DPfC Legislative Update
Posted on 03.10.2023, Friday

On March 9th Durham’s Partnership for Children, was present at the Early-Childhood Education Caucus. Representative Ashton Wheeler introduced several ECE Bills that seek to improve the lives of all children, families, teachers, and providers in North Carolina. The overarching goal of the session was to improve access to high-quality, affordable childcare and to improve quality in all childcare settings. To learn more about the ECE bills that were introduced click here to visit the North Carolinas General Assembly’s website.

ECE Caucus Big Take-Aways

     

      1. Early childhood caucus chairs in the legislature are hoping to send a one-time $300 million to childcare programs across the state as federal relief funds that support providers dry up at the end of the year.

      1. Parents are struggling to find and afford care high-quality care.  Child-care providers are struggling to stay open and find teachers, and businesses are struggling to find workers.

      1. The $300 million in House Bill 342 and Senate Bill 292 would continue grants distributed by the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) that were originally funded from the federal American Rescue Plan.

      1. Senate Bill 288 and House Bill 343 would increase the rates that child care programs participating in the state’s subsidy program receive to serve children. The legislature sets those rates by county, and they are based on a market rate survey completed every two years that asks child care providers what they charge parents.

      1. House Bill 322 and Senate Bill 293 would establish a three-county, three-year pilot to test a new way to fund child care based on Michigan’s Tri-Share model. The pilot would split the cost of care among businesses, eligible employees, and state government.

      1. House Bill 321 and Senate Bill 294 would increase Medicaid rates for obstetric care providers, fund doulas to care for mothers during pregnancy and right after birth, and fund group prenatal care, a strategy that has been associated with lower instances of preterm births and low birthweight

    1. The fifth bill legislators are prioritizing is aimed at rethinking how centers are rated on the state’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). Licensed programs receive one to five stars depending on such standards as teachers’ education levels.
    Please Find Your State Legislators today by typing in your address and then confirming your NC House and NC Senate members of the NC General Assembly (not the U.S. Congress) and contact your state legislators to voice your opinions on any of the bills that are important to you.  Call them, email them, set up a time to meet with them face-to-face in your district!

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