I am pleased to let you know that the Senate version of Smart Start’s appropriations bill has now been introduced. Senate Bill 464, Smart Start Funds, was introduced by Senators Joyce Krawiec, Ralph Hise, and Jim Burgin.
House Bill 262, titled Smart Start was introduced on March 10 in the NC House. This bill would help DEPC meet the needs of more Nash and Edgecombe county children and families. This bill recognizes that families have had their lives upended by the pandemic, posing long-term risks to young children’s development and learning. It provides additional state appropriations to DEPC and the statewide Smart Start network to help parents afford child care, improve young children’s health, strengthen family support and build early literacy.
Please urge your elected representative to support funding for our community’s youngest learners and the people who care for them. Our child care providers face unstable financial positions because of COVID-19, threatening parents’ access to affordable, high-quality care. While many child care centers and family child care homes remained open this past year, enrollment levels are still down. This funding would help child care providers continue to meet the needs of families as they return to work. If you or someone you know needs care for children, please have them call our Family First Line, 252-985-4300, ext. 220 to talk about the best options for your/their needs.