In a press call this afternoon, NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson, State Senator Sarah Crawford, State Representative Ashton Clemmons, State Representative Julie von Haefen, a North Carolina parent, and a child care center owner discussed the need for President Biden’s American Families Plan in North Carolina.
NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson: “Right now, too many Americans are struggling to meet basic needs and cover basic expenses. An economy that fails so many of us is not only unfair, it’s unsustainable. The American Families Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment in the foundations of middle-class prosperity.”
State Senator Sarah Crawford: “The pandemic has resulted in lost wages and a decline in economic activity, but the American Families Plan works to provide economic security to families through two major investments — a national and comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, and tax cuts for families and workers…After the year we have all been through, it’s clear that it’s time to rebuild the backbone of this country — the middle class.This plan would be a game changer for the pocketbooks of North Carolina families, and I strongly urge its passage.”
State Representative Ashton Clemmons: “As a lifelong educator, administrator, and mom, I am frankly in awe of the types of investments laid out in this plan to make education more affordable and expand opportunity from preschool to higher education. Pre-school is critical to ensuring that children start kindergarten with the skills and support that sets them up for success in school, but right now, only 24 percent of the 248,600 3- and 4-year-olds in North Carolina are enrolled in publicly-funded pre-school. The American Families Plan will provide universal access to high-quality, free Pre-K for 3- and 4- year-olds, which is a huge step in ensuring children have a strong start in the fundamental first years of their life.”
State Representative Julie von Haefen: “When COVID-19 forced child care centers to shut down, the work of caring for and educating children fell to parents and especially to women. Our communities quickly learned that without child care, parents could not go back to work. But here in North Carolina, finding affordable child care is a hurdle for many families. The annual average cost of child care for a toddler in North Carolina is $8,746 meaning that the average two-parent household spends 10 percent of their income on child care every year…The American Families Plan will make an extraordinary investment in child care affordability by enabling low and middle-income families to pay no more than 7 percent of their income on high-quality child care, generating lifetime benefits for 169,100 children under 5 in North Carolina and helping working families make ends meet.”
Brandon Wrencher, Greensboro parent: “Reliable, affordable child care would be a game changer for my family. It is essential to our families’ economic stability, our ability to work, and would provide a place for our kids to learn and grow. This year has been a challenge for us all. Today, I am calling on leaders in Washington to think of my story and countless other families when they consider this plan. We have the opportunity now to put families first and make investments that will change the course of many lives. I urge you to pass the American Families Plan now.”
Cassandra Brooks, Owner of Little Believers Academy: “It is imperative that we pass this plan to help teachers and give them a living wage of $15 an hour for the current work that they do providing quality care for young children. I see this every day. It breaks my heart that I see moms and grandparents that cannot afford the quality care that their children deserve, and every child in North Carolina deserves. Please pass the American Families Plan. It is so desperately needed.”