CCSA COVID-19 Early Learning Relief Fund Receives $100,000 Grant from the PNC Foundation

CCSA Covid-19 relief fund graphic


Savion Thorne

Grant designated to support child care programs.

Chapel Hill, N.C., May 7, 2020: The CCSA COVID-19 Early Learning Relief Fund has received a $100,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to support North Carolina’s child care programs. It is the only relief fund specifically designated for child care programs in North Carolina and is a collaborative effort of Child Care Services Association (CCSA), the statewide Smart Start network and the state’s child care resource and referral agencies. The fund is designed to help child care programs remain open during this crucial time.

The PNC Foundation’s grant demonstrates its longtime commitment to early childhood development within the communities PNC serves. “This crisis has amplified significant needs, and protecting families ― and the child care programs on which they depend ― has never been more urgent,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president for Eastern Carolinas. “Child care programs represent a critical resource for essential workers and their families, and this grant will help make these programs more accessible.”

“We thank the PNC Foundation for its generous support to the CCSA COVID-19 Early Learning Relief Fund,” said CCSA President Marsha Basloe. “Our child care providers are essential workers on the front lines of this crisis. By supporting them, we’re also ensuring that other essential personnel can go to work without having to worry about who is taking care of their children. We hope others will follow PNC’s lead so we can provide financial assistance to every child care program in North Carolina during this crisis.”

The CCSA COVID-19 Early Learning Relief Fund will help North Carolina’s child care programs with urgent and long-term expenses during this crisis. As of mid-April, more than 3,000 child care programs were open and serving children of essential workers. During this crisis, child care programs in North Carolina are serving approximately 25 percent of the number of children they would normally, making it financially difficult for programs to continue operating without sustained income.

“This crisis has financially impacted child care programs and their ability to get the supplies they need to keep children safe,” stated Smart Start Interim President Donna White. “This relief fund is critical to helping programs that are open care for the children of front-line workers and helping ensure that all programs are able to reopen on the other side of this – a thriving child care industry will be critical to North Carolina’s recovery.”

The CCSA COVID-19 Early Learning Relief Fund is designed to provide small grants to child care centers and family child care homes in North Carolina. At this time, funds will be available to child care programs currently open and serving the children of essential workers. Once the immediate crisis has passed, CCSA and Smart Start will continue to raise funds to help programs through the recovery period. More information about the relief fund, including how you can help, can be found at

PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

Child Care Services Association
Founded in 1974, the mission of Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality child care for all young children and their families. Using a holistic approach, CCSA supports children and families, helps child care professionals improve the quality of early education children receive and ensures all families can afford and access the high-quality early care and education that is so important for a child’s early development. Through its Meal Services Program, CCSA also provides nutritious meals to children at child care centers, where they may eat 50-100 percent of their meals. Our T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, Child Care WAGE$® and Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$ Plus® programs give child care professionals the means to obtain an education and supplement their salary based on that education. CCSA also licenses T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ across the U.S. and conducts early childhood systems research and policy development statewide and nationally. For more information, visit

North Carolina Partnership for Children/Smart Start
Smart Start is a network of 75 nonprofit local partnerships that serve all 100 North Carolina counties. This network is led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) that ensures fiscal and programmatic accountability and coordinates the statewide network to create better outcomes for children and families. Learn more about NCPC and the Smart Start network at