Childcare is the backbone of our economy. Childcare supports all other industries by providing quality, safe, and dependable care for their children while their employees work.
I am the director of a childcare center in Cabarrus County. My center has been in operation, in some capacity, for 50 years. This crisis is making it difficult to remain in operation in a community we have served for so long. Childcare is essential to this community and we need funding to continue to support this community.
Parents pay a lot for childcare – usually more than their rent or mortgage. Many of them don’t realize that what they pay doesn’t go far enough to actually run a center. The average wage for childcare workers in North Carolina is just $10.50 an hour – and often with no benefits.
Like many childcare directors, we are caring for the children of front-line workers, and many of my teachers with no health insurance. Getting sick with COVID-19, or any other serious illness, could be financially devastating my employees and their families. I appreciate Representative Baker and Representative Sasser for voting to support childcare in the COVID-19 relief package, but so much more still needs to be done. I hope that North Carolina’s legislators are taking a lesson from this crisis. Childcare is essential and needs to be funded that way.