Local News

Magazine: N.C. is a Good Place for Working Moms

Posted October 23, 2000

— Between changing diapers and watching Barney, mothers in America are still in business. More new moms are going back to work after having a baby, and North Carolina appears to be a good place to do that.

According to the latest census, 59 percent of mothers are working. In the last 25 years, the number of new mothers going back to work has almost doubled.

Quality child care tops the list of requirements for working parents. This comes at a time when North Carolina is being hailed as a national role model for its creative approach to child care.

Dana Clay loves her job. When she visits her 4-year-old daughter, Hanna, at her day care, it is hard when she has to go back to work. Clay believes the financial benefits of working outweigh staying at home with her child.

"I think I work [so] I can have the financial stability to allow my child to participate in different activities and to allow her all the joys of being a child," she says.

North Carolina is a good place to be a working mom, according toWorking Mothermagazine. The November issue ranks our state in the top six for quality child care and applaudsSmart Startfor making a big difference.

"I like the fact that they give money to a variety of things -- equipment and training and improving the centers," says working mom Sarah Koonts. "That makes me feel more secure when I'm out picking a child care center."

Karen Walsh is the executive director of Smart Start. She hopes the article will give people a better understanding of what Smart Start does.

"We have lots of programs that help children stay healthy, become healthy, get prepared for school, success in school, to support the families and especially working parents," Walsh says.

Smart Start has become a big issue in the gubernatorial race. Republican candidate Richard Vinroot has talked about totally revamping the program.

Smart Start leaders hope the national recognition will put concerns about the program to rest.

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