Smart Start was created in 1993 as a solution to a problem: children were coming to school unprepared to learn. Smart Start is a network of 76 nonprofit local partnerships led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc (NCPC). NCPC works to provide fiscal and programmatic oversight to the local partnerships in all 100 counties. Is it working? Smart Start is producing some measurable results.
- Childhood obesity-Smart Start is partnering with The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation on a “Shape NC” grant. This is a strategy to create a healthier state.
- Improving early literacy- Programs like Raising a Reader and Reach Out and Read are providing books to parents to read with their children. Information is also being provided on how to help children develop literacy and language skills.
- Increasing access to high quality child care for subsided families. In 2012-13, 84 percent of children whose families received help with payment attended 4 and 5 star centers.
The North Carolina Partnership for Children helps all of the local partnerships by providing tools to do business including offering leadership training to Executive Directors, board members and management teams. They also help support child care businesses in improving and achieving higher stars, onsite technical assistance and training. All of these things guarantee that all of NC’s children have the opportunity to benefit from Smart Start.