Improving the child care subsidy rates will make it possible for more child care businesses to provide services to low-income families in their communities. Every child in every corner of North Carolina deserves a strong start in life.
Ask your state legislators to make child care affordable for more families by investing in child care subsidy.
Improving Child Care Subsidy Rates
Making Early Care & Learning Affordable for Families
Improving Child Care Subsidy Rates
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The average cost of full-time child care for one child in North Carolina is around $10,000 per year (as of 2019). That is more than in-state tuition at UNC, and more than most North Carolina homeowners pay for their mortgages.
Every year, thousands of young children benefit from North Carolina’s early learning and care programs. This system supports the care, education, and healthy development of children living in poverty, prioritizing parental choice and children’s individual needs.
The Child Care Subsidy program serves families with very low incomes, who have children ages 0-5 (children ages 5-13 may receive care outside school hours). Unfortunately, due to funding rates and levels, the programs only reach a fraction of eligible children – putting child care and early learning out of reach for thousands of families who want to work and support their children.
44% of the state’s families live in a child care desert, where there are five children in need of care for each available slot. Improving child care subsidy reimbursement rates can ensure that more children have access to early childhood education that put them on track for school success. Child care is an essential service for thousands of children and families, and it is particularly crucial as we grapple with a labor shortage in many industries.
Rural communities face the greatest child care shortages. In 2022, in North Carolina’s rural counties there were child care spaces for just 24% of infants and toddlers with working parents. Raising the statewide subsidy reimbursement rate and establishing a floor will mean more resources for rural counties.
Improving the child care subsidy rate structure will make it possible for more child care businesses to provide services to low-income and working families in their communities. Every child in every corner of North Carolina deserves a strong start in life.
Early childhood education prepares children to learn, grow, and succeed. Improving the child care subsidy rate structure will make it possible for more child care businesses to provide services to low-income families in their communities. Every child in every corner of North Carolina deserves a strong start in life.
Parents need choices for child care. Most families struggle to afford safe, quality care for their young children. With child care shortages in many North Carolina communities, many parents of young children are forced to choose between quitting their jobs or juggling child care situations that don’t work for their families. We can improve parent choice with programs that make quality early education programs more accessible and more affordable across the state.
Lack of child care can prevent parents from working. A recent US Census Bureau snapshot showed that 177,000 North Carolina families were not working because they did not have the child care they needed.