Do you want to make a difference for Person County’s youngest children and their families? Dive in to the topics below to learn more about early childhood initiatives and find ways that you can help.
North Carolina is facing a workforce crisis. The essential early educators who care for young children and support working families are underpaid and undervalued for their important work. Child care teachers earn just $12/hour ($10 in Person County), 1 in 5 have no health insurance during a pandemic, and nearly 40% receive public assistance. Professional compensation and benefits are urgently needed to support teachers, stabilize child care programs, and improve access to high-quality early learning opportunities for young children in all 100 counties.
The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear to everyone that child care is essential – for young children, working families, and our state’s economy. Early educators are the workforce behind the workforce, and they have been on the frontlines of this crisis from day one. Despite their essential role, child care teachers remain woefully underpaid and undervalued for the critically important work they do.
North Carolina’s economic recovery and future prosperity depend on a strong early childhood workforce and child care system. But the early childhood workforce crisis existed long before the pandemic, and we cannot continue to build our early education system on the backs of child care teachers working for unlivable wages.
It’s long past time for early educators to earn the professional compensation and benefits they deserve, which will help attract and retain a high-quality workforce. We must make sure policymakers recognize the value of the early childhood workforce – before, during, and after COVID-19.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in North Carolina, but advocacy is a MUST 365 days per year. At Person County Partnership for children, we are adamant that YOU can help. Community matters, connections matter, and YOU can be the connection.