For two long years, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the child care system across the country and highlighted the existing weaknesses of a broken child care system. Even before the pandemic, child care was expensive and hard to find for parents, offered insufficient and unstable funding for providers and relied on an underpaid workforce, impacting the health and well-being of early educators. While most child care programs in North Carolina stayed open or reopened quickly to serve essential workers, no program escaped the overwhelming and expensive challenges of revamping their health and safety protocols, declining child enrollments and finding and retaining a qualified workforce.
Child Care Services Association hoped to learn how the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were used to support the early childhood workforce. This issue brief, Addressing the Early Childhood Workforce Crisis through Stabilization Grants, and the case studies were developed through interviews with child care providers. They provide a snapshot of the effects on child care programs in the early months of the Stabilization Grants.
The brief shares findings from the case studies including funding and policy recommendations based on those interviews. We hope you will take the time to hear from our early childhood programs. Please read the full report here.