Child care and workplace policies that can ensure that working parents and their children can thrive
Recently, we released the third of the five-part Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Policy and Practice Action Toolkit to provide guidance for how policymakers, advocates, community non-profits, the business community, and other stakeholders can support the wellbeing of all NC children.
Eight years ago a broad tent of stakeholders from across North Carolina started meeting and developed NC’s Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways). Pathways stakeholders identified 44 Pathways Actions that provide evidence-based guidance for how policymakers, advocates, community non-profits, the business community, and other stakeholders can support the wellbeing of all NC children. It is these actions that we now advance through this five-part Pathways to Grade Level Reading Policy & Practice Actions Toolkit. Each part of the toolkit will provide evidence-informed guidance and recommended practices and also highlight organizations and initiatives across the state that are already taking action to move the needle.
Take a closer look at each of the 2-page action briefs included in Part 3 of the toolkit. Each brief highlights an action that can foster an early child ecology that enables parents to be productive members of the workforce while also meeting their children’s developmental needs.
ACTION: Create Family-Friendly Employee Policies. For children and families, the benefits of family-friendly workplaces are numerous and long-lasting. They include positive impacts on health, development and well-being, financial stability, and future career success. Create family-friendly employment policies and ensure that low-wage, part-time, and seasonal or occasional workers have access to these policies. Examples may include paid sick leave, parental leave, or reliable work schedules. Read this action brief >>>
ACTION: Ensure Accessible Transportation to Early Care Programs, Schools and Health Services. Lack of access to reliable transportation is a significant barrier for many children and families and negatively impacts their ability to engage in early childhood services and learning opportunities, particularly for families who are homeless or living with low income. Ensure affordable, accessible, dependable transportation to early care and education programs, schools and health services, especially in rural communities. Read this action brief >>>
ACTION: Provide Wraparound Services for High Quality Early Care and Education. Wraparound services are child and family supports that are integrated with early care and education settings. They help to address social and non-academic barriers to student learning. They are particularly helpful for families from overburdened and under-resourced communities. Ensure children of color, children from low-income families, and children with disabilities can benefit from early care and education programs by providing wraparound services such as transportation to and from school, before- and after-school care, summer care, and meals. Read this action brief >>>
ACTION: Expand Child Care Subsidies for Children; Raise Child Care Subsidy Rates; and Provide Higher Subsidy Rates to Providers in Underserved Communities. High quality child care is important for all and every working parent needs to feel comfortable that they are leaving their child in the care of a highly competent and trusting provider. Currently, too many families who need child care are unable to afford it and only a small percentage of those eligible for a subsidy actually receive it. Increase child care affordability for more North Carolina families by expanding subsidies and raising subsidy rates; target the needs of low-income families by providing higher subsidy rates to public and private providers in high poverty, underserved, and rural communities. Read this action brief >>>
ACTION: Increase Standards and Compensation of Birth-through-Age-Five Educators. In North Carolina, early educators with a bachelor’s degree are paid nearly 30% less on average than their colleagues in the K-8 system. Many early educators also do not receive benefits. Increase education standards and develop a sustainable plan (including wage incentives and loan forgiveness) to align birth-through-age-five educator compensation with that of K-12 educators. Research shows that increasing compensation and standards of birth-through-age five educators improves the quality of care children receive. Read this action brief >>>
Keep in Touch with NCECF and Support Our Work
Learn more about the Pathways Action Map and consider adding your work to the map! Share it with others in your network and community, whose work you think should be spotlighted. We want to utilize the Map as a resource to build awareness of innovation, make connections, and identify gaps and opportunities that can help guide policy making, advocacy, funding, and capacity building.
If you have any questions, or would like a guided tour of the Pathways Action Map, please contact us. We’d love to hear your ideas on how to continue to utilize this tool to support the success of all North Carolina children.
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The NC Early Childhood Foundation is driven by a bold – and achievable – vision: Each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for life-long health, education, and well-being, supported by a comprehensive and equitable care and education system, from prenatal through third grade. We build understanding, lead collaboration, and advance policies to ensure each North Carolina child is on track for lifelong success by the end of third grade.