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Child Care Stabilization Grants

On October 7, 2021, Governor Roy Cooper announced a historic, one-time federal $805 million investment in North Carolina’s early care and learning programs. The North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants, made possible by funding from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, will support working families with access to high-quality, affordable child care. The grants will also help early care and learning programs with recruitment and retention, enabling them to provide better wages and benefits to teachers, and promoting equity for all—children, parents, and teachers.



Ongoing Monitoring

DCDEE monitors the stabilization grants program to ensure child care program grantees use funds for allowed uses only and in compliance with the Terms and Conditions. If an audit finds no problems, the child care program will receive a letter notifying them of the audit result. If an audit reveals any issues, the auditor will contact the child care program with any questions or to request documentation. Grantees must cooperate and respond to any instructions from DCDEE auditors.

Next Quarterly Update 6/27-7/8

The next quarterly update will be available June 27, 2022 at 8:30 AM – July 8, 2022 at 5:00 PM. To prepare, gather, scan/photograph and save complete, original and accurate documentation of grant expenditures for April/May/June 2022. Child Care Programs must submit the quarterly update by 5:00 PM on July 8th to receive the full grant payment amount for July/August/September. Grant payments will be reduced for child care programs that fail to submit the quarterly update by July 8th deadline.

Reduction in Fixed Cost and Families Grant starting July 2022

As previously announced, the Fixed Cost and Families Grant component of the ARPA Child Care Stabilization Grant will be reduced by 1/3 with the next quarterly payment in July. A new Grant Payment Estimator is available to help child care programs estimate the new grant payment amounts. Grant payments for newly approved applications will be issued using the new reduced formula. There is no reduction in the formula for the Compensation Support Grant.




WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 1 - NC Stabilization Grant Application
Get the slide deck from NC Stabilization Grant Application 2021-2022 (PDF)


WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 2 - Using Your NC Stabilization Grant
Get the slide deck from Using Your NC Stabilization Grant (PDF)


WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 3 – Introduction to Quarterly Reporting
Get the slide deck from Introduction to Quarterly Reporting (PDF)


WATCH: Stabilization Grants Training 4 – Recertification Information Session
Get the slide deck from Recertification Information Session



The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development and Early Education administers the North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grants. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis. Eligible early care and learning programs may apply at any time.

There are two components of North Carolina’s Child Care Stabilization Grants. The two components are intended to grant early care and learning programs funds to facilitate high quality early childhood education at its true cost and increase compensation to staff. Each approved program receives a Fixed Costs and Families Grant, based on capacity, subsidized child care enrollment, program quality (star rating), infant/toddler enrollment, and community context (using Social Vulnerability Index).

Approved programs that elect to receive additional funding will also be awarded Compensation Supports Grants. There are two options for Compensation Supports. Programs selecting Option 1 agree to use the additional funding to provide bonuses to all staff. By selecting Option 2, approved early childhood programs agree to increase base pay and/or benefits, implementing a compensation scale that ideally factors in education and length of service as well as job responsibilities.


Licensed Child Care Programs that are eligible for Stabilization Grant funding must:

  • Hold a license or be regulated under a notice of compliance by DCDEE on or before March 11, 2021, or
  • Hold a current license or a notice of compliance and be eligible to participate in the Subsidized Child Care Assistance Program.


Funds received for Compensation Supports must be spent on personnel costs according to the option for which they were awarded.

Fixed Cost and Families Grant funds can be used for:

  • Tuition Assistance to Families
  • Personnel costs, including payroll, salaries, similar employee compensation, employee benefits, retirement costs, educational costs, child care costs; and supporting staff expenses in accessing COVID-19 vaccines;
  • Rent (including under a lease agreement) or payment on any mortgage obligation, utilities, or insurance; also, may include late fees or charges related to late payments;
  • Facility maintenance or improvements, defined as minor renovations, including outdoor learning spaces/playgrounds, and minor improvements to address COVID-19 concerns;
  • Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitization supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices;
  • Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies to respond to COVID–19;
  • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services;
  • Mental health supports for children and employees;
  • Health and safety trainings for staff, including but not limited to CPR, First Aid, and medication administration.


Be ready to apply, you’ll need:

  • Business NCID#<
  • Program information, such as enrollment and capacity
  • Staff education and payroll
  • Monthly expenses and revenues

Please use the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome or Safari browsers to access the application. Internet Explorer is not supported, and Edge is not recommended.


Apply Now


Child Care Stabilization Grant Data Dashboards


NCDHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education has created two data dashboards to provide Child Care Stabilization Grants summary data. The first dashboard gives insight into the impact of this historic investment, showing the total child care capacity and jobs that are supported by the grants both as a statewide to-date total and by county in an interactive map. The second dashboard illustrates the strength of NCDHHS’s commitment to the state’s early care and learning network by showing the total stabilization grant dollars paid to-date to child care programs statewide, and a pie chart of grantees by program type. This dashboard also features an interactive map of stabilization grant payment totals by county with several display options: All Payments, Fixed Cost Payments, Compensation Support Payments, [Child Care] Center Payments, [Family Child Care] Home Payments.




To get help with an application or update, or ask questions about Stabilization Grants, please call Stabilization Grants Customer Service Team at (919) 814-6300, Option 2 or submit your request through our public facing form.





2201 Mail Service Center | Raleigh, NC 27699-2200
919-814-6300 | 1-800-859-0829 (In State Only)


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