Pathways Recommendation

Expand access to Early Head Start and other infant and toddler early care and education programs, targeting geographic areas of highest need.

Pathways Action Map > Expectation 3: Education Action 3.1: Increase Access to Infant and Toddler Care

Why This Matters

Access to child care for children birth to three-years-old is challenging for many North Carolina families who need to return to work or seek care for other reasons. Ninety-nine of 100 NC counties currently qualify as child care deserts, with more than three infants and toddlers for every available slot.1 Rural counties have even greater shortages.2 Access to quality care supports children’s development during these critical years and opportunities for early developmental screening and intervention.3

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