Get Certified

Certification Standards and Process

Business Smart. Family Friendly. Future Ready.

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, an employer must have a minimum of five employees and must offer best-practice policies in one or more of five main areas:

  • paid leave and wages;
  • accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers;
  • child care;
  • health and wellness benefits; and
  • scheduling practices.

We define best-practice policies using the following:

  • 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 more.

Employers will be certified in one of three categories, depending on whether they meet the minimum standards for certification; the majority of standards for certification; or all or nearly all standards for certification.

What You Receive

As a certified employer, you will receive:

  • access to use of the Family Forward NC Certified Employer logo and communications materials, including an online badge for your website, social media content for sharing, a template press release, a sample blog post for employees, and art to create a window cling for your physical place of work or business; and
  • access to exclusive resources and programs for certified employers to help you continue your journey toward becoming even more Family Forward.

Size Categories and Fees

We vary our fees by the number of employees. Our four size categories are:

  • 5 to 49 employees ($200); 
  • 50 to 99 employees ($450);
  • 100 to 499 employees ($750); 
  • and 500 employees or more ($1,500). 

There is also a small, nonrefundable application fee of $50 to apply. Your certification is good for two years. 

Application Process

  • 1

    Step 1: Apply Online

    The first step is to fill out our online application, which helps us determine if your policies meet our certification requirement thresholds. Employers with five or more employees can apply.

  • 2

    Step 2: We Verify Your Policies

    To verify your application, we will review your written policies and conduct a quick phone call with your HR leader (or the staff member in charge of HR). We’ll also ask you to share a short, anonymous survey with employees that asks about the policies and your company culture.

  • 3

    Step 3: We Welcome You to Our List

    Congratulations! Once we’ve verified your policies, you’ll be granted a certification. Certification will be good for two years from the date we notify you.