WAGE$ Program

The Child Care WAGE$® Program is an evidence-informed, outcome-driven initiative designed to increase the education and retention of the early care and education workforce through increased compensation. Evidence shows that increasing teacher education lowers turnover rates and provides preschool children more stable relationships with better educated teachers, increasing the quality of care.

Smart Start of Transylvania County funds wage supplements for participants in the Child Care WAGE$ Program in licensed child care centers, increasing teacher pay to or above a living wage. Smart Start recognizes that child care centers in TC incur some of the highest operation costs in NC and strive to pay staff well in the face of increasing costs and a shortage of qualified teachers to maintain DCDEE licensing stars.

Do I qualify to participate in the WAGE$ program in Transylvania County?

Eligible Applicants Must:

How do I apply to participate in the WAGE$ program?

All applications must be submitted through the CCSA website or via mail to CCSA.


“It has been a great deal of help to me and makes my life so much better.  Not only does it motivate me to get more education, it also helps me with my financial burden.” (Transylvania, teacher)

“Our staff is not paid a wage that is high enough to reflect their education, skill level and amount of hard work done each day.  This bonus from the WAGE$ Program helps with their pay, encourages their education and gives them tremendous emotional support to know someone realizes their situation and is at least supporting them in some concrete, financial way.” (Transylvania, director)

For more detailed information:

Visit the Child Care WAGE$ website

Please contact us and reference the WAGE$ program.