In September, $24 billion in federal funding for child care programs across the country — set into place during the pandemic — is set to expire. Without renewed federal funding or additional state funding, North Carolina and the rest of the country are poised to go over a child care cliff, according to a recent report by The Century Foundation.
More than three million children across the country, including more than 155,000 children in North Carolina, will lose access to care and 1,778 child care providers will be forced to close, according to the report released last month. This is on top of an existing child care crisis that has been ongoing since before the pandemic.
North Carolina parents, employers and our state economy, which are already impacted by the child care crisis, will feel greater impact, too. Parents, forced to cut back hours or leave the workforce, will lose $416 million in earnings. Employers will lose $485 million in productivity, and the state economy will lose $19 million in state income tax.
What can employers do to help?
- Check out the child care section of our website to determine what policies and practices you can incorporate into your own workplace to support parents with their care needs.
- Learn how local communities across the state, like Cabarrus County and Yadkin County, are taking creative actions to expand child care access and how other communities, like Wilkes County, are assessing child care need.
- Share about what your local community is doing to support child care on the Google sheet we created.
- Get involved with advocacy efforts to stop the child care crisis in North Carolina. You can join the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Child Care Coalition, the NC Early Education Coalition’s advocacy network, or the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s Care and Learning (CandL) newsletter list to learn more about how you can advocate to advance issues that support children, families, and early childhood educators and care providers.