|Region A Partnership for Children
Subsidy in Region A
“Subsidy” for child care refers to payments that are made to child care providers on behalf of children who are enrolled in 3-5 star rated licensed child care when their parents or guardians apply for and are approved for assistance through an eligibility specialist in their county. (See specialist contact information below)
A child may qualify for subsidy because the family income is below the criteria for eligibility
- when the parents or guardians are working,
- when a parent has been deployed in the military
- or, in some situations when the child has special needs.
In these or some other situations, when it is determined that a child qualifies for subsidized child care and those funds are available, a portion of the cost of the child care is paid for through funds provided by several programs including the federal subsidy program, managed through North Carolina’s subsidy system and Smart Start subsidy.
Subsidy funds are managed in the seven counties of Region A (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain) and the Qualla Boundary by the Southwestern Child Development Commission (SWCDC) in collaboration with the local Departments of Social Services and the Region A Partnership for Children Smart Start agency to ensure that as many children benefit from subsidy services as possible in the highest quality child care settings.
When NC federal subsidy funds are not available, Smart Start funds provide a resource to ensure that fewer children are waiting for subsidy assistance. Smart Start funds also increase payments for children in high quality infant and toddler child care to raise the level of care by reducing child to staff ratios and improving overall standards. Smart Start subsidy increases the number of children that can be served in higher quality child care programs.
Recent legislation requires that subsidy funds only be used to supplement the cost of care for children who are enrolled in child care programs with NC licenses with 3, 4 or 5 star ratings in order to ensure that children in NC receive the highest quality of child care available. Therefore, families seeking to apply for subsidized child care should expect to enroll in a child care facility that holds a NC star –rated license with a 3 star rating or above.
Families can learn about subsidy and apply for available funds by contacting their local subsidy specialist. Please see the list below for the subsidy contact in each county:
- Cherokee County:
Rebecca Gibson at (828) 837-7455 at Cherokee County Department of Social Services
- Clay County:
Carolyn Rice: (828) 389-6301 on Monday, Thursday and Friday at Clay County Department of Social Services
- Graham County:
Carolyn Rice (828) 479-4587 on Tuesday and Wednesday at Graham County Department of Social Services
- Haywood County:
Families with surnames beginning with A-L – Ellen Finger (828) 477-4529.
Families with surnames beginning with M-Z – Kim Turner (828) 477-4438
Southwestern Child Development Commission office in Hazelwood
- Jackson County:
Families with surnames beginning with A-F – Jennifer Stillwell (828) 354-0469
Families with surnames beginning with G-Z – Ashley Potts (828) 354-0476
- Macon County:
Amy Breedlove (828) 349-2114 at Macon County Department of Social Services
- Swain County:
Bob Fouts (828) 488-6921 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday
- Qualla Boundary:
Bob Fouts (828) 497-6953 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Wednesday, Friday