143B-168.15. Use of State funds.

(a) State funds allocated to local projects for services to children and families shall be used to meet assessed needs, expand coverage, and improve the quality of these services. The local plan shall address the assessed needs of all children to the extent feasible. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the needs of both young children below poverty who remain in the home, as well as the needs of young children below poverty who require services beyond those offered in child care settings, be addressed. Therefore, as local partnerships address the assessed needs of all children, they should devote an appropriate amount of their State allocations, considering these needs and other available resources, to meet the needs of children below poverty and their families.

(b) Depending on local, regional, or statewide needs, funds may be used to support activities and services that shall be made available and accessible to providers, children, and families on a voluntary basis. Of the funds allocated to local partnerships for direct services, seventy percent (70%) of the funds spent in each year shall be used in child care related activities and early childhood education programs that improve access to child care and early childhood education services, develop new child care and early childhood education services, and improve the quality of child care and early childhood education services in all settings.

(c) Long-term plans for local projects that do not receive their full allocation in the first year, other than those selected in 1993, should consider how to meet the assessed needs of low-income children and families within their neighborhoods or communities. These plans also should reflect a process to meet these needs as additional allocations and other resources are received.

(d) State funds designated for start-up and related activities may be used for capital expenses or to support activities and services for children, families, and providers. State funds designated to support direct services for children, families, and providers shall not be used for major capital expenses unless the North Carolina Partnership approves this use of State funds based upon a finding that a local partnership has demonstrated that (i) this use is a clear priority need for the local plan, (ii) it is necessary to enable the local partnership to provide services and activities to underserved children and families, and (iii) the local partnership will not otherwise be able to meet this priority need by using State or federal funds available to that local partnership. The funds approved for capital projects in any two consecutive fiscal years may not exceed ten percent (10%) of the total funds for direct services allocated to a local partnership in those two consecutive fiscal years.

(e) State funds allocated to local partnerships shall not supplant current expenditures by counties on behalf of young children and their families, and maintenance of current efforts on behalf of these children and families shall be sustained. State funds shall not be applied without the Secretary's approval where State or federal funding sources, such as Head Start, are available or could be made available to that county.

(f) Repealed by Session Laws 2001-424, s. 21.75(g), effective July 1, 2001.

(g) Not less than thirty percent (30%) of the funds spent in each year of each local partnership's direct services allocation shall be used to expand child care subsidies. To the extent practicable, these funds shall be used to enhance the affordability, availability, and quality of child care services as described in this section. The North Carolina Partnership may increase this percentage requirement up to a maximum of fifty percent (50%) when, based upon a significant local waiting list for subsidized child care, the North Carolina Partnership determines a higher percentage is justified. Local partnerships shall spend an amount for child care subsidies that provides at least fifty-two million dollars ($52,000,000) for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) maintenance of effort requirement and the Child Care Development Fund and Block Grant match requirement. Funds allocated under this section shall supplement and not supplant any federal or State funds allocated to Department of Defense-certified child care facilities licensed under G.S. 110-106.2.

(h) State funds allocated to local partnerships that are unexpended at the end of a fiscal year shall remain available to the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., to reallocate to local partnerships. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 766, s. 1; 1995, c. 509, s. 97; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 24.29(e); 1997-443, s. 11.55(n); 1997-506, s. 60; 1998-212, s. 12.37B(a), (b); 1999-237, s. 11.48(o); 2000-67, ss. 11.28(c), 11.28(d); 2001-424, s. 21.75(g); 2008-123, s. 2; 2014-100, s. 12B.2(b); 2015-241, s. 12B.9(b).)