Today, Governor Roy Cooper visited and toured State Line Children’s World in Scotland County to highlight the North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants the center received to support and retain its workforce.
“High-quality early learning gets children the strong start they need while allowing parents to stay in or get back into the workforce,” Governor Cooper said. “These funds will help raise pre-school teacher pay so we can keep them in the profession to continue educating, nurturing and supporting our children.”
“High-quality early learning starts with a well-trained and educated workforce,” said Ariel Ford, Director of the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “Our early childhood programs and teachers have gone the extra mile to stay working and keep child care open through the pandemic so that children were learning and parents were working – with the help of a historic federal investment that will soon be ending. With the ongoing tight labor market, now is the time to work together to help our early childhood teachers stay in the field they love and trained for and attract more great teachers to the field.”
“This grant helped us fill some of the voids and help our teachers, teacher assistants, and our support staff through the hardships and sacrifices they have endured since March 2020. Because the stabilization grant allowed us to offer bonuses, paid wellness days, and benefits and resources such as mental wellness training to our incredible teachers and teacher assistants, we were able to retain and recruit caring, committed professionals,” Davina DeBerry, assistant director of State Line Children’s World said. “The stabilization grant also assisted with some of the hardships that our parents and guardians were facing, because we were able to offer after-school care at minimum to no cost to our parents. The State of North Carolina has invested in us, and we have invested in students and our community.”
Since the launch of the Child Care Stabilization Grant program, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has distributed more than $655 million to over 4,200 child care centers and family child care homes. 90% of total eligible child care programs have received grants in 99 counties. In September, NCDHHS announced it is extending the grant program that is supporting early care and learning teacher pay through December 2023. The NCDHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education will use about $150 million in discretionary ARPA funding allocated for workforce initiatives to continue one component of the grants – compensation supports, which have helped to boost teacher pay and benefits.
Over the course of the pandemic, a historic $1.9 billion in one-time federal dollars has been invested in NC’s child care system to stabilize it, keeping child care programs across the state open and teachers working.
This funding to support child care programs will be fully expended in October 2023.
State Line Children’s World is a 5-star child care center in Laurinburg. Established in 1979, the center provides care for children starting at age 3 and includes preschool and Pre-K classes as well as an after-school program for school-age children.
Learn more about North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants.