Another fiscal year is in the books for the Child Care WAGE$® Program and results continue to be strong for this program that nears its 30th anniversary. WAGE$ started as a county-based pilot program with the first payments issued in 1994 and since its beginning, the program has supported increased retention, education and compensation. With anecdotal evidence that the early care and education field continues to struggle with attracting and retaining qualified staff, WAGE$ is proud to offer education-based salary supplements to help address these concerns.
Christina Perdue is grateful that the Child Care WAGE$® education-based salary supplements are available again in Guilford County. She said, “I was so thankful when the Guilford County Partnership for Children got back on the program. Had they not, I probably would have had to take a different job. My rent and everything else have gone up so much. Child care can only pay so much because we can only charge so much. The WAGE$ funds I receive make it possible for me to stay here without having to figure out something else. I’ve had difficult times and the supplement just makes me realize it will be ok.”
Trudy Person learned about the opportunity to receive education-based salary supplements from the Child Care WAGE$® Program when she started working at Saint Paul Presbyterian Day Care in Franklin County.
“Child Care WAGE$® has helped me not lose focus on my ‘why.’ I am constantly
asked why I won’t go into the school system to make more money. Money cannot
buy happiness and purpose! My purpose is in early childhood education. I have no
doubt that it is my calling,” said Wendy Boozer.
On Wednesday, March 15, Governor Cooper issued his recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2023-2025, which is the first stage in this year’s budget process. First in Opportunity, the budget, contains a historic $1.5 billion investment in early education! The budget allocates funds to assist the child care workforce, make child
Child Care Services Association (CCSA) is proud to offer two education-based salary supplement programs in North Carolina. The Child Care WAGE$® Program issued its first checks in 1994 in one county and as of 2023, is available in 63 counties across the state with funding from local Smart Start partnerships that choose to participate and the Division of Child Development and Early Education. Funding partnerships determine compensation amounts and some of the program’s eligibility requirements, and supplements are issued to qualifying educators working with children birth to 5. Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® started in 2018 and expanded eligibility in July 2023, rebranding as Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® Plus. Funded solely by the Division of Child Development and Early Education, the supplements are available in all 100 counties to qualifying educators working with children birth through age 2 at least 30 hours per week.