Child Care Services Association’s vision is that all children have equitable access to affordable, high-quality early care and education to lay the foundation for successful life outcomes.
CCSA improves the quality of child care in North Carolina for all children by helping families find child care, offering informational events for families, professional development opportunities and programs for providers and comprehensive child care research for policymakers.
How CCSA Helps
CCSA’s mission is to lead efforts to strengthen accessible and affordable quality early care and education by providing supports for families, communities and the workforce.
As a nonprofit organization and United Way member, we are proud to be a leader in early care and education systems on local, state and national levels.
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship NC provides debt-free college education with comprehensive scholarships for the early education workforce. T.E.A.C.H. is also offered nationally through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center
The education level of early childhood teachers has been linked with quality care in numerous research studies. CCSA offers a variety of professional development opportunities to support high-quality services, and actively encourages providers to enroll in early childhood courses.
Child Care WAGE$®
The Child Care WAGE$® program provides tiered education-based salary supplements to teachers, directors and family child care educators in North Carolina. The goal is better-educated teachers and better outcomes for children.
We offer a wide range of services to help families find, evaluate and pay for quality child care.
Find Child Care
Child Care Referral Central offers free and convenient ways to obtain referrals to child care in your area.
Evaluate Child Care
When families need child care, it’s important that their children are enrolled in the highest quality care possible.
Pay for Child Care
Quality child care can be expensive. We provide a number of resources for families to get help paying for child care.
Our work helps educators and directors provide quality child care services to families.
Wage & Scholarship Support
Whether you’re just getting started or already working in child care, we have a variety of wage support options and scholarships for furthering education.
From nutrition to behavior to homelessness services, we can help you provide healthy beginnings for all children.
In order to improve an early care and education (ECE) system, comprehensive accurate data which identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the system must first be collected. Therefore, our research department conducts a broad array of studies to address issues related to early care and education.
How to Support CCSA Research & More
Our work results in enormous benefits for children, families and the community. Your gift may help fund our research, support a parent who is starting a new job, or assist a child care teacher who wants to finish an early childhood education degree.
Help us make sure every child has a good start to lifelong learning in a safe, nurturing, quality environment.
According to the North Carolina Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association (NCIMHA), infant and early childhood mental health is the developing capacity of the child from birth to 5 years old to form close and secure adult and peer relationships; experience, manage, and express a full range of emotions; and explore the environment and learn all in the context of family, community, and culture (Brunton, 2023). Shaped by cultural expectations and community resources, these skills are built in the early years within relationships with nurturing, consistent and responsive caregivers.
Doris Lee is a Dare County Early Childhood Professional and onsite Administrator of a 4 star licensed facility. She is a strong advocate for Early Childhood and strives every day to be an influential resource to her fellow teachers, the children and their families as she serves in the field. She wants to raise awareness about how child care needs are not being met, including fair compensation for early educators, and the resources that are not available. Doris said, “AWARD$ Plus allows me to be able to take care of my financial obligations along with my living expenses. Our line of work deserves competitive wages for teachers and administrators to feel appreciated and respected as they fight the good fight. Early childhood educators shouldn’t be financially struggling to maintain the basics of everyday life all because they chose to work with children.”
First year? In many ways, yes! If you are familiar with Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$®, then you know this education-based salary supplement program actually began back in 2018. However, in FY23, the program transitioned to AWARD$ Plus with expanded eligibility. The primary differences in eligibility are shown below.
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