The federal government is giving North Carolina up to $56 million over the next seven years to help improve early childhood education and health outcomes for at-risk children.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced the grant awards on Thursday at a Cary child development center.

About $40 million will be used in part to pay for professional development and coaching for early childhood teachers, as well as to expand a home-visitation program by nurses for parents of newborns.

Up to $16 million implements a whole-being wellness program for children who receive Medicaid coverage and other services. 

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