Providing excellence in early childhood education since 1972
...excellence in early childhood education Established in 1972
SCDC helps you find child care available in your community
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More At Four Prekindergarted Program  
…Enabling families, practitioners and communities to recognize, support and access high quality, affordable child care

The Child Care Challenge

An ever-increasing body of research shows that
a child’s experiences in the first years of his or her life have a measurable impact on brain development and later success in school and life.
For more and more children, these early life experiences take place in the context of child care.

Did You Know...?
  • On average, young children with working mothers spend 36 hours a week in child care.1
  • In North Carolina, an estimated 64% of children under the age of six live in homes where all parents work, resulting in more than 400,000 children birth through five years old in need of some kind of child care arrangement. 2
  • There are nearly 1 million school-age children 5 to 12-years-old in North Carolina, 3 72% of whom have all parents in the workforce. 4
  • There are close to 30,000 homes and classrooms in regulated child care programs in North Carolina. 5
  • There are over 46,000 professionals working in regulated child care in North Carolina. 6
  • North Carolina ranks in the bottom third of a national ranking of state child care center standards. 7
  • Less than half of the more than 275,000 total children enrolled in regulated child care in North Carolina currently have access to the highest quality child care (4 or 5 star care). The average star-rating for children in care is 3.5 stars. 8
  • North Carolina ranks as the 8th least affordable state in the country for preschool-age child care. The average cost of center care for a preschooler consumes over a third of the median income for a single-parent family and close to 11% for a two-parent family. 9

Families need quality, affordable child care so that they can succeed as parents and as workers and children need quality settings to ensure that they have the experiences necessary for the optimal growth and development.

Simultaneously, communities need support and assistance in building the supply of quality child care available to families and increasing the level of public awareness and understanding of the importance of such care.

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies have a 30+ year history of providing services and developing innovative initiatives across North Carolina to address these needs.


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1 Overturf Johnson, Julia. (2005) Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Winter 2002. Current Population Reports, P70-101. (U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC).
2 U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey.
3 2007 population projection from LINC.
4 U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey.
5 DCD Monthly Statistical Report for December 2007.
6 DCD Monthly Statistical Report for December 2007.
7 National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (2007) We Can Do Better: NACCRRA’s Ranking of State Child Care Center Standards and Oversight. (NACCRRA, Arlington, VA).
8 DCD Monthly Statistical Report and Active Enrollment Report for December 2007.
9 National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (2007) Parents and the High Price of Child Care: 2007 Update. (NACCRRA, Arlington, VA)

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