Get Certified

Frequently Asked Questions

Business Smart. Family Friendly. Future Ready.

If you are an employer interested in becoming certified, the following questions may be useful before starting the process:

  • 1

    How long will the application take?

    The application has two parts. First, the eligibility quiz takes about 5 minutes to complete. If eligible, you’ll receive an email link to the full application, which takes about 30-60 minutes to complete, depending on how familiar you are with your policies.

  • 2

    Can I preview the application before starting?

    If you pass the eligibility quiz, you'll receive an email inviting you to complete the full application and a pdf preview of the application. Use the pdf to review and think about your answers before completing the application online. In addition, once you begin your application, you can save your answers and return later as needed.

  • 3

    What language is the Employee Survey in?

    The online survey that we will ask you to distribute to your employees is available in English and Spanish and can be toggled between the two languages.

  • 4

    If I have employees located in multiple locations throughout NC or out-of-state, who do I distribute the Employee Survey to?

    Only employees physically working in NC (in-office or remotely within NC) will participate in the employee survey. Employees of your organization located outside of NC do not participate in the survey. 

  • 5

    What if my employees don’t have access to a computer?

    All of our application process is conducted electronically, including the employee survey. If your employees do not have access to a computer on a daily basis, we can provide a pdf of the survey to distribute. If this is a need for your organization, please contact the Family Forward NC team.

  • 6

    Do I receive the results from the Employee Surveys?

    Yes. Employers will receive results, in aggregate, from the employee surveys. Total data is presented in graphs and charts, as well as the open-ended comments from employees. We provide this information so employers can identify areas for review within their own policies and organization.

  • 7

    Can I certify my location if my organization is part of a larger entity?

    If you are a subsidiary, franchise, or entity of a larger corporation, you are eligible to certify only your NC location, based on the policies and benefits applicable to NC employees. 

  • 8

    When will I hear back if I am certified or not?

    The Family Forward NC team will be in touch via email within 15 business days of receiving your application, if not sooner. Depending on your ability to provide verification documents and distribute the employee survey to your workforce in a timely manner, the time from application to certification could take as little as two weeks or as long as a few months.

  • 9

    Is there a chance I will not be certified even if I’ve passed the initial eligibility quiz?

    Nearly all employers who pass the eligibility quiz become certified after completing the full application and verification process. However, it is possible that upon review of your application and handbook against our standards for your size of organization, you may not be eligible for certification. If this is the case, we provide resources and recommendations to help get you there next time.

  • 10

    How much does the certification cost?

    All applicants must pay the non-refundable $50 Application Fee. The Certification Fee, due upon certification, is based on the total number of employees in your organization (full and part-time employees physically working in the US):

    • 5-49 employees: $200
    • 50-99 employees: $450
    • 100-499 employees: $750
    • 500+ employees: $1,500
  • 11

    Do I have to pay the fee every two years?

    Yes. If you choose to recertify after two years, all applicants must pay the application fee ($50) and applicable certification fee.

  • 12

    Where do my fees go?

    Family Forward NC is an initiative of the NC Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF). Your fees go directly back to NCECF to help cover some of the costs for processing applications.

  • 13

    How long does the certification last?

    Your Family Forward NC Employer Certification is good for two years from the date of certification. We will notify you when it is time to recertify.

  • 14

    Why am I not receiving communication from the Family Forward NC team regarding my application?

    We mostly communicate via email, from If you are not receiving communication, it is likely that our email address is going to your spam folder or has been blocked by your server. Please take internal measures to prevent this from happening, as our emails contain important links and steps in the process to becoming certified.

  • 15

    Can I speak to someone on the Family Forward NC team?

    Yes! Email us at or call the NC Early Childhood Foundation at 919-895-3290.