Posted on 07.08.2014, Tuesday
We are entering the final days of the legislative session, and the early education budget and programs will be decided this week. Budget conferees will meet to prepare their final recommendations prior to final budget vote. Now is the time for action!
Even if you have already done so, please contact the main Budget chairs and the Health and Human Services Committee chairs and urge them to keep early education programs, parents and providers a top priority. Please also send the same message to your own state legislator and ask them to let the Conferees know that early education is important to you and your community.
Key issues and messages:
- Child care market rate adjustment
Support the House budget language on child care market rate adjustments. Market rates haven’t been adjusted since 2007, and private child care providers are struggling to provide high quality services and fewer young children and families are being served.
- Child care subsidies
Maintain child care eligibility for all working families, or at the vey least, keep income eligibility the same for all ages of children. It’s simple: when families can’t afford child care, it becomes difficult for them to stay employed and their young children miss out on critical educational opportunities that they need to meet the state’s academic and “Read to Achieve” goals. Click here for a chart illustrating income eligibility and how it will affect families.
- NC Pre-K
Support the House and Senate budget proposals, as both provide for a needed expansion of NC Pre-k to serve more eligible children. NC Pre-K provides the last chance for disadvantaged 4 year-old children to get an early education boost prior to entering public school, and it helps to close the achievement gap and foster school success.
- Child care subsidy allocation formula
Update the allocation formula using current Census data so that all counties get the correct share of child care subsidies based on their current population. Support the House budget that uses current Census data, provides a 6 year phase-in period which will give all counties time to adjust, and requires counties to spend their child care subsidy allocation or forfeit additional funding to other counties.
Contact the House and Senate Conferees today. Use the Coalition’s Action Center to send a prewritten message, or edit the message and send your own. Contact information for key budget conferees can also be found by clicking here.
We have an opportunity to advance early education this legislative session, and we need your active participation now to make it happen. Thank you for making your voice heard for young children and families!