County childcare options surpass expectations

Published 5:45 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

When it comes to providing high-quality, safe and healthy learning programs in North Carolina, Beaufort County is a front-runner.

Of the 32 state licensed early care and education programs available for Beaufort County’s youngest children, 75 percent of them (24 programs out of 32) operate under a four- or five-star license.

“Any early education professional can tell you that’s certainly no easy feat,” said Lisa Woolard, executive director of Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children. “In the state of North Carolina, all licensed childcare programs are regulated by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education out of Raleigh.”

According to Woolard, N.C. uses the Star Rated License system as a guideline to measure and identify quality learning environments for children.

Standards of high quality include assessing the professional competency of staff, monitoring health and safety standards both indoors and out, ensuring the existence of age-appropriate furniture, materials and toys, and monitoring the implementation of developmental appropriate educational practices for optimum learning opportunities that contribute to school readiness. Those early education programs meeting these high expectations are rated from one to five stars, with five as the highest rating.

Agencies like the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children provide intensive support for all early care and education programs in Beaufort County to assist them in achieving and maintaining these high compliance standards.

“We are honored to work with some of the finest early education professionals in the world,” said Carroll Worrell-Barnes, childcare services supervisor with BHPC. “Kudos to the men and women who give so much of themselves for our county’s youngest treasures.”

For more information about finding high-quality childcare in Beaufort Hyde, Craven, Pamlico, Tyrrell and Washington counties, contact Childcare Resource and Referral at 252-672-5921, ext. 23. For more information about the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children, please call 252-975-4647, visit or follow the organization on Facebook and Pinterest.