A positive final budget for early education
Posted on 07.07.2016, Thursday

The 2016 Legislative Session came to a close late last Friday, July 1st, and we’re happy to report that the final budget contains good news for early education! After a week of intensive committee meetings and late nights, legislators wrapped up the session in time for the holiday weekend. The final budget provides some additional funding for early education and several important study committees that will meet this fall and bring recommendations for the 2017 Legislative Session. Here are a few budget highlights:

New Money

  • Smart Start funding:  No change in total funding; funding maintained at FY 2015-16 level. No change in match requirements which remain at 19% as indicated in FY 2015-16.
  • NC Pre-K:  $1,325,000 (recurring) for 260 additional slots
  • Child Care Subsidies:  $1,325,000 (recurring) for 260 additional slots
  • Child Care Subsidy Market Rates:  $3.4 million (recurring) in new funding to bring reimbursement rates to 100% of the 2015 study for preschool children, three to five years of age, in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties.
  • Quality Improvements: $663,345 to fund 10 positions at DCDEE in quality enhancements for criminal background checks, trainings, and improved fraud prevention and detection

 New Studies

The NC General Assembly required several studies on three key early education issues. These studies will be conducted by state agencies related to early education, and their recommendations will be sent to the legislature in early 2017.

  • Study on state agency collaboration on early education and the creation of a transition plan from preschool to kindergarten
  • Study on child care subsidy rate setting process
  • Study on costs and effectiveness of NC Pre-K

Thank you for making your voice heard during the 2016 Short Session. Your advocacy efforts make a big difference for early education and for families here in Durham. Thanks for being a champion for young children!


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