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Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life

The Office of Early Learning focuses on Pre-K - Grade 3 to support children's success in the early grades. The Office of Early Learning combines the Department's staffs in primary education and prekindergarten and promotes other linkages for reforming early education for North Carolina's children. Through this Office, the Department partners with the FirstSchool initiative of the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. FirstSchool is a Pre-K - Grade 3 initiative to promote public school efforts to become more responsive to the needs of an increasingly younger, more diverse population. FirstSchool unites the best of early childhood, elementary and special education.

Office of Early Learning Organizational Chart
(pdf, 62kb)


  • North Carolina Kindergarten Entry Assessment
    For the 2016-17 school year – the second year of statewide implementation – schools in North Carolina will build on efforts started last year to apply the Kindergarten Entry Assessment to better understand the knowledge and skills with which students start school and to help them grow and learn. The Kindergarten Entry Formative Assessment Process is comprised of five critical components that focus on the whole child. It has been designed to be integrated into daily instruction, to allow a variety of strategies for collecting evidence, and to guide instruction around the individual needs of each child.

The Kindergarten Entry Assessment is the first step in the K-3 Formative Assessment Process.