FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tracy Zimmerman
Date: September 22, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-821-9546
Statewide report with new county information released today
RALEIGH, NC— Child care in North Carolina generates $1.7 billion in revenue annually and accounts for at least 49,600 jobs—more than real estate, nursing facilities, and chemical manufacturing—according to a study released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc (NCPC). The report and new information about the economic impact of the child care industry in each county is available today on www.smartstart.org. The report finds that the early care and education industry is a significant economic driver, generating income tax through direct employment as well as by allowing 380,000 North Carolina parents with young children to work, earning $12.5 billion annually in revenue.
Today, 445,000 North Carolina children birth through five live in homes where all parents work. That is 59 percent of the state’s youngest children who rely on child care providers or other caregivers during a time of critical brain development. Science shows that before the age of three, the human brain develops faster than any other time in life. A recent study by Duke University found that young children in communities that had more funding for the Smart Start and More at Four early education initiatives, performed better on third grade reading and math tests and had fewer special education placements.
“Businesses rely on employees, and employees rely on quality child care,” said Dr. Olson Huff, M.D., Board Chair of NCPC. “Early education benefits employers now and our entire society in the long-term. We should be investing in, not cutting, programs that strengthen our early care and education system.”
During the past legislative session, Smart Start and NC Pre-K (formerly More at Four) each received 20 percent cuts to funding, resulting in fewer services for children, including fewer slots in preschool programs.
The earliest years of childhood are critical. Experiences during this time literally shape the structure of the brain. Because today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, parents and workers, everyone has a stake in making sure all children have the experiences they need to thrive. Smart Start is the system that brings together all the people involved in a young child’s life—families, teachers, doctors, caregivers, social workers, and many others—to ensure every child has all they need for healthy growth and development. For more information, visit www.smartstart.org.