The North Carolina budget that passed in September brought disappointment for child care providers and advocates who were hoping that lawmakers would extend a state child care grant that kept child care centers afloat during the pandemic.
Instead, the state budget calls for the child care sector to use the remainder of 2021 federal COVID-19 funds to extend the compensation grants from December 2023 to June 2024 — essentially ending the grants one year earlier than child care advocates had hoped.
Click here to read the full story from the Charlotte Ledger.
Screen Time Linked With Developmental Delays in Toddlerhood, Study Finds
Handing your baby a phone or tablet to play with may seem like a harmless solution when you’re busy, but it could quickly affect their development, a new study has found.
Having anywhere from one to four hours of screen time per day at age 1 is linked with higher risks of developmental delays in communication, fine motor, problem-solving and personal and social skills by age 2, according to a new study.
Child Care Could Soon Become Harder to Find and More Expensive
The industry has struggled for years with both high costs for parents and low wages for teachers. Now, with COVID-era subsidies set to end later this year, there are worries this long-simmering problem could become a crisis.
"Child care is at a pretty critical flashpoint," said Janet Singerman, president and CEO of CCRI. "The pandemic really laid bare the inadequate and fragile economic equation within which child care programs have to operate."
NC Child Care Industry in Crisis: Prices Too High for Parents and Pay Too Low for Staff
Child care advocates across North Carolina call it a quagmire: parents struggle to find and afford child care while providers wrestle with staying open and finding teachers. It’ll get worse, advocates say, unless lawmakers agree on the solution: investing more money in young children.
Click here to read the full story from The Charlotte Observer.
Child Care Workers in NC Rally for More Funding as Federal Grants Run Out
Child care workers and their advocates from across North Carolina held a rally and march outside the General Assembly in Raleigh, calling on lawmakers to invest more in early childhood education. The rally came as many programs have begun preparing for the end of a program funded by federal dollars that helped sustain many child care providers during the pandemic.
Survey: NC Child Care Providers Concerned About Quality and Affordability With Assistance Set to End
North Carolina’s child care providers say Stabilization Grants enabled them to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic and are concerned about costs and quality in the absence of support.
Nearly 4,400 programs have already received $276.8 million in Compensation Grants (funded by the American Rescue Plan Act). With this funding set to expire at the end of 2023, a new survey highlights how programs in the state used those compensation resources and what they are concerned about once funding ends.