Today, Governor Roy Cooper, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley and NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary LtGen Walter Gaskin toured the Creative Academy Early Learning Center in Goldsboro to highlight the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN)-PLUS Expansion program that helps military families in North Carolina with child care costs.
“This program will make it easier for military families to get quality child care from community providers,” Governor Cooper said. “We’ll keep working to support North Carolina’s military families while also making sure our troops are mission ready as they bravely serve our nation.”
During the visit, Governor Cooper and officials toured child care center classrooms and met with teachers and students. Governor Cooper also highlighted the recommended $1.5 billion in his proposed budget to support child care and early childhood education needs across the state. This includes an additional $500 million for child care stabilization grants and $200 million to increase child care subsidy rates in rural and lower wealth communities.
“When a person serves in the military, the family serves, too. Our service women and men deserve to know that their families are safe and have all they need,” said NC Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Secretary Gaskin. “MCCYN Plus is a way to provide that support and confidence to our active duty military. With knowing their families are receiving the best education and care, our servicemembers are mission ready to do the best possible job while serving our nation.”
“Access to high quality early education and care gives children the developmental skills they need to reach their full potential”, said NC Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kinsley. “This program is an important step in the right direction and will expand access to thousands of families in North Carolina.”
“Creative Academy has been serving military families for 14 years and we have enjoyed building a relationship with our community’s military partners,” said Brooke King, Chief Operations Officer of Creative Academy Early Learning Center. “The Military Child Care in your Neighborhood Plus Initiative will allow many of the families we serve, as well as new families stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base the opportunity to receive high quality care for their children within the community.”
The MCCYN-PLUS builds on the Military Services history of providing fee assistance to eligible military families to offset the cost of child care in community programs. Licensed child care programs can now participate in MCCYN-PLUS. Through MCCYN-Plus, families that must use community child care programs could save hundreds of dollars on quality care for their children with the maximum benefit reaching up to $1,700 per month/per child. This program is fully funded and run by the Department of Defense. North Carolina is home to the 4th largest military presence in the nation.
Creative Academy Early Learning Center has been in operation since 2008 and is serving many children from military families. They received NC Child Care Stabilization Grant funds from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and used the funding to significantly raise the salaries of their staff and educators and offset supply and operating costs during the early part of COVID-19.
For more information on the MCCYN-PLUS Program, read the NCDHHS Press Release.