For far too long, the child care ecosystem has been overburdened and underfunded—and no one has understood this more than early educators.
With the announcement of the American Rescue Plan and the American Families Plan this spring, the future of child care in the United States is getting much-needed attention and investment after decades of crisis.
If you own a child care center or run a home-based program, the American Rescue Plan may directly impact you and the families you serve. Keep reading to learn more.
Q: What is the American Rescue Plan?
A: The American Rescue Plan is a large economic stimulus package that was signed into law in March 2021. The $1.9 trillion piece of legislation included stimulus checks, child tax credits, emergency unemployment benefits, small business support, and more.
This bill has direct implications for the state of early care and education. For more information on all the American Rescue Plan offers, click here.
Q: How will the American Rescue Plan help early educators?
A: The American Rescue Plan includes multiple funding streams to support the child care industry, including a national $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and $24 billion for a COVID-19 child care relief and stabilization program, which will provide states with resources to offer immediate grants for child care providers struggling to keep their doors open.
This funding has the potential to provide significant—and immediate—financial relief to early educators, including both child care centers and family child care homes.
Q: How much money will North Carolina receive?
A: North Carolina received $1.3 billion for child care; of that total, about $800 million is designated for stabilization funding and will be controlled by the Cooper administration. An additional $500 million is available in CCDBG funding.
Q: How will the funding be allocated?
A: On May 19, Governor Roy Cooper presented his recommendations for how North Carolina should spend the $5 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act. State legislators will likely be involved in allocating these funds through either an upcoming COVID-relief bill or through the next state budget.
Q: What are Governor Cooper’s recommendations?
A: Governor Cooper recommended the following allocation:
Q: How will this funding help professionalize the child care industry?
A: In North Carolina, the goal is to increase the number of qualified early educators by 10 percent by 2024. This will be made possible by increasing access to low- and no-cost higher education apprenticeships, fast-track and online certificate and degree programs, on-the-job coaching and recruitment, and retention incentives for child care workers.
Q: What else do I need to know?
A: The American Rescue Plan is a positive step forward in giving the early care and education system the financial investment it needs to thrive—and help millions of families, children, and educators across the country.
Learn more about what else the American Rescue Plan offers here.