Child Care Teachers Tell Governor Cooper that Their Health is In Jeopardy and Urge Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid | Beaufort County Now | Governor Roy Cooper met with childcare teachers at Noah’s Ark Children’s Center in Wilmington. In a roundtable discussion, teachers shared that too many of their colleagues are suffering from preventable diseases because they do not have access to health insurance.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Child Care Teachers Tell Governor Cooper that Their Health is In Jeopardy and Urge Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid

Press Release:

19% of Early Childhood Educators in North Carolina Do Not Have Health Insurance

    WILMINGTON: Governor Roy Cooper met with childcare teachers at Noah's Ark Children's Center in Wilmington. In a roundtable discussion, teachers shared that too many of their colleagues are suffering from preventable diseases because they do not have access to health insurance. They said that the stress is impacting both their own wellbeing and the healthy development of young children in their care and urged lawmakers to expand Medicaid.

    "Our early childhood educators shape the environments that young children need for healthy development, and we can't expect them to fulfill this essential role when they are struggling with their own health care challenges," Gov. Cooper said. "It's time for North Carolina to expand Medicaid and help our early childhood educators and other hardworking North Carolinians get access to quality health insurance."

    Nineteen percent of early childhood educators in North Carolina do not have health insurance. A median hourly income of $9.86 coupled with the high cost of health care means that they are often unable to access the care they need.

    Children do better when their caregivers are healthy, both emotionally and physically. When children experience positive, nurturing interactions with adults in their lives, it supports healthy brain development and future learning. But when their caregivers cannot access health insurance, the stress from untreated health conditions or unaffordable health costs can disrupt those critical caregiver-child interactions.

    "These are good teachers. They're in their field. They do such a good job with a happy heart," said Tracy Brewer, Director of Noah's Ark Children's Center. "If we start losing them to K-12 classrooms where they'll get insurance, we're going to go back to bringing anyone in that can do the job, and these first 2000 days of a child's life are so important."

    Early childhood is a priority for Gov. Cooper. In February, he hosted a statewide Early Childhood Summit where he released the NC Early Childhood Action Plan. The plan provides a framework to galvanize action to achieve 10 measurable goals for young children that address health, safety, family resilience and learning outcomes.

    Earlier this year, the NC Early Childhood Advisory Council urged the General Assembly to expand Medicaid. That letter can be read HERE.

    Gov. Cooper has been traveling the state hearing from North Carolinians about the urgency to expand Medicaid. In addition, he and Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen have hosted six roundtables on the health coverage gap. Rural hospital CEOs, childcare directors and teachers, mental health providers, obstetricians and pediatricians, and families impacted by the opioid epidemic have all traveled to Raleigh from across North Carolina to urge lawmakers to close the health coverage gap.

    Expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would provide an estimated 500,000 North Carolinians with access to affordable health care. It would boost North Carolina's economy by $4 billion and create an estimated 40,000 jobs.

    Closing the health insurance coverage gap for families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid remains a top priority for Gov. Cooper. Currently, a family of four with working parents must earn less than $9,000 to qualify for Medicaid. The same family's income would have to exceed $25,000 to qualify for a federal subsidy to purchase health insurance. That leaves many families who earn too much for Medicaid and too little for a subsidy without health insurance. Since 2014, 37 states under bipartisan leadership, including the District of Columbia, have helped close the gap by expanding Medicaid so more people can get coverage.

  • Contact: Ford Porter

Go Back


Latest Bloodless Warfare: Politics

Governor Urges N.C. Families to Sign Up Starting May 12 for Discounts on Internet, Computers
More than 175,000 people currently living in North Carolina have been diagnosed with chronic viral hepatitis, and many more may have hepatitis but do not realize they are infected.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper granted a Pardon of Innocence for Darryl Anthony Howard of Durham, who was convicted of crimes he did not commit.
If you are covering Secretary Buttigieg and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff’s visit to North Carolina today, please consider including this quote from the North Carolina Republican Party.
Recently, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and more than 30 members of the Senate Republican Conference sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona requesting the withdrawal of the Department’s “Proposed Priorities” on American history and civics education.
Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 2-8 as Correctional Officers and Correctional Employees Week in North Carolina, in recognition of the essential public service provided by employees in the state’s prison system.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the State is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Justin Llyod Mix, age 41.


Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May as Asian American-Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate the many contributions Asian Americans have made, and continue to make, to North Carolina’s communities, schools and workforce.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that he signed an Executive Order to help North Carolina’s businesses recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public comment period for a series of proposed rules (PDF) related to the expiration of political parties, precinct observers, recounts, and campaign finance runs through Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
Today, the state House voted 77-42 to approve the Kickoff College Sports Act to allow full capacity attendance at outdoor college stadiums.
Tonight, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s address to the joint session of Congress:
Bipartisan bill seeks to help clean up roadways and prevent littering
Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed the following bills into law: House Bill 156 & 2 others


Back to Top