I applaud Kit Cramer from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce for calling attention to the need for increased funding for child care subsidy rates in North Carolina [“Legislation Would Help Working Parents, Businesses and Kids,” Sept. 1, Xpress].
As she points out, supporting working families is good for business. In order for our economy to recover and grow, families desperately need a reliable, sustainable child care system. If parents cannot find care for their children, they cannot effectively work in the many businesses in our community.
While the North Carolina legislature has worked in the short term to shore up child care during the pandemic, long-term investments are needed as outlined in HB 574. An increase in the subsidy rate formula will allow more centers to continue operating and to increase pay for the child care workforce.
It is time for North Carolina to treat early childhood education and child care as essential infrastructure so that parents can participate fully in our economy.
— Rachel Shelton