North Carolina Early Learning Network

In 2013 the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) Office of Early Learning (OEL) facilitated the development of an organized professional development system for North Carolina’s preschool programs called the Early Learning Network. This project is based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG). Through this collaboration with FPG, NCDPI has been able to access expert advice and resources from the national Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education. The Early Learning Network provides the needed infrastructure to implement statewide professional development initiatives that provide systematic training on evidence-based instructional practices. This project is funded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B, Section 619 state set-aside funds. Section 619 is the IDEA preschool program guaranteeing a free, appropriate public education for children with delays or disabilities from ages 3 through 5. NCDPI has received the IDEA Part B, Section 619 Preschool Grant since 1986 without interruption. In addition to Exceptional Children Preschool classrooms in the public schools, NC’s special education services also are provided in regular early childhood programs such as Title I Pre-K, NC Pre-K, and Head Start, as well as in community child care programs and in homes. The federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) acknowledges the importance of providing high quality professional development to staff funded by all early childhood agencies and programs and has included the allowable use of 619 funds for the Network to provide professional development to all.

FPG Project Staff:
Sherri Britt Williams, Principal Investigator
Catasha A. Williams, Co-Principal Investigator
Deborah A. Cate, Technical Assistance Specialist
Laura E. Curtis, Project Coordinator
Lori F. Hartley, Technical Assistance Specialist
Adam L. Holland, Technical Assistance Specialist
Janet O. Sockwell, Technical Assistance Specialist
Funding Agency: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Funding Period: 11/08/2013 - 10/31/2022
Award Amount: $12,521,092
Funding Agency: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Funding Period: 07/01/2012 - 11/30/2013
Award Amount: $1,209,754