CCSA receives Living Wage Certification in Orange County for internal compensation initiatives
Chapel Hill, N.C., July 29, 2022: Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is honored to be recognized as a certified Living Wage Employer in Orange County for the next two years for valuing its employees and providing them with a competitive, livable wage.
CCSA’s work focuses on early childhood education; historically, early childhood educators have been a group that has been underpaid for years. Fairly compensating our staff is one way that CCSA continues to remove barriers in the unstable workforce of the early childhood field. For CCSA, the focus on compensation is two-fold: support its internal staff so they can support others and help highlight the fact that many early childhood teachers and child care providers still do not receive compensation that recognizes their importance to our communities and our state’s workforce.
“The living wage movement is based on the premise that wages should keep workers and their families above a minimum standard of living,” according to Orange County Living Wage. “The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not changed since 2009, leaving many workers struggling to make ends meet. With salaries at or even a few dollars above minimum wage, each day workers in Orange County are forced to make difficult choices such as buying food or paying rent, filling a prescription or the gas tank. If these workers earned a living wage, rather than the legal minimum, many would be lifted out of poverty.”
High-quality child care makes a difference in the lives of young children, particularly those that are the most vulnerable. High-quality early care and education programs are not possible without an early childhood workforce that is adequately compensated for the vital work they do. Without compensation that identifies their commitment, employee retention begins to affect the quality of child care programs.
CCSA is proud to be recognized as a leader in addressing challenges related to economic justice for all. In October 2021 CCSA’s Board moved to increase hourly wages to a minimum of $15/ hour for all staff regardless of position and this step propels the organization forward. In addition to supporting a wage increase across all roles within CCSA, the organization continues to support the education and compensation of all early childhood professionals through its T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program, Child Care WAGE$® and Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$ Plus® programs. CCSA will continue to call on others to support and get involved in offering adequate compensation for all early childhood professionals.
Child Care Services Association
Founded in 1974, the mission of Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is to lead efforts to strengthen accessible and affordable quality early care and education by providing supports for families, communities and the workforce. To that end, CCSA provides free child care referral services to families, financial assistance to low-income families seeking child care and professional development and technical assistance to child care programs. Through spoonFULL, CCSA also provides nutritious meals to children at child care centers, where they may eat 50-100 percent of their meals. Throughout North Carolina, educational scholarships from CCSA’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program give child care professionals the means to obtain a debt-free education, while CCSA’s Child Care WAGE$® and Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$ Plus® programs supplement their meager salary. CCSA also licenses T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ across the U.S. through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center at CCSA and conducts early childhood systems and homelessness research and policy development statewide and nationally. For more information, visit childcareservices.org.
About Orange County Living Wages
Orange County Living Wage partners with employers, residents, and workers in the community to create a more just and sustainable local economy that works for all. We welcome participation in our work from all members of the community.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core values of Orange County Living Wage (OCLW). We celebrate multiple approaches and points of view while promoting DEI in all aspects of our work in the community. To do that well, it is important to prioritize workforces and workplaces that represent all community members. OCLW and our certified employers will continue to build an inclusive and equitable culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates diverse voices. For more information, visit www.orangecountylivingwage.org