Welcome to the AWARD$ Program of NC

Are you an early childhood educator? You may qualify for a salary supplement from AWARD$. Click here to learn more.

Great news! AWARD$ has received over 1,000 applications and the number grows daily.  We are so excited by this incredible response, but it also means that it will take us the next few months to process the applications we have already received.  The first payments will go out in January for a small group of early applicants and we will continue to send out payments on a monthly basis after January.  Priority will be given to those who applied first and have the first completed commitment periods.  At this time, we are entering applications into our computer system and we are sending information to applicants who need to submit further information, but full processing and eligibility determination will take time.  Please remember, if your application is incomplete, we are unable to proceed until we have all the necessary documentation.  Please follow the instructions and checklist on the application.  We appreciate your patience as we get this new program off the ground.

If you have applied to AWARD$, once we process your application, you will receive either a postcard informing you that you meet eligibility requirements or a letter explaining that you do not qualify for the program at this time.

Download the above flyer here.

About AWARD$
Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$ (AWARD$) provides education-based salary supplements to low paid teachers working full-time in infant-toddler classrooms in North Carolina. The program is designed to better compensate and retain well-educated teachers working with our youngest children. AWARD$ is funded by the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE).

Why is AWARD$ important?
“The Division of Child Development and Early Education has collaborated for years with local partnerships to implement the WAGE$ program for teachers across the state. We have seen the positive outcomes for children, teachers and families. Taking this next step with the AWARD$ program that is targeted to our infant/toddler teachers will help address many of the challenges that we see in our infant/toddler classrooms such as lower wages and lower educational levels. These first three years in a child’s life are critical and we believe that the AWARD$ program will provide much needed support for teachers in those classrooms.”

Anna Carter, Director
Division of Child Development and Early Education

“Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is pleased to have the opportunity to administer the Infant-Toddler AWARD$ Program. This builds upon CCSA’s long-standing commitment to improving education and compensation through the Child Care WAGE$® Program, which was started in 1994 and provides salary supplements to early childhood educators at all levels. AWARD$ recognizes the incredible impact that infant-toddler educators have on every aspect of a child’s development. It is an honor to administer this program to both support our educators and highlight the importance of early childhood education.”

Marsha Basloe, President
Child Care Services Association

“The new AWARD$ program is critically important for North Carolina’s infant-toddler teachers who are woefully underpaid for the important work they do every day to support young children’s healthy development and early learning. North Carolina is facing an early childhood teacher workforce crisis, and the AWARD$ program will help attract, retain and recognize infant toddler teachers in our state. Hundreds of infant toddler teachers and the children and families they serve will certainly benefit from this exciting new initiative! We so appreciate the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education and Child Care Services Association for leading the country in developing this innovative salary supplement program for early childhood teachers.”

Michele Rivest, Policy Director
NC Early Education Coalition