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 important because it helps to boost my morale as an overwhelmed teacher. It means that I am seen as a valuable asset to the community, family and child.

    participating teacher

  • 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

  • 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.