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The Voice - August 20, 2015

Straight Talk Live Tour is a Wrap!

We just completed our tour and met with over 250 child care providers from all across the state!  We are grateful to each of you who participated and look forward to doing it again in the spring.  

We welcome several new center members who have joined during the Summer Tour:

  • Alice’s Playground Center
  • Catawba Ridge Child Development Center
  • Children’s Ark Creative Learning Center, Inc.
  • Davidson-Cornelius CDCEast Carolina Kiddie College
  • His Glory Child Development Center
  • Jerry-Ann School
  • Just What I Needed Child Development Center
  • Kiddie Kare of Albemarle, Inc.
  • Kountry Kids Learning Center & Preschool
  • Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Preschool

We are also delighted to have four new vendor partners:

  • Carolina Portrait Pros
  • CleanKidz USA
  • The Buying Networks
  • Van Popering Insurance
If you did not make it to one of the Straight Talk Live Summer Tour stops, please join us at our fall conference and get updated on the latest version of subsidy time and attendance, the new rated license, what’s going on with the Child Care Commission and more!  We’re going to be at the Great Wolf Lodge Conference Center on November 4 & 5.  Registration is open now!  Visit for details.

State Legislators Include NCLCCA-backed Subsidy ‘Fix’ in Second Budget Extension

Last week legislators in the NC General Assembly gave themselves another two weeks – until Aug. 31 – to reach an agreement on a state budget for the next two years.  The  second “continuing resolution” (CR) extends state spending at current levels until the end of the month.  

In addition to keeping early education programs fully funded at current levels, the budget extension allocates an additional $3.6 million from TANF emergency contingency funds for child care subsidies and excludes non-parent relative income from the definition of income unit, which has been a top NCLCCA legislative priority this session.  

Along with ensuring adequate funding for child care programs such as NC Pre-K and subsidy, other state budget priorities for NCLCCA are included in a State Budget Position Paper that we have shared with key budget negotiators in both the state House and Senate.

Top budget writers in both state House and Senate have said that they believe a budget will be ready by the end of the month.  The legislative session could continue well into September, however, if legislators try to tackle other controversial issues such as Medicaid and tax reform.

The NC General Assembly has often missed its June 30 state budget deadline in the past.  This year, however, the budget is coming later than it has in 13 years and, with only one exception, is the latest budget to be passed since 1961.

Governor Reappoints Four to Child Care Commission

Gov. Pat McCrory announced in late July that he had reappointed four members for which he has appointment authority to the NC Child Care Commission, as follows:  
  • Dr. Johnathan Brownlee (Cleveland County) - Dr. Brownlee is the Chairman and Medical Director of Safe Kids Cleveland County. He previously served as the Chairman of Pediatrics Department at Cleveland Regional Medical Center.
  • John Z. (Zac) Everhart (Craven County) -  Everhart is the owner of Excel Learning Centers, a child care provider that has several locations around the eastern NC region.
  • Laurie Morin (Henderson County) - Morin is the owner of a child care center in Flat Rock, NC with level 2 early childhood credentials. She is the President of the Family Child Care providers support group called CHAOS for the past three years.
  • Linda K. Vandevender (Cumberland County) -  Vandevender is the Director of Education for Trinity Christian Child Care and Elementary School in Fayetteville. She has been with the program since August 1990. Additionally, she serves as a board member of the Cumberland County Partnership for Children.

The commission adopts rules for licensing of child care facilities and registering childcare homes.  It sets standards in child care centers and defines the duties of the abuse/neglect unit.  The commission has 15 members, each serving a two-year term.  The governor appoints seven members and the NC General Assembly appoints 10 – five each from the House and Senate.

New Director for DHHS – Still No Word on New DCDEE Director

Aldona Vos, former secretary of the state Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS), stepped down from her role on Aug. 14, and Rick Brajer, a former medical business/biotech executive from Raleigh, was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to replace her.  Vos said it was simply time for her to return to her family after working away from them for several years.  Secretary Brajer took over the department on Aug. 17.  

Meanwhile, there is still no official word from DHHS or the Office of the Governor as to who will head the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) after Rob Kindsvatter moved to the Medicaid division at the department.  

Tammy Barnes (Regulatory Section Chief) is serving as Interim Director, working with two other section chiefs, Janice Fain and Jennifer Johnson.

Finally, New Rated License Measure under development has a Name

During the August 10th meeting of the NC Child Care Commission, Jennifer Johnson gave a presentation about the Race to the Top grant activity around validation of a potential new rated license.  She shared that the tool, being developed by a consortium of states, has been named EQuIPS, Early Childhood Quality Improvement Pathway System.

The tool is being piloted in Delaware with family child care homes only and in Illinois with pre-K only. NC is piloting with approximately 175 centers and 75 family child care homes.  

This study is being led by researchers from UNC-Greensboro, the University of Kentucky and the University of Delaware.  It includes three kinds of data collection:  document review, interview and observation.   A copy of the handout is available here.

Additional Child Care Commission Meeting Dates

The Child Care Commission voted to add two more meetings this fall for the purpose of rules review.  They were also guided to share their ideas or suggestions with the Commission Chair prior to each meeting.  There seems to be an interest in readopting some of the rules all along, as opposed to waiting for all 172 rules to be reviewed and readopted at one time.

We have set up a portal on our website that allows you to give input on rules you would like to see changed.  Click here and scroll down to the bottom to submit input, or you may click on one of the rules that we have already received input on and see what others have said.  As a definite timeline for readoption of rules is made more clear we will resume our Child Care Rules! campaign and work to solicit input on specific issues.

Upcoming dates are as follows and can also be found on the NCLCCA website under Events.  Each event can be downloaded into your calendar from our website by clicking on the calendar icon to the right of the meeting name in blue.


September 18, 2015
October 19, 2015
November 9, 2015
February 8, 2016
May 16, 2016

  Rules meeting
Rules meeting
Regular quarterly meeting
Regular quarterly meeting
Regular quarterly meeting


Monday, August 10, 2015Thank you for your ongoing support of NCLCCA and for the work you do every single day for NC children and families. 

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