In celebration of Black History Month, it is essential to lift up the important work every day of the early childhood workforce, a majority of which in North Carolina are individuals of color. In fact, in North Carolina, nearly three-quarters (73%) of family child care providers are individuals of color. And, to be fully transparent, about 99% of the early education workforce are women.
Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$
“Both WAGE$ and AWARD$ are helping to alleviate the financial burden that we have faced, and I would like to see WAGE$ funded in every county because Guilford doesn’t have access to WAGE$. We all need a chance to succeed.”
“Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® 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.”
“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 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.