Centers flooding state leaders with calls pushing for child care funding

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Pandemic funding made available to child care facilities ends on June 30.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Child care workers across the state are literally calling on state leaders to invest in the child care industry, making 160 phone calls a day to NC State Senator Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore.

Centers only have a few more weeks before money made available during the pandemic comes to an end and many are asking “Where’s the money,” worried the industry will collapse if the funding is not made available.

Workers in the child care industry say not having daycare funding could hurt the economy as a whole. 

Pathway Preschool Center Director Emma Biggs told WCNC Charlotte’s Jesse Pierre that having a stable child care industry is essential for families. It allows parents to go work, which essentially benefits the economy altogether. They are giving state leaders a ring with a big ask – $300 million to stabilize the industry.

For 10-year-old Parker Brennessel and 9-year-old Destiny Watson, every call matters. They are part of an organized phone blitz making their voices heard on the importance of having child care and sharing why it is important to them.

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“We say that we need funds for child care now,” Watson said. “My parents know that I can come to a place that keeps me safe and healthy and they don’t have to worry about me.”

“The teachers are really nice and I can make new friends with new kids and the food is really good,” Brennessel added.

Over the entire phone blitz, there is a total of 1600 calls scheduled to state leaders from child care facilities across the state.

“We don’t believe that they are listening to us,” Biggs said.

RELATED: Child care system hanging on the ledge as end of pandemic funding looms

In just a few weeks, COVID money that helped many facilities keep their doors open, pay higher salaries and get equipment will run out. That money will not replenished, leaving centers like Pathway in a tight spot.

“There are only two options left: Go up on tuition, which we are doing July 1, or take our teachers back end pay, and we can’t do that,” Biggs said.

So, employees at child care centers are getting on the phone.

“If the deadline passes without action the massive impact, on our economy will far outweigh the cost of the investment,” said Biggs on a call.

Because time is of the essence.

“It kept our doors open. We’re essential and we are still essential,” Biggs said.

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The funding will expire on June 30. WCNC Charlotte reached out to Sen. Berger and Speaker Moore’s offices and has not heard back yet.

Contact Jesse Pierre at or follow her on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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