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Family holds sign urging affordable childcare!

BethM's picture

Your voice is urgently needed to ensure over 10,000 NC children don’t lose a chance at high-quality early education!

In the next forty-eight hours, NC lawmakers will be finalizing the state budget. In February, Congress passed an historic increase in federal funding that’s bringing $79 million in new money to our state to expand access to high-quality early learning like childcare. 

But instead of using this money as it was intended-- to provide as many as 10,000 childcare subsidies to some of the more than 50,000 NC kids currently on the subsidy waiting list-- the North Carolina General Assembly is looking to redirect these funds for other purposes.

As a result, nothing will change and thousands of NC children will continue to wait while other states take advantage of this huge new funding opportunity to serve more families.

We can’t let North Carolina’s children get left behind. Thousands of MomsRising members spoke up to get this funding in the first place. We must lift our voices right now to make sure it gets where it was supposed to go– to serving more NC children!

Budget decisions will be finalized in the next forty-eight hours. Unless we do something fast, 10,000 NC families will miss out on desperately needed childcare subsidies. Click here to send a quick note right now urging your lawmakers to do the right thing and use the money as it was intended!

Here’s the backstory:

Earlier this year, Congress passed bipartisan legislation that provided states with the largest increase in history to provide more working families with support to afford high-quality childcare. MomsRising members’ voices were key in making this happen.

As a result, North Carolina will receive approximately $79 million in new money from the Child Care and Development Block Grant. [4] This funding is intended to expand access to high-quality early learning including childcare. CLASP estimates that this funding could provide an additional 10,000 working families with childcare subsidy. This help is desperately needed as more than 50,000 NC children in 85 counties are currently on the childcare subsidy waiting list. In his proposed budget, Governor Cooper recommended using this funding to expand access to childcare to 9,000 additional children.

Instead, we’ve just learned that state legislative budget leaders intend to take away $50 million in existing state funds from NC Pre-K and then fill that hole with $50 million in childcare subsidy dollars from the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). If this happens, no additional working families will have access to childcare subsidy and thousands will remain on the waitlist.

This is a huge missed opportunity to invest in early childhood education with the new block grant money appropriated by Congress solely for childcare. If we don’t act fast, this money is not going to be used to support children and families.

Let NC lawmakers know that funding that was intended to help families afford childcare should NOT be redirected to other budget items. Congress recognized families need this help, and NC families are counting on it! Send your note now.

Bipartisan polling shows overwhelming majorities of NC voters from both parties want state policymakers to do more to make early childhood education more affordable for working families--78% of Republicans, 93% of Independents, 97% of Democrats. 

And there is no wonder why: In 30 states and the District of Columbia, infant care costs exceed the average cost of college tuition.  And the early learning workforce, 94% of whom are women, are struggling significantly since childcare is one of the lowest paying industries in the United States.

Parents and early learning providers alike are struggling to make ends meet. We hear regularly from moms like Jaime who tells us, “I want nothing more than to have a second child, but in a two income household, we can barely afford quality childcare for one.” Or Kristy who says, “I’m an Early Childhood professional. Due to inadequate compensation, I cannot afford to send my two-year-old to school. This is extremely difficult for me since I provide high quality care to other families’ children every day. My child deserves high quality care as well.”

We know by now that this isn’t a series of personal failings, but a systemic problem that is happening nationally because we have a broken childcare system.

This new federal money was a step towards helping to fill the gaps. We can’t let NC lawmakers derail it.

We have forty-eight hours to stop this. We know moms can do what seems impossible. We do it every day. Please flex your muscles and take a quick moment to help save child care subsidies for 10,000 NC kids right now.


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