The presentation, available on the Board of Commissioners agenda prior to the Sept. 6 meeting, focuses on the nearly $3.75 million awarded from the county’s early childhood education fund in fiscal year 2021-2022. Across 21 funded projects, according to the presentation, 71% of goals were met, with most shortfalls coming in enrollment, attendance and staffing targets.
Buncombe County would become the first local government in Western North Carolina to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance. Orange County and several municipalities have approved similar language after a statewide ban on such ordinances expired Dec. 1.
The county is now more than halfway through year one of a $3.6 million annual commitment for its Early Childhood Education and Development Fund. Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, who chairs the committee that oversees the fund, says the initial investment is already paying dividends.
While more than 1,500 Buncombe children received care through state-funded vouchers that reduce the costs for working parents, hundreds remain on the waiting list for assistance.