Child Care

Child Care for Essential Workers

Child Care Access 

A hotline is available to help essential workers find child care programs that are meeting new health, safety and operational guidelines. Parents and caregivers can call (888) 600-1685 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Care options are available in licensed child care facilities for children from infants through age 12.

The hotline is in partnership with the NC Child Care Resource and Referral Network. After calling the hotline, individuals must contact the recommended child care program to receive the proper enrollment forms.

Financial Assistance

NCDHHS established an Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program for essential workers as defined in Executive Order 121.

Essential worker emergency child care financial assistance will be offered through May and may be extended.

To receive an emergency care subsidy, parents must complete the COVID-19 Parent Application for Financial Assistance for Emergency Child Care (Application in Spanish) and submit it to their child care provider. Financial aid is available to parents and caregivers who are essential workers and who meet the following criteria:

  • Their income is below 300 percent of the poverty line;  
  • They are an essential worker fighting COVID-19 or protecting the health and safety of communities; and
  • They feel they have no other viable child care options available to them.