2018 Emerging Issues Forum: kidoNomiCs



Investing Early in Our Future

2018 Emerging Issues Forum

February 5-6, 2018


See detailed agenda and scheduled speakers by selecting the “AGENDA” tab from the menu bar above, or by clicking here.

Did you know that 50% of first graders did not meet reading proficiency standards at the end of the 2015-16 school year? Research shows us that reading proficiency by third grade is a key predictor of high school graduation, as well as college enrollment and completion. In a state where 67% of all jobs by 2020 will require post-secondary education and training, this isn’t just an early childhood education issue – it’s a workforce issue, an economic development issue and a finance issue.

For North Carolina’s successful economic future, we need the other half.

In February 2017, the Institute for Emerging Issues held a special “Focus Forum” where we examined the connections between early childhood investments, North Carolina’s economy, and the development of a well-trained workforce. Over the summer, we traveled across the state sharing and gathering insights around county “Crib to Career” pipeline data. This fall, we convened a special “Blue Ribbon Commission” comprised of local and state leaders from across the state to explore the financing of early childhood programs.

And, as IEI continues its work around this important statewide issue for the second year in a row, we’re excited to announce our plans to expand our focus, taking a deeper dive with you during the 2018 Emerging Issues Forum, kidonomics: Investing Early in Our Future.

ON DAY ONE | Join us on Monday, February 5, 2018 at the Raleigh Convention Center! Network with leaders and learners from every North Carolina sector, region, and perspective. We welcome stakeholders and all members of the general public. Hear from leading national experts and local practitioners in business, early childhood, economic development, education, finance and government nonprofits, and workforce development – all sharing practical “hands-on” information and tools on how to design, implement and fund childhood initiatives that can make a difference in your local community!

This year, after a morning of panels and speakers, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of two afternoon “tracks” to discuss “Talent Levers for North Carolina’s Future” (select during registration).


  • Health & Wellness: Lifelong Benefits & Long-Term Cost Savings
  • Early Childhood Education: Taking the First Steps on the Path to Success 


  • Enhancing the Bottom Line: Family-Friendly Business Policies That Work

Hosted by NC Early Childhood Foundation, with support from Blue Cross NC




Businesses of all sizes are making changes that both help employees support their children’s healthy development and at the same time improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and attract and keep top talent. Join Blue Cross NC and the NC Early Childhood Foundation for the “Track II” breakout session to discuss practices that work for business and children. Learn what is currently available across North Carolina, what’s possible — and share your experiences. Be the first to hear the results of new research of more than 300 NC businesses about their practices, including motivations and barriers to creating family friendly workplaces!

ON DAY TWO | Join us on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at Hunt Library on NC State University’s Centennial Campus for a series of “hands-on” workshops on the nuts and bolts of local early childhood development work. We will be combining national experts with local practitioners to provide the training framework for leaders to begin the process of implementing many of the strategies identified from Day One of the Emerging Issues Forum. Space is limited for Day Two!

Plan to bring your ideas, to learn from others, to be inspired, and to act. We look forward to seeing you all there, February 5-6, 2018, at the Raleigh Convention Center for Day 1, and at Hunt Library on NC State’s Centennial Campus on Day 2!

Let’s invest early in our future!


Answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding event logistics, fees, cancellation policy, etc. is available here.

Interested in joining our elite sponsors? For more information on becoming a partner or sponsor, click here!
For press inquiries, please contact Communications Director Nan Sanseverino at nan_sanseverino@ncsu.edu. A media kit is available for download below.

kidonomics Media Kit