Durham County is directly involved in a variety of ways with early education, and since 2016, has invested over $10 million in creating a universal preschool program called Durham PreK. Key components of Durham PreK include improved pay and professional development for teachers, intensive technical assistance with early educators designed to raise quality, and work with local educational institutions to increase and improve the supply of early education teachers.
Child Care Services Association (CCSA) serves as the management agency for Durham County Government for the local investment in public preschool for four-year-olds. Built to enhance and expand the state funded NC Pre-K program, Durham PreK is open universally to all children and will grow incrementally over time to meet the full community need for publicly supported high quality early education.
About Child Care Services Association:
Founded in 1974, Child Care Services Association’s mission is to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality child care for all young children and their families. Using a holistic approach, CCSA supports children and families, helps child care professionals improve the quality of early education children receive and ensures that all families can afford and access the high-quality early care and education that is so important for a child’s early development. Through its Meal Services Program, CCSA also provides nutritious meals to children at child care centers, where they may eat 50-100 percent of their meals. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, Child Care WAGE$® and Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$ programs give child care professionals the means to obtain an education and supplement their salary based on that education. CCSA also licenses T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ across the U.S. and conducts early childhood systems research and policy development statewide and nationally. For more information, visit www.childcareservices.org.
In the management contract for Durham PreK, CCSA works collaboratively with Durham’s community-based organizations, agencies and institutions to educate families about high quality early education, build the supply of early education, recruit supporters and develop resources, and implement the expansion of seats to serve four-year-olds. CCSA supports community based early education programs in their work towards meeting the Durham PreK standards through an intensive quality improvement and technical assistance (TA) pipeline. Active programs in Durham PreK and aspiring programs in the TA Pipeline receive:
- weekly on-site coaching/TA
- professional development and education planning
- quality improvement supports and education tied to the Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS®) domains and dimensions
- leadership development for early education program directors
- other supports toward goals identified by individual classroom quality improvement plans