FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–June 1, 2018
Contact: Rob Thompson, 919-649-2449, firstname.lastname@example.org
Child Advocates United in Opposition to Redirection of Early Education Funding 40+ organizations sign letter to legislators
RALEIGH, NC–More than 40 state and local child-serving agencies sent a letter to legislators this morning urging them not to use $50 million in new federal early education funding for other purposes.
Earlier this year, Congress passed bipartisan legislation signed by President Trump that provided states with the largest increase in history to help more working families afford high quality child care. Of the approximately $74 million in new annual funding that North Carolina is projected to receive, the proposed state budget uses $50 million for other purposes.
The letter says that “this year’s state budget misses a historic opportunity to expand access to desperately needed high-quality child care,” and cites the impact on working families and businesses. The signatories call on legislative leadership to revisit this decision and to use expanded federal funding for child care for its intended purpose.
The full text of the letter is pasted below along with a list of signers.
Dear Rep. / Sen. ,
High-quality early education provides children with the strong start they need to enter Kindergarten ready to learn, read at grade-level by the end of third grade, and graduate high school. Furthermore, working families need access to affordable child care to ensure they have the ability to work and provide for their families.
Unfortunately, this year’s state budget misses a historic opportunity to expand access to desperately needed high-quality child care. Instead of fully investing over $70 million of new federal dollars to strengthen and expand early learning opportunities, the state budget uses $50 million for other purposes.
Earlier this year, Congress passed bipartisan legislation signed by President Donald Trump that provided states with the largest increase in history to help more working families afford high quality child care. Of the approximately $74 million in new annual funding that North Carolina is projected to receive, the proposed budget uses $50 million for other purposes. The remaining funds are used to provide access to child care and increase reimbursement rates for child care providers.
Additionally, and as a result of the $50 million funding swap, NC Pre-K is slated to lose $50 million in state funding that will be replaced with $50 million in federal funding. By making NC Pre-K more reliant on federal funding, legislators have weakened the financial stability of the program. State lawmakers have no control over federal funding decisions, which means the fate of NC Pre-K funding will largely be determined by future Congresses.
Children and Working Families: As of April 2018, 50,742 children were on a waiting list for child care assistance. New federal funding could have provided over 9,000 of these children with access to high-quality child care. Instead, only 3,700 additional children will gain access to child care under the budget proposal.
Businesses: Bridging the skills gap in our future workforce requires increased investment in our youngest children and their early learning. Removing $50 million in state funding from the NC Pre-K program runs counter to this goal.
Voters: Bipartisan polling shows overwhelming majorities of NC voters from both parties want state policymakers to do more to make early childhood education care more affordable for working families–78% of Republicans, 93% of Independents, 97% of Democrats.
The undersigned organizations and individuals call on you to revisit this decision and to use expanded federal funding for child care for its intended purpose of strengthening and expanding access to child care in North Carolina. To do otherwise is selling our children and our state short.
Advocates for Medically Fragile Children
Alexander Youth Network
Blue Ridge Partnership for Children (serving Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey)
Buncombe County Partnership for Children
Central Piedmont Community Action, Inc.
Children’s Alliance of Mecklenburg County
Children and Youth Partnership of Dare County
Children First / Communities in Schools of Buncombe County
Children’s Home Society
Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
Council for Children’s Rights
Down East Partnership for Children
Executive Kidz LLC
Mary Frances Wall Center (Cabarrus County Schools)
Mecklenburg Partnership for Children
Mission Health Partners
Montgomery County Partnership for Children
North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children
North Carolina Community Action Association
North Carolina Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
North Carolina Council of Churches
North Carolina Infant Mental Health Coalition
North Carolina Justice Center
North Carolina Pediatric Society
Partners in Learning
Partnership for Children of Cumberland County
Prevent Child Abuse NC
Providence Preparatory School
Roanoke Island Presbyterian Daycare
Robeson County Partnership for Children
Rockingham County Partnership for Children
Shepherd’s Way Day School
Smart Start of Transylvania County
Stokes County Partnership for Children
Toxic Free NC
Verner Center for Early Learning
Wake County Partnership for Children
Western Carolina Community Action
YWCA of Asheville