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Ahead of child care financial crisis in June, advocates call for relief from legislature

Students play a matching game at Modern Early Learning Academy in Forsyth County. Liz Bell/EducationNC

By: Liz Bell- April 23, 2024

As federal funds stabilizing child care run out at the end of June, child care advocates are asking state legislators for a one-time $300 million allocation to avoid closures and price increases for parents.

Advocacy organizations, the legislative early childhood caucus, and business groups asked the General Assembly for the same amount last year without success.

Now that the expiration of the stabilization funds is imminent, advocates are hoping legislators understand the urgency.

“The emergency that we’ve been talking about is here,” said Erin Carson, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) state chapter. “There’s no more kicking the can down the road or talking about other funding sources.”

NDWA is coordinating a rally on May 16 for providers, educators, parents, and community advocates to meet with legislators.

Without help, the expiration of funds will mean higher prices for parents, higher teacher turnover, and less access — including closures — according to a survey of more than 1,500 providers published in March by the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral Council. Thirty percent of the providers who responded said they expect to close their doors at some point after the funding ends.

Research from other states that have run out of federal funding also shows reduced child care availability and higher prices.

Read the entire article at EdNC