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Kidonomics: A look ahead

We’re excited to provide an early glimpse into some of our work around the promotion of early childhood development since February’s special Focus Forum. Our premise for this work is simple: it’s imperative that we are doing everything we can to prepare our children to face the challenges of tomorrow’s labor market. And that begins with early childhood development. As such, during the next three years, IEI will be working at both state and local levels in efforts to help increase the quality of early childhood development in North Carolina.

State Level

Our goal is to serve as a bridging organization, a clearinghouse of information for key constituencies, and a convener for many of the state’s best minds in the early childhood arena. We are busy working with organizations and state level leaders who are focused on a range of strategies aimed at improving our system of services and supports. And, over the course of the next six months, IEI will be compiling cutting-edge research on early childhood development for review and evaluation, as well as dissemination to vested stakeholders.

Local Level

IEI will travel across the state this summer to provide hands-on assistance and valuable data insights and resources to leaders in lower-resourced communities to help increase local capacity and to promote action around the indicators found to be critical to early childhood success. Our ultimate goal is to create demonstration sites where we direct the technical expertise of early childhood experts from across the nation into a small number of select local communities in North Carolina. If your community is interested in participating in this once-in-a-lifetime initiative, stay tuned and make sure you attend one of our local convenings (to be announced) later this summer. For more information, contact Donnie Charleston at

Bringing it All Together

This process will begin later this summer and will extend into the fall when IEI will convene  leaders from across the state to channel their energy toward wrestling with some of the thorniest and most complex issues surrounding early childhood finance. And, all of this energy will be directed towards our February 2018 Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh. There, we will reconvene to continue the conversation around the “how to” of kidonomics. State leaders, industry experts and Forum participants will weigh in on the emerging Pathways Priorities for 3rd grade reading recommendations and IEI’s statewide listening tour. In addition, a prominent feature of that event will be the collected insights of leaders from business, government, university/higher ed, and the nonprofit sectors. The event promises to be the most impactful gathering on early childhood finance the state has ever witnessed.

Stay tuned as we continue to share more information and updates on our work as we move forward, at