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North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development

The 2013 North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development is now available. This version updates and combines the previous Foundations documents (i.e., the 2005 Foundations: Early Learning Standards for North Carolina Preschoolers and Strategies Guiding Their Success, and the 2007 Infant Toddler Foundations: Guidelines for Development and Learning for North Carolina's Infants and Toddlers).The revised Foundations spans birth to age 5 and includes goals, developmental indicators, and strategies in five developmental domains:


  • Approaches to Play and Learning
  • Emotional and Social Development
  • Health and Physical Development
  • Language Development and Communication
  • Cognitive Development


DCDEE and the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral Council have developed and released a.5 CEU on the 2013 Foundations. Please contact a local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency to locate a training session. 

Access and download North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development online.


Foundations for Families

Foundations for Families is designed to support early childhood professionals’ conversations with families around their child’s development. Aligned with the 2013 North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development, each handout is focused on a particular age level (infants, ones, etc.), provides a short description of skills typical for that age, and offers suggestions for activities that families might do to support positive development. The handouts are designed to be printed and shared with families. Some ways early childhood professionals might use the age-specific handouts include:


  • Parent-teacher conference discussion
  • Share at open house or parents' night
  • Use to answer parent questions or concerns about their child's development
  • Share with parents to describe how the curriculum aligns with children's developmental level
  • Post on the parent bulletin board to encourage discussion


The handouts are not designed to be used as a booklet or set of materials to give to families without a conversation. They are meant to assist early childhood professionals in communications with families about the activities that support young children's learning and development. They are available in English and Spanish.

NOTICE: Global Site Search function is currently under maintenance and will not provide results. We apologize for the inconvenience. This does not impact the Child Care or Kindergarten searches.




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