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Advocates Hold “Day Without Childcare” To Push Lawmakers To Address Funding Needs

Source: NC Newsline

Across the state of North Carolina there are around 5.000 child care centers serving over 200,000 children. With fewer companies offering remote work, leaving scores of individuals returning to office, and a growing population in the state, the importance of childcare is obvious to many. However, many childcare centers in the state are at risk of closing their doors, permanently. 

According to a North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral Council survey that came out in February many centers said they would have to close within a year as federal Covid-19 relief funds run out. Axios explains that nearly 3 in 10 childcare centers report that they would have to close if legislators don’t step in. That’s over 90,000 children that would have to go without care. 

Child care workers, advocates, and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper have called upon lawmakers to fund these organizations. But their call for change has gotten no active response from legislators. The one sign of legislative support is HB 342 filed in 2023. HB342 was set to grant 300,000 to compensate for the end of federal relief. Though the bill had bipartisan support it did not make it into the state budget. 

To show how serious of a problem this is for North Carolina, advocates organized  “A Day Without Childcare”. Dozens of childcare centers in North Carolina closed their doors for a single day, and rallied in Raleigh on May 17th to call attention to the importance of childcare facilities.  An early childcare educator who attended the rally, Danielle Caldwell, said, “If you do not invest in the infrastructure of childcare, there will be more than one day without childcare. It will be a permanent day without childcare.” 
As the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services puts it, “The need and availability of child care is essential for the State of North Carolina’s economic development and stability.” Funding for childcare centers benefits kids, parents, and all North Carolinians.


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