The Child Care WAGE$® Program is an evidence-informed, outcome-driven initiative designed to increase the education and retention of the early care and education workforce through increased compensation. Education-based salary supplements tied to the successful completion of commitment periods in the same child care program result in a more stable, better-educated workforce.

Download WAGE$ Reports

Participants, coworkers, employers, children, families and the community at large all benefit when teachers are more fairly compensated and children have a better chance to succeed in school and in life. Thanks to funding from participating local Smart Start partnerships and the Division of Child Development and Early Education, WAGE$ is making a difference across the state. Please see below for Child Care WAGE$® Program results.




  • The WAGE$ Program is a huge help financially. It alleviates stress that I didn’t realize was snowballing into my classroom… I think there are many people out there who would agree that teachers are underpaid. It is helpful to feel appreciated and have the decreased financial burden.

    participating teacher

  • The Child Care WAGE$® Program is important because child care staff are underpaid. It allows quality teachers to be able to add resources to their classroom, continue education and meet the needs of their households. Sometimes our paychecks just go towards our bills, and we also spend quite a bit on things our students or classrooms need. The WAGE$ Program helps us replace some of that money so we can survive. Thank you so much!

    participating teacher

  • This program has given me the confidence to fulfill my educational requirements and is something that was simply not feasible before, considering my lack of financial resources. I am sure others are very appreciative of this program. The children in my care are also seeing the benefits of this program as I am applying what I am learning directly to the center.

    participating director

Video Testimonials

For WAGE$ videos made available through the North Carolina Early Education Coalition, please see the NC Needs Child Care WAGE$ playlist.

Shartarka Carmon

After receiving WAGE$ for many years, Shartarka Carmon was such a strong advocate for the program that she was invited to join and share her knowledge and experience with our Advisory Committee. In this video she talks about how WAGE$ helped her achieve her degrees! She now helps other teachers access the program.

Have questions? We can help!


Call a WAGE$ counselor at 919-967-3272. We are available by phone Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. When calling please reference WAGE$. If you are a current participant please also mention the county in which you work. You can also send us a message online.