Durham PreK began as an idea to serve Durham’s young children, and grew into a collaborative program with private child care centers, Durham Public Schools, Durham Head Start and NC Pre-K. Early childhood leaders in Durham served on a task force with the mission to determine the necessary components of a universal pre-K program, and then collaborated again to determine the need for public pre-K options in Durham County. In 2018, implementation planning began with Child Care Services Association serving as the lead agency.
The 2019-2020 school year was the first full school year of Durham PreK. We entered the year with excitement to see Durham’s commitment to high-quality pre-K for all in 28 classrooms across the county. Our pre-K partners, directors, teachers and teacher assistants worked hard to start the year out strong, but we could not have expected the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has affected us all, directly or indirectly, and its impact will be felt for years to come.
We are immensely proud of every director, owner, teacher, teacher assistant, family, child and community partner for their commitment to Durham’s children and Durham’s future. Transitioning to virtual learning, building relationships with families online, and adapting classrooms to meet COVID-19 guidelines after seven months of high-quality, engaging classroom learning was difficult, but doing so makes each of you a hero.
In this report, you will see the community collaboration, teacher and classroom quality, and family engagement that made the year a success, before and during the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Thank you for supporting Durham PreK.