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2020 has hit us all like a ton of bricks. Nothing we've planned for truly prepared us for the chaos, upheaval, sadness and confusion we've faced - as owners, directors or employees, not to mention as parents, guardians or children.  Almost daily changes with rules, regulations, safety and sanitation recommendations. Uncertainty on reimbursements for subsidy and NC Pre-K students. Fluctuating enrollment and vanishing attendance. Virus outbreaks.  Teacher shortages. And higher costs to meet different needs.

This is why you need NCLCCA on your side, working for you.

Since early March, we've worked hard to serve as a source of reliable, timely information for licensed child care providers throughout the state and a conduit for valuable, real-time information from the front lines to North Carolina’s top decision-makers. Through nearly constant advocacy and communication with DCDEE, DHHS, the Governor's office and the NC General Assembly, NCLCCA has fought hard to get:

  • Nearly $175 million in child care funding – for easy-access “operational grants” to help centers cover fixed costs like rent/mortgages, utilities, insurance, etc. and also for increased personnel, cleaning and sanitation costs.
  • Early continuation of subsidy and NC Pre-K reimbursements at pre-pandemic enrollment levels instead of actual attendance.
  • Breaks from unnecessary consultant/monitoring visits and instead support, assistance and information from consultants about preventing coronavirus spread.
  • Regulatory flexibility centers needed to adapt operations to unprecedented circumstances.
  • PPE to keep employees and children safe and healthy.
  • Teacher/staff bonuses during State of Emergency.

And while we've made it this far, the future is uncertain. As an association, we depend upon member support to finance our most important job... advocating and lobbying for policies and legislation that help our members. Like for many licensed centers, COVID-19 has made doing our job much harder -- even though we're needed more than ever.

Help support our additional legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts by becoming a member of our Advocacy Council today... just check out the advocacy results below to see why it matters.

Show your support for NCLCCA NOW!

What We are Still Fighting For

In this year’s COVID-19 environment NCLCCA has focused its advocacy work to support licensed child care providers throughout the state, help you remain open (or reopen), and work with DCDEE, DHHS, the Governor’s Office and the NC General Assembly on funding and policies that help you stay in business, prioritize health and safety, and serve families in your communities who count on you. While there’s more left to do as the pandemic drags on, there are also a host of challenges and priorities unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic that existed before and persist today. And NCLCCA is the only statewide advocacy organization in North Carolina working on these issues on behalf of licensed child care businesses:

Child Care Funding: Prevent cuts and preserve state funding for child care programs in the face of a pandemic-related $4 billion State Budget revenue shortfall.

COVID-19 Costs: Secure additional funding to help all licensed child care providers afford increased costs from the pandemic and new emergency operating guidelines, including increased personnel costs, cleaning and sanitation costs and lost revenue due to forced closure of classrooms or centers by local and/or state public health officials.

CBCs: Continue to search and push for ways to reduce criminal background check (CBC) delays to help licensed centers hire teachers and staff they need to keep classrooms open and serve families who need care, including increasing timely access to fingerprinting services.

School-Age Care: Work with DCDEE, the Governor’s Office and the NC General Assembly on policies surrounding care for school-age children. Given the overwhelming need, licensed providers are positioned to assist but need policies that are manageable and equitable.

Reimbursement Rates: Work to increase reimbursement rates for Subsidized Child Care and NC Pre-K to cover the costs of program requirements, encourage high-quality centers to participate, and help licensed centers recruit and retain teachers and staff.

Teacher Shortage: Work with DCDEE, the Child Care Commission, the Community College System, the NC General Assembly and others to address the severe shortage of early childhood teachers and staff – both near term (during the pandemic) and longer-term. Licensed child care providers don’t need mandates – they need funding and flexibility, pipeline development, recruitment support, and accessible, affordable career pathways that support and empower all individuals who want to work with young children.

Star-Rating Assessments: Push for ongoing suspension of Star-Rating Assessments during the coronavirus pandemic and related State of Emergency to reduce the risk of COVID-19 cases and virus spread in centers, prevent high-quality centers from being penalized when teachers and staff with “education points” are limited or unavailable, and preserve licensed programs available to serve families eligible for NC Pre-K and Subsidized Child Care.

Support Licensed Child Care Advocacy Goals Today

Successes - What We've Done for You Lately!

 Subsidy and NC Pre-K – Through outreach to DCDEE and DHHS, we successfully urged the state to:

      • Continue subsidy payments and NC Pre-K reimbursements for ALL centers – regardless of whether they are open or closed
      • Base reimbursements on previous enrollment, not attendance
      • Continue to reimburse centers in the event of a statewide, mandatory closing
      • Continue subsidy and NC Pre-K reimbursements for March, April & May

 Inspections and Ratio Requirements - Through our letter to DCDEE and DHHS, we were successful in helping to:

      • Instruct DCDEE consultants and encourage county health consultants to suspend routine inspections and instead focus visits to licensed child care centers on technical assistance aimed at coronavirus prevention
      • Relax group-size and staff-child ratio regulations to address higher absenteeism rates among staff

 Licensed Child Care Centers are "Essential Businesses" - In our letter to Governor Cooper:

      • Requested Governor Cooper identify licensed child care centers as “essential businesses” in the event of a “Stay at Home” order. The Governor designated licensed child care providers as "Essential" in his March 27 Executive order #121

 Teacher Staff Bonus Flexibility and Payroll Taxes:

      • Worked with DCDEE to allow providers to pay teacher/staff bonuses AFTER receiving state funding 
      • Helped secure funds to cover centers’ extra payroll taxes

 2020 Legislative Short Session Agenda - Called on the NC General Assembly to provide:

  • Funding for easy-access grants for ALL centers for operational costs
  • Funding for increased costs under new emergency operating guidelines
  • Reserve fund for centers for cleaning/sanitation costs and lost revenue due to COVID-19 outbreaks or clusters that lead to closed classrooms or facilities
  • Subsidy and NC Pre-K reimbursements based on pre-pandemic enrollment/slots instead of attendance
  • Funding to continue teacher/staff bonuses and payroll taxes
  • Prevent child care program cuts
 General Assembly Successes - Through our lobbying and advocacy at the Legislature:
  • During July session, secured an additional $20 million in DCDEE funding to assist child care providers during the pandemic
  • During September session, secured and additional $35 million in operational grants for child care providers

 Federal Relief & Advocacy - Launched CARES Act Advocacy Campaign:

      • Generated 1,600+ messages to NC congressional delegation
      • $2.2 TRILLION CARES Act passed 3/27, including $118 Million for child care in NC

 $118 Million in Federal Child Care Funding -  Worked with DCDEE and DHHS leadership on a plan to:

      • Use NC’s $118 million share of CARES Act funding for operational grants to cover costs, bonuses and more
      • Quickly distribute funds to providers

 DCDEE Relations and Outreach - Routine email, phone and written communication to support other member-driven issues, including:

  • Outreach urging DCDEE  policy changes and collaborative decision-making given public schools' varied reopening plans around the state, including changing school-age care reimbursements from a “blended rate,” which significantly underpays providers, to a rate that fairly compensates them for day-long care state
  • Communication with DCDEE on behalf of a number of providers to determine causes for reduced subsidy payments
  • Outreach to DCDEE about Subsidy reimbursements, criminal background check delays, Star-rating assessments and communication from their consultants

NC Licensed Child Care Association
Email us at: Director@NCLCCA.org
Copyright 2019

Call Us at  (919) 609-6772

Address:
PO Box 14147
Durham, NC 27709

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