Child Care WAGE$ North Carolina


  • Bonuses and Supplemental Pay
  • Professional Learning

North Carolina

Child Care WAGE$ North Carolina provides supplemental pay to early childhood educators based on their education level and commitment to their early education program. WAGE$ is designed to retain early childhood educators and support their professional development; in turn, this creates a more stable workforce with the skills needed to support young children’s healthy learning and development. Bonuses range from $450 to $6,250 per educator per year, with an average payment of $2,406. Amounts increase as educators obtain more formal education, and educators must remain in their early education program for at least six months to qualify for an award. In FY22, Child Care WAGE$ North Carolina provided supplements to 4,018 early educators; turnover among recipients was 14%, which is lower than the estimated 26-40% turnover rate among educators in licensed child care programs nationwide.

This program is part of the national Child Care WAGE$ project and is available in many counties across the state.

Child Care Services Association. (n.d.). Child Care WAGE$®

Child Care Services Association. (n.d.). Child Care WAGE$ Results.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning, compensation, and workplace conditions.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about North Carolina

Context matters. Visit the North Carolina profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the North Carolina Profile Here
  • The state population is 10,698,973
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 66%
  • The rural percentage is 33.3%