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Looking for information and resources that may be available to help your child and you?

Your local child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency can refer you to a wide array of child care, child development, and financial assistance resources, services, and programs available in your county.

Financial Assistance Programs: Common eligibility criteria for these programs are listed below:

  • Residency: Your family must live in North Carolina.

  • You must apply for services in the county where you live.

  • CitizenshipOne of the following citizenship criteria must be met: You or your child must be a U.S. Citizen; or You or your child must be a legal U.S. Non-Citizen (legally residing in U.S.).

  • IncomeIncome eligibility is based on monthly gross (before taxes) income and family size.


North Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, called Work First, is a public assistance program that offers cash assistance and employment services to very low income families with children under age 18 living in the home.


Work First provides parents with short-term training and other services to help them become employed and stay employed, become free of long-term dependence on assistance, and become self-sufficient. It includes:

  1. Work First Employment Services provides recipients with basic education, skills training, and supportive services such as child care, counseling, transportation, and job referrals.

  2. Work First Family Assistance provides cash assistance and Medicaid coverage to families with minor children. In cases involving the absence of a parent from the home, a referral is sent to the State Child Support Enforcement Agency to locate the absent parent, establish paternity/maternity, and set up a plan of support.

  3. For more information about Work First, call 1-800- 662-7030. Application must be made in person at your county Department of Social Services (DSS) office: local-county-social-services-offices

Child Development & Developmental Milestones

Child development refers to how children grow which includes physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and language development. Developmental milestones mark the abilities and behaviors that most children display by certain ages -- like taking a first step, smiling at people, and waving goodbye and hello. How your child learns, speaks, and plays offers important clues about your child’s development. The chart above highlights developmental milestones for children from birth to five.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have an array of free resources and a free app for tracking child development milestones available on their website: ncbddd/actearly/milestones-app.html.

Children with Developmental Delays

Developmental milestones are not set in their earliest years of life, the pace

development varies from child to child. However, if you have a question about your child’s development, developmental screenings are ways that professionals can determine if your child is reaching developmental milestones as expected or if your child would benefit from additional support.


Developmental screening, which should be happening at each well child visit, can identify early intervention supports that will help your child thrive.


If you have concerns or questions about your child’s development and are interested in developmental screenings, contact your child’s pediatrician, your local Health Department, Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA), or (for children 3 years and older) the Exceptional Children Department of your local school system. For additional information and resources for children of any ages, contact the ECAC (Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center).


The North Carolina Early Intervention Branch (NCEI) is a part of the N.C. Division of Public Health. It is the lead agency for the N.C. Infant-Toddler Program (ITP). The Infant-Toddler Program provides supports and services for families and their children, birth to three who have special needs. Sixteen Children’s Developmental Services Agencies (CDSAs) across North Carolina work with local service providers to support families in helping their children succeed. A child and family may receive supports and services if the child is under three years old and has certain levels of developmental delays or an established condition.

A child can have a developmental delay in one or more of the following areas:

  • thinking and learning

  •  moving, seeing, hearing, and health

  •  understanding and using sounds, gestures, and words

  •  responding to and developing relationships

  •  taking care of one’s self when doing things like

  • feeding or dressing

A child with an established condition has a diagnosed health condition that will very likely cause a developmental delay. This includes:

  •  genetic disorders, such as Down Syndrome or cystic fibrosis

  •  congenital infections, such as HIV and rubella n central nervous system disorders, such as

  • cerebral palsy and epilepsy n hearing loss

  •  vision problems

  •  autism

To find and contact your CDSA, visit: http://www. and click on “Find Your CDSA.”


The NC Department of Public Instruction’s Exceptional Children Program promotes the development and successful participation of preschool-age and school-age children with special needs in a broad range of activities and contexts, including their homes, early learning programs, and communities.

  • This program:serves children from three years old to 21 who have an identified need determined by the Individual Education Program (IEP) Team resulting from parental report, observation, and evaluation results conducted by qualified professionals in accordance with the North Carolina Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities. The delay or disability must have an adverse effect on educational performance in the general curriculum and require specialized instruction so that the child may progress in the regular early childhood program; is based on parental consent; and provides services to all children regardless of income.

For more information, contact your local public school system. Visit: leapreschoolcoordinators for a list of Exceptional Children preschool program directors or https:// directors for school-age program directors by school district.


The Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC) is a training and information center that provides free information and assistance with educational issues to parents of children with disabilities. The ECAC offers a lending library, newsletter, and a Parent Info Line. For more information visit: http:// or call

1- (800)-962-6817 or (704)-892-1321.

Children’s Social Emotional

Young children (infants to 5 years) are learning and growing at a rapid rate. One part of this growth is their social and emotional development - broadly defined as how well they manage their emotions and interact with others. Social and emotional development is important because it affects many parts of your child’s life, including his or her behavior at home and with others, the ability to make friends, the willingness to try new things and handle frustrations, and future success in school.

Helping your child develop good social and emotional skills will make him/her more:

  •  happy and confident

  •  able to make and keep friends

  •  able to follow directions and learn new ideas n ready to cope with stress

  •  willing to express his needs

  •  successful at school


If a behavior seems unusual, happens over and over, or goes on for a long time, this may mean your child needs extra help. Catching problems at an early age usually makes them a lot easier to solve. Help is available!

lf you are concerned about your child’s behavior(s):

  •  Contact your pediatrician and talk about your concerns.

  •  Contact your local CCR&R (see back pages) for a list of services available in your community that support children’s social emotional development. Referral specialists will work with you to determine which resource(s) in your area may help you address your concerns. For additional social emotional resources from the NC CCR&R Council’s Healthy Social Behaviors initiative, visit: ubpage=SocialEmotionalResources

Children’s Social Emotional

Homelessness is a reality for many families with young children in our country. Children experiencing homelessness:

  • are more likely to be born premature, at low birth weight, and/or require neonatal intensive care (NICU stay);

  • are less likely to be breastfed and have well- baby visits;

  • are more likely to have chronic health conditions, poor nutrition, and social- emotional delays; and

  • are more likely to be exposed to violence.

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