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NCLCCA is hard at work at both the state and federal level with lawmakers and those who establish rules and regulations. NCLCCA has been especially busy since 2019, securing legislative and regulatory wins that have benefited licensed child care businesses in our state. You can see our current policy agenda HERE, or see a recap of some or our most important work, below...


  • Secured $100 Million+ in the State Budget to extend child care workforce compensation grants for at least six months – through June 30, 2024.
  • Secured a subsidy rate increase (to the 2021 market rate) and decoupled tuition from subsidy rates.
  • Secured up to $40 million from Medicaid expansion to “expand access to professional development, technical assistance, screening and evaluation, and services for teachers, providers, and families to enable positive behavioral supports for children” in child care settings.
  • Extended the 2021 law that paused rated-licensed (QRIS) assessments and held licensed child care providers’ star ratings harmless during the pandemic and its aftermath until at least June 30, 2024.
  • Lobbied state legislators to initiate QRIS (star-rated license) reforms that would place less weight on higher education and more weight on experience, training and professional development. We also pushed for a new QRIS that would grant the highest star ratings for certain early childhood accreditations. QRIS reform signed into law May 2023; new QRIS expected spring 2024.
  • Extended the regulatory reform that reduced the percentage of Lead Teachers who must have certain college credits or degrees to earn certain “education points” toward a star rating from 75% to 50%.  Without our win last year, this change in education requirements for a star rating would have expired on June 30, 2023, but we got it extended for three more years until at least June 30, 2026.  

2022 (Short legislative session)

  • Secured legislation that created 2 additional pathways to the NC Early Childhood Credential (minimum education requirement):
      • CDA Credential qualifies Lead Teacher as equivalent to EDU 119 (CDA from National CDA Council earns NC Early Childhood Credential) 
      • Test-out option for EDU 119 to earn NC Early Childhood Credential (online competency test)
  • During budget negotiations, secured a budget adjustment that amended the 2022-2023 school year NC Pre-K rate increase (that was approved in 2021). Instead of a 2% increase, it was raised to a 5% increase. This marked a combined 7% increase in just 2 years.
  • Increased the subsidy reimbursement rate (from 2015 “market rate” to 2018 “market rate”)
  • Secured $20 million for “Start-up & Capital Grants” for new child care programs and NC Pre-K classrooms, improvements to increase capacity or upgrade star ratings, and capital improvements or renovations.
  • Passed legislation that aligned North Carolina’s more-stringent criminal background check (CBC) statute for licensed child care with federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) background check requirements – to expedite the hiring process. 
  • Worked with DCDEE to end overly restrictive quarantine and isolation policies and align North Carolina’s COVID-19 guidelines with guidelines from the CDC. (NC changed its burdensome policy in March 2022 to mirror CDC’s quarantine recommendations)


  • Secured freeze on QRIS assessments extended until six months after governor lifts COVID-19 State of Emergency.
  • Lowered percentage of Lead Teachers who must meet certain education requirements to earn certain education points toward a Star Rating from 75% to 50% through June 30, 2023.
  • Required Agency to report specific workforce data to key legislative committee.
  • Secured a 2% NC Pre-K rate increase in the first year of the budget for school year 2021-22 and an additional 2% for school year 2022-2023. This was the first NC Pre-K rate increases for licensed private providers in nearly a decade. 
  • Stabilization Grants – Influenced how DCDEE would disseminate $805 million in ARPA stabilization funds, making sure providers had options (fixed costs grants, along with grants for employee bonuses or base pay raises or benefits) and ensured NCLCCA members served as testers for the state’s online stabilization grant application portal prior to launch.

2020 (Short legislative session)

  • Defeated H882 which would have raised minimum education requirements for child care/ECE Lead Teachers from one community college course (EDU 119/4.0 credit hours) to at least 5 community college courses. (Certificate/18 credit hours would have become minimum education requirement for all current and future employees).
Pandemic-Related - After the onset of the Pandemic in 2020, through advocacy and communication with the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) in the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the office of Governor Roy Cooper and the NC General Assembly, NCLCCA fought hard to secure:
  • Identification of 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
  • Easy-access, fast-moving “operating grants” from federal pandemic-relief funding (CARES Act and CRRSA) to help centers cover fixed costs like rent/mortgages, utilities, insurance, etc. and 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 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, along with extra funding for providers to cover payroll taxes.
  • When public schools closed, worked with the NC Child Care Commission and Administration on emergency and temporary rules to help licensed child care centers expand their capacity for school-age care and remote-learning supervision and support.
  • Secured $8 million in assistance for families using remote-learning opportunities for the care of their children. Parents would apply for the assistance and choose their remote-learning school-age care provider, including licensed child care centers.


  • Stalled H882 which would have raised minimum education requirements for child care/ECE Lead Teachers from one community college course (EDU 119/4.0 credit hours) to at least 5 community college courses. (Certificate/18 credit hours would have become minimum education requirement for all current and future employees).
For more details about our work during the pandemic - CLICK HERE.

NC Licensed Child Care Association
Email us at:
Copyright 2019

Call Us at  (919) 609-6772

PO Box 14147
Durham, NC 27709

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