CCR&R children

Supports for Working Families


Identifying, selecting, and using quality early care and education programs is one of the earliest and (without child care resource and referral agencies), least supported challenges faced by working parents/families. In two-parent families, two incomes are frequently necessary to make ends meet and, very often, single parents are employed, leaving parents to find a place for their children while they are at work. Child care decisions involve balancing families’ needs and desires regarding availability, affordability, and quality. (Resources for Families)

Today’s reality is that child care is a significant need and expense for many families. In fact:

  • In North Carolina alone, an estimated 66% of children under the age of six live in homes where all parents work, resulting in more than 462,000 children birth through five years old in need of some kind of child care arrangement.1
  • There are over 1 million school-age children 5 to 14-years-old in North Carolina, 71% of whom have all parents in the workforce.2
  • On average, young children with working mothers spend 36 hours a week in child care.3
  • North Carolina ranks 20th in resources spent on public preschool in the State of Preschool 2018 report by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).4
  • The average cost of center care for a preschooler consumes 40% of the median income for a single-parent family and over 12% for a two-parent family.5   

Parents consistently report that child care enables them to find and keep jobs. The challenge for working families is to navigate the maze of options to find quality, affordable child care so that they can succeed as parents and as workers, and so that their children have the experiences necessary for their optimal growth and development. This is where Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies can help.

CCR&R agencies have a 40+ year history of providing services for working families and developing innovative initiatives across North Carolina to address the needs of children and families. 


1 U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey.

2 U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey.

3  Parents and the High Cost of Care, 2017, Child Care Aware of America, Arlington, VA.

4 The State of Preschool 2018, National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER), 2018.

Parents and the High Cost of Care: 2017, Child Care Aware of America, Arlington, VA.