In North Carolina, Smart Start brings together families, teachers, doctors, dentists, libraries, schools and many others to create a comprehensive system of child care and education for children across the state. Smart Start programs improve child health, family support, and access to high quality child care and education.
Smart Start has received national recognition by the Kennedy School of Government, the Ford Foundation, and the National Council of Governments. In her new book, Child Care Today, bestselling child development author Penelope Leach cites North Carolina’s Smart Start program as a pathfinder in the nation. Smart Start is a national leader in early childhood education. Every state in the nation has requested assistance and resources from Smart Start.
Some of Smart Start’s work includes
- In addition to being a driving force in creating the state’s star rating system, Smart Start continues to work with early childhood programs and families in many ways, including supporting teachers’ continuing education, improving facilities, and helping families learn about high quality care.
- Smart Start funds many parenting skills programs, including The Incredible Years Program. This program provides 14 weeks of group training for parents, with an emphasis on positive parenting strategies that promote children’s healthy behaviors.
- Smart Start funds many early literacy programs, including Raising a Reader. The program teaches parents how to share books with children in a way that is fun and engaging.
- While Smart Start helps all children have quality experiences, the organization has been especially successful in serving the needs of at-risk children.
- The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. is the organization that oversees Smart Start.