Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® Plus provides education-based salary supplements to low-paid early educators working full-time with children birth through age two in North Carolina. If you’re just learning about the AWARD$ Plus program, be sure to check out the program overview, F.A.Q, and learn about the results AWARD$ Plus can provide. You’ll also find information on how to qualify and apply.
Get Started with AWARD$ Plus
Do you know if you qualify for AWARD$ Plus? We make it easy with a list of applicant requirements and more.
Ready to apply? Use our application resources to get started.
Learn more about the results that the AWARD$ Plus program provides. See facts and figures, and read testimonials from program participants.
Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® Plus provides education-based salary supplements to low-paid early educators working full-time with children birth through age two in North Carolina. Learn more about AWARD$ Plus funding.
Infant Toddler AWARD$® Plus is designed to increase the compensation, education and retention of teachers and family child care educators working with our youngest children.
Watch the video or download the PDF flyer to learn more!
The program has encouraged staff to pursue more education. The children will have more educated teachers and they will be less likely to seek other employment. Children will have more continuity of care.
— participating director
Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® always seems to come right on time. It helps me to stay in infant-toddler care. It motivates me to keep going, helps me to realize that somebody cares, and shows that infant and toddler teachers are not forgotten.
— participating teacher
Honestly, this program is simply the best! I am more motivated to be the best teacher I can be and I encourage others to continue working towards their goals of receiving their degree… Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® has made me feel as if I do make a difference in my place of work and in the lives of the children and families I give care to. It means a lot, knowing someone appreciates what I have a heart’s desire to do and is supportive of me through this program.
— participating teacher
AWARD$ Plus News
First year? In many ways, yes! If you are familiar with Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$®, then you know this education-based salary supplement program actually began back in 2018. However, in FY23, the program transitioned to AWARD$ Plus with expanded eligibility. The primary differences in eligibility are shown below.
Veronica Pigford loves working with two-year-olds, but she didn’t start with this age group. “I came here for a summer job when I was working in the public school system and I just fell in love with infants and toddlers,” Veronica said. “I love all the children, but I am so happy working with the twos. They love you so much. They cling to you. They appreciate you and are eager to learn new things. I really like being part of that.”
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$® Plus. Funded solely by the Division of Child Development and Early Education, the supplements are available in all 100 counties to qualifying educators working with children birth through age 2 at least 30 hours per week.
Have questions? We can help!
Thank you for your interest in the AWARD$ Plus Program. When calling or leaving a voicemail, please reference AWARD$ Plus. You can also send us a message online. Mail paperwork to:
Child Care Services Association
Attn: AWARD$ Plus
PO Box 901
Chapel Hill, NC 27514