Posted on 06.29.2017, Thursday
Thanks to persistent and persuasive advocacy by child care providers, teachers, early childhood organizations, and parents, the final early education budget is very strong with significant investments in NC Pre-K, Child Care Subsidy Rates, and Smart Start!
Here are the highlights:
- NC Pre-K: Provides a total $27.3 million in funding over two years to eliminate 75% of the current NC Pre-K waitlist, serving 1,725 children in FY17-18 and 3,525 children in FY18-19.
- Subsidy Rates: Provides a total of $30 million in funding from federal TANF and CCDF block grants funds to improve child care subsidy rates effective October 1, 2017 for two different groups:
- School-age children – rates will increase to 100% of the 2015 recommended rates for school-aged children in three-, four-, and five-star-rated child care centers and homes in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties. (Children ages 0-5 had previously received this rate).
- Tier 3 Counties – rates will increase to 100% of the 2015 recommended rates for children birth through two years of age in in three-, four-, and five-star-rated child care centers and homes in Tier 3 counties.
- Smart Start Early Literacy Initiative: Provides $3.5 million in FY 17-18 and $7 million in FY 18-19 in new state funds to NC Partnership for Children to increase access to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library early literacy program that mails books to enrolled young children on a monthly basis.
Budget leaders deserve a big round of applause now!
Please take a moment to thank the House and Senate Budget leaders and your own legislators who showed their commitment to early education. They deserve our deep appreciation for finding the funding to support children, families and child care programs. You can find contact information through the NC General Assembly website to send a personal message, or use the NC Early Education Coalition’s Action Center to send a pre-crafted thank-you note.
Your advocacy efforts make a big difference for early education and for families here in Durham. Thanks for making your voice heard during this legislative session and for being a champion for young children!