NC Budget & Tax Center is proud to be Family Forward NC certified

Employers across North Carolina want to attract and retain the best employees, and they want those employees to be happy and healthy. At the Budget & Tax Center, we advocate for public policies that support safe working conditions, living wages, and protections for workers so everyone can balance life and work.  

I have experienced firsthand and seen replicated many times over the toll it takes on workers when workplace policies make it hard or impossible to care for their families. Today, the child care crisis coupled with a lack of supports like paid leave mean pregnant workers and working parents—especially women—are disproportionately forced to change jobs, leave the workforce entirely or are unable to rejoin the workforce after giving birth. Access to leave and flexible work schedules are also crucial for workers caring for aging family members. 

As we built our organization, we knew it was important to align BTC’s internal policies with the standards we urge all employers in our state to meet. Recently, we became a Family Forward NC Certified Employer as one way to show our commitment to the health and well-being of our employees, their families, and children across North Carolina. 

Family Forward NC Employer Certifications, issued by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation’s (NCECF) Family Forward NC initiative, designate employers that offer policies and practices that support the health and well-being of working families and children. Key policies that count towards the certification include paid leave, accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers, health benefits, and predictable work schedules.  

To determine standards for certification, Family Forward NC used NCECF’s groundbreaking Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success and Action Frameworks, along with guidance from medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and from other early childhood organizations. They also incorporated guidance from North Carolina based organizations like Child Care Services Association, MomsRising, and the North Carolina Breastfeeding Association. 

Our policies at the Budget & Tax Center were shaped by the input of our staff union, NOLSW/UAW Local 2320, and all staff past and present who shared their hopes for a workplace that truly values their contributions to our mission. Among the policies that we recognize are essential to this certification are our 12-week paid parental leave policy, our flexible and alternative scheduling policy, and our health care coverage offerings.  

We’re proud to be a Family Forward NC Certified Employer. We’re also proud members of the North Carolina community of employers. The more family-friendly workplaces we have here, the better our state will be for children and families. We encourage other employers to check out the resources available to them through Family Forward NC’s Workplace Guide, including a wealth of model policies, and begin their own journey toward certification. 

While individual businesses and organizations should act, we also encourage our policymakers to enact these standards for all employers in North Carolina. Statewide policy can ensure that every worker, no matter their industry or earnings, gets access to the family friendly workplaces we all deserve. Together, we can build a prosperous and resilient North Carolina that supports working parents and caregivers and gives our state’s children a strong foundation for academic and career success in the future.