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What Is WAGE$?

The Child Care WAGE$® Program provides supplements to teachers, directors and family child care home providers in Moore County. Participants typically receive their supplements in two installments, each after completing a full six-month period in the same child care program. All supplements are contingent upon funding availability.


About the WAGE$® Program

The Child Care WAGE$® Program was created in response to research-based evidence that shows that the quality of care children receive is lowered by high turnover rates and inadequate teacher education.


Lack of resources and an effort to maintain affordability for parents often make it difficult for individual child care programs to reward or encourage teacher education through salaries. As a result, many teachers leave the field or never even consider the profession an option. WAGE$ is designed to provide preschool children more stable relationships with better-educated teachers by rewarding teacher education and continuity of care.


How to Qualify

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • work in Moore County, NC

  • be an employee working with children ages birth to five at least 10 hours per week.

  • earn at or below $23 per hour, the income cap selected by your local partnership.

  • have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours of birth to five focused coursework from a regionally accredited college or university.

  • complete at least six consecutive months in the same child care program.

  • be employed at the time of confirmation when funds are available.


Award amounts depend on the education level of the recipient. If you or your staff are interested in working toward a higher level of education, you may be eligible for a scholarship through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program. Information can be found here.


WAGE$ is an ongoing program, and Partners for Children & Families has elected to fund Tier Two payments for the 2024-2025 fiscal year received in two payments. PfCF wants to recognize the dedication you have shown through the past couple of challenging years and thank you for your commitment. To view the Child Care WAGE$ Supplement Scale click here


Important Tips to Know

  • Once you have been approved for an award, you will not need to reapply for future supplements as long as you remain in the same child care program.

  • We must have official transcripts. Please indicate on the application checklist if official transcripts are already on file from previously participating in WAGE$ with Moore County, with Early Educator Certification or Infant-Toddler Educator AWARD$®. If so, WAGE$ may not need further documentation of your education.

  • The Child Care WAGE$® Program issues payments based on six-month cycles called commitment periods that run from mid-month to mid-month. For example, a six-month cycle may extend from November 15th to May 14th.  

  • Please note that more than two weeks of time spent on leave of any type (for example summer, medical, maternity) or only with school age children does not qualify and must be made up on the even month before receiving a supplement check.

  • Full-time employment is defined by 30 or more hours per week. Payments for part-time employment are prorated.


How to Apply

Step 1: Application

Download the most recent application (haga clic aquí para la aplicación en Español), or call the Child Care Services Association at 919-967-3272 to request one be mailed or faxed to you. When filling out the application please take your time, write legibly, and complete the entire form. Note that your employer is also responsible for filling out and signing a portion of the application.

Step 2: Income Verification
  • Employee: Send a copy of a current pay stub (we only need one) that accurately reflects your normal schedule. If you work 40 hours per week, your pay stub should show very close to 40 hours.

  • Family Child Care Educator: Submit your Schedule C from the most recent tax year.

  • Facility Owner: Please supply your most recent 1040 tax form, all supporting schedules, and the W-2 form. If you file jointly, the W-2 forms from both parties must be submitted. Additional tax documentation may be requested if necessary.

Step 3: Official Transcript

Submit official transcripts by mail for ALL college coursework completed at a regionally accredited college or university. Official transcripts are generally printed on special school paper for security purposes and may also feature a stamped school seal. Copied or faxed transcripts cannot be accepted. Workshops and training hours are not acceptable documentation.

Step 4: Read the Participant Agreement and Sign the Statement of Affirmation

See page 3 of the application.

Step 5: Direct Deposit Documentation

Complete page 5 of the application. Please write clearly and be sure to include your full name. This form does not remain with the application packet. Both the form and accompanying documentation to verify the account numbers, such as a voided check, are required to complete your application.

Email: with any questions.

Step 6: Return the Application

Send your completed application and required documentation to:

Child Care Services Association

Attn: WAGE$
PO Box 901
Chapel Hill, NC 27514


Have Application Questions?

Call a WAGE$ counselor at 919-967-3272. They are available by phone Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. When calling please reference WAGE$. If you are a current participant, please also mention the county in which you work. You can also send a message online.


Child Care WAGE$® Program Fact Sheet

To view the Child Care WAGE$® Program Fact Sheet click here



The Child Care WAGE$® Program is an evidence-informed, outcome-driven initiative designed to increase the education and retention of the early care and education workforce through increased compensation. Education-based salary supplements tied to the successful completion of commitment periods in the same child care program result in a more stable, better-educated workforce.


To see how WAGE$ is making a difference across the state click here

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