Delta Dental of North Carolina Named a Family Forward NC Certified Employer

Delta Dental of North Carolina has been named a Family Forward NC Certified Employer by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s Family Forward NC initiative.

Launched in 2018, Family Forward NC is an innovative initiative to improve children’s health and well-being and keep North Carolina’s businesses competitive. It is employer-led change to increase access to research-based, family-friendly practices — big and small — that improve workplace productivity, recruitment and retention; grow a strong economy; and support children’s healthy development. To date, Family Forward NC has engaged with more than 6,900 employers across North Carolina.

Why is being a Family Forward Employer important?

“Employers want to attract and retain the best employees, and they want those employees to be happy and healthy,” said Muffy Grant, Executive Director of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation. 

Yet the U.S. is facing a massive talent shortage that will result in a deficit of millions of workers by 2030, and a child care crisis coupled with lack of supports like paid leave mean pregnant workers and working parents and caregivers—especially women—are disproportionately forced to change jobs or leave the workforce entirely or are unable to rejoin the workforce after giving birth.

“For children, our future workforce, there is a critical window of time for brain development during the earliest years of life. In fact, the first 2,000 days of a child’s life are so defining that by the time that child turns eight, his or her third-grade reading outcomes can predict future academic achievement and career success,” Grant said. Decades of research have established that children need supportive and supported families and communities to build strong brains, along with health and development on track from birth and high-quality birth-through-age eight learning environments with regular attendance.


What does being a Family Forward Employer mean? 

A Family Forward NC Employer Certification designates employers that offer policies and practices that support the health and well-being of working families and children. To achieve certification, they look at employer benefits in the following policy and practice categories:

  • Paid leave and wages,

  • accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers,

  • child care supports,

  • health and wellness benefits,

  • and scheduling practices.

Family Forward NC defines best-practice policies through:

  • The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success and Action Frameworks;

  • Guidance from medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics or the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; and

  • Guidance from our partners in early childhood organizations, including the Child Care Services Association, MomsRising, the North Carolina Breastfeeding Association, and others.


Why is this certification so important to our organization?

Over the past 13 years, Delta Dental of North Carolina has experienced explosive growth of 1,148%, and this means our team is growing as well! With this Family Forward NC Certification, we are able to showcase how important supporting healthy and happy families is to our team.

“Delta Dental of North Carolina is committed to offering a benefits package to attract and retain top talent,” says Delta Dental of North Carolina Human Resources Business Partner, Petal-Lee Ray. “These benefits are also important to maintain a healthy workforce and boost employee morale.” 

For more information about our employee benefits or to view opportunities to join our team, visit