Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® (AWARD$) 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$ program, be sure to check out the program overview, F.A.Q, and learn about the results AWARD$ can provide. You’ll also find information on how to qualify and apply.
Get Started with AWARD$
Do you know if you qualify for AWARD$? We make it easy with a list of applicant requirements and more.
Ready to apply? Use our application resources to get started.
Learn more about the results that the AWARD$ program provides. See facts and figures, and read testimonials from program participants.
The AWARD$ program is designed to better compensate and retain well-educated teachers and family child care educators working with our youngest children.
Learn more with our AWARD$ video, or download the flyer.
Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® always seems to come right on time. It helps me to stay in infant-toddler care. It motivates me to keep going, helps me to realize that somebody cares, and shows that infant and toddler teachers are not forgotten.
— participating teacher
Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® is a wonderful incentive that encourages infant-toddler caregivers to continue working in their positions and to contribute to more meaningful relationships with the children and families they care for.
— participating teacher
The Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® supplement has certainly helped with staff retention. The extra money that my teachers are receiving sometimes makes the difference between them staying at our center or leaving the early childhood education field altogether.
— participating director
- “I’m very fortunate because I am an essential worker and I’ve been working since day one, and we are lucky that no one has gotten sick,” said Melissa (Missy) Hamrick, director of Cleveland County’s Mama Lissa’s Tiny Tot University.
- As an infant-toddler educator, Tonya struggles with critically low pay and she works an additional part-time job to survive. It is a constant and ongoing challenge, but her passion for young children drives her.
- As essential workers, it seems clear that teachers should earn fair and competitive wages, but we know that is not the case. The low pay early educators receive, and especially infant-toddler teachers, is well-documented.