Think Babies™ NC Community Partners

Meet our 2019 Think Babies™ NC Community Partners!

The NC Early Education Coalition has selected eight communities in North Carolina to receive Think Babies™ NC Community Partner Mini-Grants in order to support community advocacy efforts focused on infants, toddlers, their families, and their educators:

Chatham County Partnership for Children will build on their existing work of the Chatham Action for Resilience Initiative by holding 10 small group sessions for key community leaders to view and discuss the film, Resilience. The forums will include small groups of policymakers, child care directors, first responders, caregivers, educators and judges to increase the awareness of ACES among the people who make and influence decisions in their community.

Lee County Partnership for Children, in collaboration with Central Carolina Community College Early Childhood Education Department, will promote the importance of quality child care and social-emotional development for infants and toddlers through a series of events, continuing education and presentations throughout Lee County that will engage child care providers, early childhood education students, health educators, social workers, business leaders and policymakers, including an educational booth and presentation at the Lee County Fair.

Mecklenburg Partnership for Children will host a series of Coffee and Conversation forums featuring medical professionals speaking about early brain development and toxic stress. These community conversations will be targeted to reach state legislators, business leaders, and neighborhood groups. They will also host a public policy forum to engage and educate policymakers, community advocates, business leaders and public officials on the economic and social benefits derived from supporting the parents of infants and toddlers.

To see what Mecklenburg Partnership for Children is doing to Think Babies, visit

Partnership for Children of Cumberland County will present an infant-toddler advocacy training for child care providers. The training will include a call-to-action for each participant to inform policymakers about the importance of focusing on policy issues impacting infants, toddlers, their families, and their educators. Facilitators will continue to engage participants to offer support and guidance for connecting with policymakers.

Partnership for Children of Wayne County will hold a community forum and bus tour focused on the issue of infant and toddler child care availability in their county. The forum will share information on the current demographics and provide advocacy strategies to advance policies and programs that support infants, toddlers and families in the community. A tour for policymakers and community leaders of a local child care program will highlight the need for additional infant toddler spots and increase awareness of the overall importance of early childhood education.

Smart Start of New Hanover County will implement an extensive, multi-step public awareness campaign focused on infants and toddlers. They will form a county-level collaborative to focus on infants and toddlers to lead the campaign, which will include local radio and television, social media, and other promotional materials. They will also hold an advocacy training for students in early childhood education programs at local colleges and universities.

Smart Start of Pender County will host a series of trainings around the Resilience documentary for child care providers and community partners. With information from a 2018 community health assessment, the hosts will focus on the top three issues identified by residents affecting quality of life in the community. The trainings will draw connections between toxic stress facing infants and toddlers and the identified issues of alcohol, drug or medication abuse, low income/poverty, and child abuse and neglect.

The Enola Group, Inc., an Early Head Start partner in Burke County, will host a Resilience screening and discussion panel. Their goal is to raise awareness of ACES and how they affect the development and overall needs of infants, toddlers and their families. Community partners assisting with this event include local institutions of higher education, the local Smart Start Partnership, as well as the regional CCR&R agency.

Upcoming Community Partner Events

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2018 Community Partners Report

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2018 Think Babies™ NC Community Partners

Alliance for Children addressed issues impacting young children and families in Union County through a public awareness and media campaign, as well as a series of community forums to engage community leaders, business leaders, parents, grandparents, early childhood educators, social workers, direct service providers and other stakeholders.

Ashe County Partnership for Children, held two community forums to engage and educate community leaders, elected officials, business leaders, parents and early child educators about early childhood policies, while also addressing current and emerging issues in the community that impact the lives of infants and toddlers.

Montgomery Partnership for Children, in collaboration with the Montgomery THRIVE Task Force, held a community screening of the documentary Resilience. This screening took place as part of a community resource fair and was followed by a guided panel discussion of the film.

Partnership for Children of Johnston County invited state-level policymakers, local businesses, civic, education and government leaders to take part in a Think Babies™ Bus Tour, lunch, and conversation with parents and early childhood educators to highlight the disparities in accessibility to high-quality child care throughout the county.

Randolph County Partnership for Children, serving as the lead agency for the county’s KidsReadyNC Initiative, held roundtable events at local libraries for policymakers, parents and the general public to discuss issues impacting young children and families. A tour for policymakers and community leaders was also coordinated to showcase high-quality child care programs and facilitate conversations with parents and educators.

Rockingham County Partnership for Children, as part of the STRIVE Initiative, conducted a Family Perceptions Study to engage community members and learn about their experiences with early education and family support. This assessment was shared with policymakers and community leaders at the 3rd Annual Eggs and Issues breakfast, which served as the launch for a county-wide campaign to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood education.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro increased awareness of the needs of the early education workforce by facilitating a range of activities, including focus groups with infant and toddler teachers, a public awareness and advocacy campaign, and a strategic job shadowing event that allowed policymakers and other leaders to learn about infant/toddler development and gain first-hand experience in high-quality infant and toddler classrooms.

UNC Pembroke Foundation increased public awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) among policymakers and key stakeholders through a community forum and conversation with policymakers and local leaders about how to address the prevalence of ACEs in their community.

Funding for the Community Partner Mini-Grants is provided by the Coalition, with support from the national ZERO TO THREE Think Babies™ campaign and the Pritzker Children’s Initiative’s National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers.