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
Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$
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
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.
“Both WAGE$ and AWARD$ Plus 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$. We all need a chance to succeed.”
“Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$® 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.”
“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.