Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$

AWARD$ Plus
Savion Thorne

A Goal to Thrive

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.

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AWARD$ Plus
Logan Jackson

Appreciating AWARD$ Plus: A Ray of Sunshine

Wake County infant-toddler teacher Yvonne Blair-Burnette came to early childhood with a wealth of education and experience. With a Master’s Degree in Social Work and multiple early childhood semester hours, she worked for years in early childhood mental health. She visited various centers to help young children with developmental delays

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AWARD$ Plus
Savion Thorne

Appreciating AWARD$ Plus: Painting a Masterpiece

Union County toddler teacher LaTonya Pegues got her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education in her 40s, and she is proud that she went back to school and stuck with it. She said, “It was hard, but I did it! I have a son and two grandchildren. I’m a teacher

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A young girl walks on a bridge
CCSA
Savion Thorne

Black History Month and Early Childhood Educators

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.

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Headshot of a woman
AWARD$ Plus
Savion Thorne

“I Do Make A Difference:” Appreciating AWARD$ Plus with Angie Amaro

“Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® Plus 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.”

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