in the knowledge base regarding educational effectiveness, the framework outlines practice that promotes young children's optimal learning and development. Since it's first adoption in 1986, this framework has been known as developmentally appropriate practice.

Child Development & the Arts

Child Development and Arts Education

A Review of Current Research and Best Practices
Prepared by the College Board for The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (January 2012)
This report is divided into a series of four literature reviews, addressing the disciplines of dance, music, theatre, and visual art. The reviews are further divided by grade band. Within each grade band, information on both general and discipline-specific developmental characteristics of students are offered, as well as a series of recommendations of specific pedagogical practices that address social, emotional, and/or cognitive needs and abilities of students of that particular discipline and grade band.

Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections

A Report of the Task Force on Children's Learning and the Arts: Birth to Age Eight
The purpose of the Task Force on Children's Learning and the Arts: Birth to Age Eight is to help guide organizations that specialize in the arts and are concerned about early childhood education in developing arts-based early childhood programs and resources and in linking the arts to the literacy of young children.

Children's Developmental Benchmarks and Stages

A Summary Guide to Appropriate Arts Activities
The following chart offers informatiion about children's developmental stages from birth to age eight, and includes examples of arts activities that children can do and that adults can do with children at different stages of development. The examples provided take into consideration the different domains of children's development (eg. cognitive, linguistic, physical, and socioemotional). They are intended to illustrate the types of activities that are appropriate for young children and should be used by organizations as a reference tool.


Interesting Reading on the Arts in Early Childhood