Letter: Legislation would help working parents, businesses and kids

Graphic by Lori Deaton

As a working mother, the greatest stress I faced — before having a teenager, that is — was when my child care fell apart. Research has shown that what happens in a child’s brain in the first 2,000 days of life has implications for their development for the rest of their lives, so every day of care counts.

In the conversations I’m having with businesspeople all over Western North Carolina, child care is mentioned as one of the reasons people haven’t returned to work. The data supports how many women dropped out of the workforce in the last year to be caregivers. Never have teachers and child care workers been more admired by parents than in 2020.

But admiration isn’t enough. Creating a sustainable child care system for our state is what is needed. We have fought the good fight for funding our renowned public universities, our critical community colleges and our equally important K-12 system. We’ve even made strides in expansion of prekindergarten programs.

But we haven’t tackled the flawed system of how we subsidize child care in our state or the ongoing investment needed to support the correction of that flaw.

HB 574 is a piece of legislation that would allow us to begin treating child care as essential infrastructure. It increases the rates and creates a new statewide floor to help families in every county access quality child care close to home, while supporting local businesses.

Parents rely on child care every day to make working possible. Business owners rely on child care to make hiring and retaining high-quality employees possible. Our state’s elected officials should invest in the sustainability of North Carolina’s child care system — if not, we put our state’s economic recovery at stake. Contact your legislator to register your support by using NC Child’s form: [avl.mx/abs].

— Kit Cramer
President and CEO
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Letter: Legislation would help working parents, businesses and kids

  1. houten tafel

    Despite our own financial strain, we’ve continued to pay the nanny who used to help shuttle the kids around while we worked, even though she hasn’t worked for us since March. Even if we asked for her help in home schooling our children this fall, who would do so for her school-age children? When will my husband be able to look for work? How can he go back to work if there’s no one to watch the kids?

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.