Friday April 30, 2021

Get to know County's Early Childhood Education Coordinator

Carla Brown, Early Childhood Development Coordinator

A longtime child advocate, Carla Brown will lead efforts to impact Cabarrus County’s early childhood systems and give our youth the start they deserve.

Carla is working with appointed members of the Early Childhood Task Force Advisory Board to impact North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan benchmarks by establishing shared stakeholder accountability.

The statewide plan was developed in response to an executive order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper. It aims to achieve better outcomes for the health, safety, well-being and learning success of young children.

Carla, who has more than 30 years of experience in similar roles, joined Cabarrus in January and is already making her presence felt by networking and building relationships around the county.

Carla will be focusing on efforts geared towards children from birth to age 5. A wide range of local organizations dedicate their efforts to children that age and their families.

“The context in which children grow up cannot be ignored,” Carla says. “You can’t adequately support the child without supporting the family. It must be approached and viewed from a wholistic standpoint. I not only want to advocate for children, but also support their families so they’re set up for success.

“It’s so important for us to come together; working in silos is not beneficial for our children. Collaboration is needed to make a real difference.”

Each of the local organizations contribute directly or indirectly to the foundation upon which a child grows and develops.

“Children deserve to grow in environments where they feel loved, safe and nurtured—where they thrive socially and emotionally,” she says. “Then they are better able to learn and be successful. As community members, we all contribute negatively or positively to their trajectory.”

Quality early care and education is one of the main contributors to a child’s foundation, offering children engaging, developmentally appropriate ways to grow physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally.

In Cabarrus County, there aren’t enough childcare centers to meet the need, Carla says, “and the pandemic has only made it worse."

But that may change soon.

Carla is extremely excited about her involvement with the Lockhart Child Development Center, a new childcare facility opening later this year. She believes the center will have an immediate impact.

“It’s important for families to know their children are in quality, safe and nurturing programs while they work. It increases their productivity, attendance and comfort.

Carla believes the collaboration among community partners and stakeholders will be an important part of the county’s future.

“Children are resilient,” she says. “Over the years, I’ve seen them bounce back from very challenging situations they have no control over or voice in.

“I feel extremely honored for the opportunity to work in a field I’m passionate about while fulfilling my purpose to ensure all children are afforded a solid foundation that builds toward a bright future.”

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