October 1 marks the start of the new federal fiscal year (FY2023). As has been customary over the past decade or longer, Congress has not approved individual appropriation bills that fund federal agencies and the programs they administer before the start of the fiscal year. Therefore, as in past years, Congress has approved a continuing resolution to keep programs operating and, in some cases, to provide additional funding rather than freeze current spending.
From the President
In North Carolina and across the country, the child care industry is struggling to recruit and retain workers. It’s a tight labor market and child care programs report difficulty in paying wages that are competitive with other community employers (such as Target or Walmart or McDonalds). Unlike other local employers, child care programs are looking for individuals who have a passion for working with children and also have early childhood competencies important for a business based on promoting the healthy development of children.
As a life-long child advocate, I’ve come across great ideas that are difficult to pursue because of the siloed way that federal funding is too frequently made available – a specific purpose, specific targeting and eligibility rules and siloed administration. For me, who sees the connection between a family’s need for affordable housing and a parent’s need for child care to obtain and retain employment (which pays the rent), it’s a challenge to integrate the two concepts.
As Labor Day approaches, there is much to celebrate. The nation’s unemployment rate, which rose in spring 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has returned to 3.5% (the same level of unemployment that existed in February 2020).1 North Carolina is recovering faster than the national average with unemployment
I have worn many hats in my lifetime (often at the same time), but the hat that I’m most proud of and most passionate about is my advocacy hat. I have spent my life as a strong advocate for children because they are among our society’s most vulnerable population. Many
The tragedy last week in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, marks the 27th school shooting to date this year.  At least 17 mass shootings have occurred since the tragedy in Uvalde, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an organization that tracks mass shootings nationwide.