Emergency program provides FREE childcare to North Carolina's essential workers

We are proud to support essential workers like you! YOU are our community's heroes, and help keep us healthy and safe during this challenging time.

Now let us be there for you.

If you are an essential worker in need of financial assistance for childcare, the state of North Carolina can help you with their new Emergency Childcare Subsidy Program.  

FREE childcare for essential workers
The state of North Carolina will pay for your childcare for the months of April and May, if you meet certain qualifications. There's no paying up-front and being reimbursed. Your childcare is 100% covered. 

Who qualifies?
Parents or caregivers can receive free childcare for April and May if they:

  • Are essential workers (as defined in the NC stay at home Executive Order)
  • Have no other safe childcare options
  • Meet household income requirements (see table below)

Household Size 2 3 4 5 6
Income Limit $51,720 $65,160 $78,600 $92,040 $105,480

How do I get started?

The application is short and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

    1. Contact us immediately if you need care! For a listing of schools, try our Location Finder.
    2. Complete a short application and submit it to your school.

Help spread the word
Many essential workers in need of safe childcare don't know about this program. Please share and help spread the word!

This financial assistance is available at all operating childcare centers in North Carolina, not just The Sunshine House. Help other essential workers get the support they need by spreading the word today.


Online Resources

Find a schoolLocation Finder

Learn moreNorth Carolina Emergency Childcare Subsidy Program

Download > COVID-19 Free Childcare Parent Application (English)

Download >COVID-19 Free Childcare Parent Application (Spanish)

ReadNC stay at home Executive Order listing all Essential Workers


Select List of Essential Businesses

Full listing available on NC's Stay at Home Executive Order.

  • Hospitals, clinics, dental offices, pharmacies, labs, obstetricians and gynecologists, eye care centers, mental health and substance use providers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals.

  • Long-term care facilities, childcare centers, residential settings and shelters for adults, seniors, children and/or people with developmental disabilities, substance use disorders and/or mental illness.

  • Food and beverage production, distribution, fulfillment centers, storage facilities; building and grounds management and maintenance including landscaping; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical; distribution centers.

  • All first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, legislators, judges, court personnel, law enforcement and corrections personnel, child protection and child welfare personnel, military.

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries, pet supplies, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and other household consumer products.

  • Food and beverage manufacturing, production, processing and cultivation and businesses that provide food, shelter and services for animals, including animal shelters, rescues and kennels.
  • Religious entities.

  • Media, including newspapers, television, radio, film and other media services.

  • Gas stations and auto supply, sales, tire, auto-repair, roadside assistance and towing services.

  • Banks, financial and insurance institutions.

  • Home improvement, hardware and supply stores.

  • Critical trades, including building and construction tradesmen, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, clean and janitorial staff, security staff, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, landscaping.

  • Post offices and other businesses that provide shipping and delivery services.

  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises.

  • Laundromats and dry cleaners.

  • Transportation. Airlines, taxis, auto dealers, Uber, Lyft, vehicle rental services, commercial transportation and logistics providers.

  • Professional services such as legal services, accounting, insurance, professional engineering, land surveying, real estate and tax preparation services.

  • Hotels and motels.

  • Funeral services.

Find a School  

With more than 20 schools in North Carolina, there's a Sunshine House near you!

Location Finder


How do I know if I'm an Essential Worker?

For a full list of essential businesses, read the NC Stay at Home Order.

Essential Businesses List

Find Your Sunshine House