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Child-care hotline 1-888-600-1685

Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman

Aug. 12. Families and caregivers in need of child care for children up to age 12 can call the North Carolina Child Care Hotline at 1-888-600-1685 to be connected directly to care options in their community that meet their families’ needs.

Referral specialists are ready, after you punch in your Zip Code. We were connected with a live person at 11:21 am Wednesday after a 10-minute wait.

Families everywhere are looking for extra help finding school-age care options right now, as many schools have started the school year with remote learning only, and others are operating with children onsite on alternate days or weeks to meet social distancing requirements.

The hotline, open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm, is a collaboration of the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Child Care Resource and Referral network. Care will be offered by licensed child care providers who agree to meet NCDHHS health and safety guidelines.

As of Aug. 10, there are about 30,000 slots available for school-age children in licensed child care programs across the state.

“This hotline can help connect families with child care options as this pandemic continues to affect our families. We need to do everything we can to support working parents as we work to beat this virus,” Gov. Roy Cooper said.