Children’s development and learning in the first few years lay the foundation for all of the years that follow. Children who attend high-quality early education programs are better prepared for success in school—academically, socially and emotionally. But children in our state are missing out on critical early care and learning experiences, since few working families can afford the high cost of quality child care. Child care subsidy assistance helps low-income families pay for child care so that they can work or attend school while providing their children with access to high-quality early education during a critical time in their development.
When families do not have the child care they need, parents’ work productivity falls, resulting in costs to parents, their employers, and, ultimately, taxpayers. The costs of insufficient childcare are immense. Research shows that the lack of reliable child care for working parents of young children could come to $1.7 billion in annual costs for North Carolina.
Key Things to Know:
- There are 30,000 young children age 0-5 on the child care subsidy wait list. More than half of these children are infants and toddlers.
- The average annual cost of infant child care is $9,255, which is more than the cost of a year of public college tuition.
- A low-income parent who can’t access child care subsidy assistance will spend more than 1/3 of their total yearly income on child care.
- Only 22% of eligible children age 0-5 received child care subsidy assistance, and only 17% of eligible infants and toddlers received child care subsidy assistance. All 100 counties serve less than 1/3 of the eligible children in their communities.