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NCDHHS observes Family Engagement Month, highlights early learning resources for parents and families

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RALEIGH — In observance of Family Engagement Month this November, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is proud to announce new early learning resources for families with young children. A partnership with PBS North Carolina, Rootle Readiness helps families understand the importance of early childhood education inside and outside the home and connects them with quality early childhood educators in their communities.

“Brain development that happens in the first five years of life sets the stage for a child’s future success,” said PBS North Carolina’s Chief Education and Innovation Officer Melissa Rihm Thibault, Ph.D. “These Rootle Readiness resources can help parents and caregivers find quality child care programs and early childhood services to help them with the healthy intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of their infants, toddlers and preschoolers.”

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed November 2022 Family Engagement Month — a time to appreciate and recognize the critical role families play as a child’s first, longest lasting, and most important teachers, advocates and nurturers. Family leaders can help communities build resiliency, reduce barriers to accessing education and health care, and improve the delivery of services.

Positive interactions between young children, their families and their early childhood teachers promote the healthy brain development that helps kids meet important milestones as they grow. Rootle Readiness educational resources help families understand the importance of early childhood brain development and empowers parents and families as they teach, nurture and love their young children.

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“A parent is a child’s very first teacher, but working families also depend on quality early care and learning teachers to help them raise their young children,” said Ariel Ford, director of NCDHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education. “North Carolina made a historic investment thanks to federal emergency relief funds to stabilize access to child care programs and support teacher compensation, but staffing remains a challenge for many of our early care and learning programs. NCDHHS continues to work closely with families and the early care and learning community on long-term solutions so parents can go to work, well-trained and qualified teachers can stay in classrooms and children are safe and learning.”

Empowered families raise the children, workplaces and communities that raise North Carolina. Raise North Carolina is the public education campaign to build appreciation and support for North Carolina’s early care and learning network and the teachers who serve children, families and North Carolina. Visit RaiseNC.nc.gov to learn more.

To learn more about the Rootle Readiness Early Childhood Resources for Parents and Caregivers, visit www.pbsnc.org/education/rootle-readiness.

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