Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Children center receives $1M to recruit and train daycare workers

Dogwood Health Trust recently awarded the Children & Family Resource Center of Henderson County a $1 million grant over a five-year period to support early childhood workforce development in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties.

In collaboration with Buncombe County Partnership for Children, the Hendersonville nonprofit will use the grant to recruit and train workers to become early childhood educator substitutes, who will then eventually be highly qualified early childhood educators.

The $1 million award was one of more than $8.3 million in grants to support Early Childhood Education, which has a crfitical shortage of teachers and substitutes. The grants were made to 10 nonprofit organizations and educational institutions across the region.

“Even before the pandemic, we knew that our county’s child care centers did not have enough staff to meet current or future classroom staffing," said Jamie Wiener, Executive Director at Children & Family Resource Center. "It is our hope that with this funding, we will be able to support the child care centers in our community by increasing the number of highly qualified staff so classrooms can stay open, working parents can find a slot for their children, and our children can receive the care they need during their earliest and most critical days of development."
As a result of this funding, the Children & Family Resource Center is providing financial supplements as a retention strategy for early childhood educators. All teachers who are not eligible for the WAGE$ supplement but who are continuing their education in the field of early childhood and employed in child care centers will be eligible for $600 annually. CFRC will also raise the hourly rate for substitutes both during training and while they are substituting in the classroom by $2.80 to recruit more participants and create more highly trained teachers.
Just Economics WNC, has found numerous studies that have shown, “that paying a living wage leads to increased worker morale, worker health, and quality of service. Paying a living wage also lowers absenteeism, turnover rates, and recruiting and training costs. The average hourly rate for an early childhood educator is $12.00 and these are the people who are often caring for our children for more than 8 hours a day changing diapers, helping potty train children and watching them take their first steps. Children & Family Resource Center works closely with the child care centers in our county and walks alongside them and supports them through professional development so they can be the best educators they can be as the nurture the growth and development of Henderson County’s littlest minds.
All funded Dogwood Health Trust projects seek to increase access to existing early childhood credentials, attract new or career-changing adults into the profession and improve working conditions for the existing early childhood workers. “Investing in the workforce behind the workforce — our Early Childhood Educators — is a win for everyone,” said Dr. Susan Mims, CEO for Dogwood Health Trust. “Our children, working families, employers and educators all benefit, resulting in a stronger, healthier and more economically viable region for western North Carolina.”