Priorities that Produce Results
Supporting our children
to kickstart our community
- Collaborate with community leaders and stakeholders for a coordinated system approach
with a specific focus on Prenatal to age 3
- Implementation of a universal family connection and referral strategy which provides initial
screening and referrals for maternal depression, early care and education, and child health
and developmental services to all newborns in Watauga County
- Address issues of child care quality, accessibility, and affordability, both for providers in a
sustainable business model and for families in access to care with an emphasis on infant and
- Increase availability of evidence-based models of home visiting and parent education for
families with young children ages birth to 3 with an emphasis on those impacted by trauma,
poverty and addiction.
Watauga County has established an Early Childhood Education and Development Fund for the purpose of advancing the strategic priority to ensure that every child in Watauga County has an equal opportunity, including access to quality early childhood education.
The purpose of the Early Childhood Education and Development Committee is to make policy and funding recommendations to the Children’s Council of Watauga County Board of Directors for Watauga County’s Early Childhood Education and Development Investment Fund.
County Commissioner – Billy Kennedy
Municipal Government – Shane Fox
Chamber of Commerce – David Jackson
Business/Economic Development – Joe Furman
Funder/Community Investment – Kindsay Reeder
Pediatrician/Medical Professional – Dr. Molly Benedum
Higher Education – Dr. Pamela Shue
Early Childhood Professional – Crystal Kelly
Parent Representative – Maria Julian
The fund will be held and managed by the Children’s Council of Watauga County. Allocations can be made bi-annually to projects or programs that are in alignment with the goals and priorities of the fund and as recommended by the Early Childhood Education and Development Committee.