ECE Policy Updates

September 27, 2023

North Carolina Legislative Update

Recently, North Carolina passed a law including the CDA® in its star rating system as part of a broader effort to modernize the state’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). Starting October 1, 2023, the Infant-Toddler CDA and Preschool CDA will count toward filling the requirements for a star-rated license. The passage of this law is a major step in improving the quality of child care in North Carolina, but there is still more work in store to finalize this change. The Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education, has until March 31, 2024, to develop and implement criteria that will determine the details for how this new policy will impact programs. Advocates and lawmakers hope that the new law will help to ease recruitment efforts for child care workers in North Carolina amid the staffing shortages that affect the industry nationwide.


Back to School—Funding Cliff

On September 30, 2023, $24 billion in pandemic-era relief funding for child care is set to expire. The funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), supplied critical support to the early care and education field, including much-needed investments for professional development that helped cover the costs of earning a Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™. The looming funding shortage has already led several lawmakers to act. In mid-September, Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Patty Murray (D-WA), along with Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced the Child Care Stabilization Act, which would provide $16 billion a year for five years to the early care and education field. The future of the act is unclear since Congress has spent most of this year in tough budget negotiations that have created a logjam on spending. Meanwhile, the early learning field is in desperate need of funding. So, we at the Council have joined our partners in urging Congress to act now! Want to join the campaign for our profession? Find your state senator here and urge them to support this vital legislation.


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