Early Learning Info for Families

Preschoolers reading
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Early Learning and Development

The North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development provides in-depth explanation of child development from birth through 60 months of age and is considered to be NC’s early learning standards.  The CDC's webpage, Learn the Signs. Act Early.,  provides a wealth of information on child development from birth to 5 years.  Your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. There is even an app you can dowload to help you track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.  This page provides positive parenting tips for parents of children of all ages.  

Birth To Five: Watch Me Thrive! is a coordinated federal effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them.

The CDC has some great information available to learn about what the differences are between Developmental Monitoring, a Developmental Screening, and a Developmental Evaluation.  This website also explains why these are important.

The Smart Start network, made up of 75 local partnerships that serve our state’s communities, signs up families across NC for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book gifting program for children from birth to age five. Together, we are working to ensure children develop a love of reading early on.

Learn more and sign up your child!

Are You Preparing a Child for Kindergarten?

When families and caregivers are empowered with developmental knowledge and strategies to support the growth of young children, they can enhance the early learning experience.  This will help the child more easily transition to kindergarten. The only requirement for kindergarten entry is that the child turn 5 on or before August 31 of the current year.  

The Let's Get Ready! Guide’s intended use is not to determine if a child “is" or "is not” ready for kindergarten, rather this guide provides family-friendly resources on age-appropriate developmental skills, support tips, and at-home activities where adult/child interactions are the central focus.  Let's Get Ready! is based on the Older Preschooler Developmental Indicators from The NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development (2013) and addresses all five developmental domains. A Transition Timeline provides consideration for the logistical steps a family may experience the year prior to kindergarten. Resources that focus on younger developmental skills, milestone tracking, kindergarten standards, and digital access to early literature can be found through QR codes on the back cover. 

Let's Get Ready Recorded Overview 

Let's Get Ready - Detailed Descriptions of the "I Can Statements"

Black & white version available here for printing.  

Spanish version available here. 

Spanish black & white version available here for printing. 

The guide is available for purchase from NC DPI Publications Catalog in full-color ($5.00/copy) or black and white with color covers ($3.00/copy).

Literacy at Homeis a digital resource that provides literacy activities at each grade level, pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Families and communities may access this resource for activities that specifically target the literacy skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and oral language. When children grow in each of these foundational areas they are well on their way to becoming proficient readers.



Word Force Reading Adventures is a free, game-based program that makes learning to read a fun adventure for your child. Download the app to access all 15 interactive games with 5 levels in each game, kids ages 4-8 will feel empowered as they become commander of the WORD Force Superhero Team! With sill, zany sidekicks, they'll explore new worlds and new reading concepts aligned to the science of reading - from phonological awareness to vocabulary, reading comprehension, and more. These games are available for free, without in-app ads, on both Android and Apple devices. 


Five Questions to Ask Your Child's Teacher is a resource provided to families offers five important questions to ask about literacy in the classroom and highlights the answers to these questions.