The following represents progress made during 2019 towards the priorities on our Think Babies™ NC policy agenda.
Make sure parents have access to health insurance by closing the coverage gap.
- H655: NC Health Care for Working Families passed the House Health Committee.
- Medicaid expansion remains a major issue in the ongoing budget negotiation.
Adopt reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant employees.
- Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 82 to extend pregnancy accommodations to state employees.
- S558: NC Healthy Pregnancy Act was introduced in the Senate with bipartisan sponsors.
Adopt paid family and medical leave for employees.
- Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 95 to extend paid parental leave to state employees.
- 18 municipal and county governments have enacted paid leave for their employees.
- H696: NC Families First Act was introduced in the House but not heard in Committee.
Increase opportunities for home visiting and parenting education programs.
- The legislative budget includes additional non-recurring funding for Smart Start, which local partnerships would be able to use for home visiting and parenting education programs.
- The legislative budget includes $2.5 million additional funding for Nurse Family Partnership.
Make sure North Carolina’s infants and toddlers benefit from their fair share of federal investments in programs that support healthy development by ensuring an accurate 2020 Census count.
- Governor Cooper established the Full Count Census Committee.
- The House budget included $750,000 to support a full Census count.
Early Care and Learning
Increase child care subsidy funding and change waitlist policy to expand access to high-quality,
affordable infant and toddler child care.
- The legislative budget includes $3 million in additional funding for child care subsidy assistance.
Make sure families living in child care deserts have access to high-quality infant and toddler child care.
- The NC Babies First pilot program, to increase the number of infant-toddler child care slots, was included in the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) planning grant.
Ensure infants and toddlers have well educated and well compensated teachers with the skills needed
to support healthy development.
- H882: Enhance the early childhood workforce was introduced with bipartisan sponsors and passed the full House in a unanimous vote. It was then added to Senate Bill 212, which also passed the House unanimously, and remains in a conference committee.
- The Infant Toddler AWARD$ Program was created in Fall 2018 and has served 1,100 teachers to date.