Early Care and Education

“Early experiences affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health. Just as a weak foundation compromises the quality and strength of a house, adverse experiences early in life can impair brain architecture, with negative effects lasting into adulthood.”

-Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

When young children have access to high-quality early care and education programs, it improves their chances of success in kindergarten and beyond.

Brains are built, not born. Research increasingly confirms that the first 2,000 days of a child’s life are critical for building the neurological architecture that supports a lifetime of learning.

High-quality early care and education programs that offer responsive caregiving, early literacy experiences, stimulus-rich environments, and abundant play time help to positively shape the growing brain’s development. OCPYC supports programs that partner with child care providers to enhance the quality of care and education children receive. OCPYC also works directly with child care providers – providing technical assistance, coaching, training, and professional development – to support the development of high-quality learning environments in their centers.

As the NC Pre-K Program administrator for Orange County, OCPYC provides financial and program oversight, as well as coaching and technical assistance, to the NC Pre-K Program. NC Pre-K is North Carolina’s pre-kindergarten program designed to provide high-quality educational experiences to enhance school readiness for eligible four-year-olds.

To enable access to high-quality early care and education programs, OCPYC offers financial assistance to under-resourced families through Child Care Subsidy administered by the Orange County Department of Social Services. OCPYC also provides financial support to child care providers to improve and maintain quality through the Child Care Subsidy Enhancements and the NC Pre-K Match programs.

Learn about the Early Care and Education Programs we fund here.