Building a New Reality During the Pandemic
Now 18 months into dealing with COVID-19, child care has changed immeasurably, and children, families, early childhood professionals and whole communities are feeling the impact. As we adjust and figure out how to move forward, early childhood professionals continue to feel the effects of the pandemic. They worked through the early statewide shutdowns for little pay and with no healthcare, and now they are caring for and educating children who may not quite understand why their world is still unsettled and uncertain. The early childhood education system is stretched thin, with staffing shortages across the U.S. as educators leave the profession for better paying jobs, but families still need quality child care programs to work or go to school.
At Child Care Services Association (CCSA), over the past year, we have worked diligently to help support child care programs, early childhood educators and families. As child care professionals struggled with the challenges created by COVID-19, we have continued to provide them with virtual technical assistance and professional development and supported them with scholarships and wage supplements through T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, Child Care WAGE$® and Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$®. We also found ways to keep providing healthy meals for children in North Carolina’s Triangle region, even when schools and many child care programs remained closed. We have advocated for increased compensation for child care professionals, worked with states to determine the best way to support the workforce in their areas and guided families through finding the right child care program for their situation.
In this fiscal year, we looked to the future and created a new strategic plan to guide CCSA’s work for the next three years. We also identified and reinforced our commitment to our core values—equity, transparency, integrity and flexibility. See our core values and strategic plan here.
Above all, we continue to help enhance and support the infrastructure for early care and learning systems programs in North Carolina and across the country. We have marveled at how resilient early childhood educators are, and we stand with them as we help ensure that all children receive the early care and education that is so important for their development.
Thank you so much for your commitment to CCSA and young children. With your support, we will continue to rebuild the child care systems that have been through so much over the past 18 months. Thank you!
In this annual report, you will see the remarkable work child care providers have done to give children the stability and certainty they need during a time when instability still controls every aspect of our lives. You will also see the efforts of our great CCSA staff to continue their work with children, families and child care programs as we see through this pandemic.
Download the annual report here or read it below.