Raleigh, NC . – Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) held an early childhood education tour at Little Hands N Feet in Raleigh. Rep. Ross was joined by Gayle Headen, Executive Director of Wake County Smart Start, Ronetta Pearsall, owner of Little Hands N Feet, Amy Cubbage, President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, and others. Following the tour, Rep. Ross read a book to the NC Pre-K class and held a roundtable discussion with faculty, staff, teachers, and a parent on President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which will make historic investments in child care.

“For too long, the high cost of quality child care has been an expensive burden on North Carolina families,” said Congresswoman Ross. “With President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, we will make once-in-a-lifetime investments in children and families – ensuring that child care is affordable and accessible for every family and extending universal pre-K to every single 3- and 4-year-old in America.

“It was a pleasure visiting Little Hands N Feet today and hearing from faculty, staff, teachers, and a parent about the challenges they face.  I will keep fighting to get this historic legislation to President Biden’s desk for them and for all North Carolina families. I thank Wake County Smart Start, the North Carolina Partnership for Children, and Little Hands N Feet for the essential work they are doing for the children of Wake County and for graciously opening their classroom to me today.”

Amy Cubbage, president of NCPC said, “Access to high quality, affordable child care is critical to getting North Carolinians back to work and giving our children the best start.  Across the state, child care providers – and early care and education professionals – are struggling. The stabilization grants are a life preserver, but we also need sustainable investments that strengthen and elevate child care for the long haul.”

Gayle E. Headen, Executive Director, Wake County Smart Start said, “Making high quality early education accessible to all families of three- and four-year-olds in Wake is a two generational win. For families, it bolsters financial well-being and removes the obstacles to affordable care, mobilizing career development. For children, it means investing in every child’s potential and ensuring their success. We already have a successful collaborative with Wake Pre-K to build upon and embrace the opportunity for expansion.”

To download more photos from Rep. Ross’ visit to Little Hands N Feet, click here. 

In November, Rep. Ross voted to pass the historic Build Back Better Act, legislation that will make transformational investments to help North Carolina families, workers, and the next generation.


Congresswoman Ross highlighted the historic investments this legislation will make in North Carolina here. The Build Back Better Act includes the following investments in North Carolinians:

  • Child care: the average annual cost of a child care center for a toddler in North Carolina is $8,746. The Build Back Better Act will expand access for about 600,000 young children from ages 0-5 and ensure that no North Carolina working family pays more than seven percent of their income on child care.
  • Early education: only 30 percent of three- and four-year-olds in North Carolina have access to publicly funded pre-K, while the average cost of private pre-K in the state is $8,600. The Build Back Better Act will expand access to free, high-quality pre-K to more than 154,103 young North Carolinians – setting these children up for lifelong success and saving their parents thousands of dollars.
  • Child Tax Credit: before Democrats secured the expanded Biden Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, 15 percent of North Carolina children lived in poverty. The Build Back Better Act extends this life-changing tax cut and continues our historic progress toward reducing child poverty.