CCSA receives Duke University Health System Goodwill Grant to advance social justice and equity issues in early childhood
By first looking at CCSA’s internal operations, this grant will help lead the effort to advance social justice and equity issues in the early childhood field.
Chapel Hill, N.C., April 22, 2021: Since its founding in 1974, Child Care Services Association (CCSA) has advocated and worked for equity for the early childhood workforce, of which nearly half are Black and 99 percent are women. CCSA is grateful to receive the Duke University Health System Building Healthy Communities Goodwill Grant, which will help CCSA advance social justice and equity issues in the early childhood field by first looking at CCSA’s internal operations. With this grant, CCSA will hire a consultant to review and assess a number of organizational documents through a social justice and equity lens.
“We want to lead in this effort for the early childhood community,” said CCSA President Marsha Basloe. “As one of the lowest-paid workforces, early childhood educators rarely receive recognition equal to their importance for our children and society. This workforce has been undervalued for decades, and their compensation shows that. CCSA advocates for early childhood educators, and we want to be sure we are doing so in the most equitable way possible, as we also evaluate our internal practices.”
In 2019, the median wage for North Carolina’s child care educators was approximately $12/hr., and 38 percent of the education staff had received public assistance in the past three years (2019 Workforce Study, CCSA). Also, only 15 percent of child care programs in N.C. provide fully paid health insurance for these educators. Underpaid and undervalued, this inequity and the stress it causes have a real impact on their physical and mental health.
CCSA has multiple programs that focus on the early childhood workforce—the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program, Child Care WAGE$® Program, Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® and Child Care Resource and Referral that provides professional development and technical assistance to early childhood educators, including a focus on infants and toddlers. Established in 1990, T.E.A.C.H. provides educators with a chance to further their education debt-free, while WAGE$ and AWARD$ provide salary supplements based on that education. While more needs to be done, these programs help a critical part of the workforce earn closer to a living wage and obtain an education in their field.
In addition, CCSA operates the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center, which licenses the T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs in more than 20 states. Any changes to procedures and policies that come about through CCSA’s justice and equity work will be shared with these states.
Child Care Services Association
Founded in 1974, Child Care Services Association’s (CCSA) vision is for all children to have equitable access to affordable, high quality early care and education to lay the foundation for successful life outcomes. To that end, CCSA provides free child care referral services, financial assistance to low-income families and professional development and technical assistance to child care programs. With spoonFULL, CCSA also provides nutritious meals to children at child care centers, where they may eat 50-100 percent of their meals. Throughout N.C., educational scholarships from CCSA’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program gives child care professionals the means to obtain an education and CCSA’s Child Care WAGE$® and Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® programs supplement their meager salary. 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 www.childcareservices.org.