The FY 09-10 budget cuts Smart Start’s funding by 7.62% ($15,965,000). Now, with Governor Perdue ordering an additional 5% withholding, Smart Start faces an additional loss of f $9,682,892.
To gain perspective on what that means, Smart Start has put together a list of what $9.7 million means to Smart Start.
$7.8 million = ALL programs to improve the quality of early child care programs.
Studies show that children in high-quality child care programs have better brain and social development.
$13.2 million = ALL programs that keep stable, qualified teachers in early childhood classrooms.
Research shows teacher education is related to high quality preschool programs that lead to increases in school success, higher test scores, fewer school dropouts, higher graduation rates, less special education and even lower crime rates.
$8.2 million = ALL Parents as Teachers programs.
Parents as Teachers increases parent knowledge of early childhood development, improves parenting practices, provides early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevents child abuse and neglect, and increases children’s school readiness and school success.
$9.2 million = ALL Prenatal and Newborn AND All Home Visiting AND All Child Care Health Consultants programs.
Research has found that home visitor programs can increase use of prenatal care, result in fewer subsequent pregnancies, improve developmental outcomes for infants, and decrease child abuse and neglect.
$11 million = ALL programs to help parents find quality child care and the resources to afford it.
High-quality early education and child care for young children improves their health and promotes their development and learning.
$10.1 million = ALL of Smart Start’s early childhood programs in 33 counties — leaving the more than 41,000 children (0 to 5) in those counties without these services.
The 33 counties are Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Bertie, Camden, Caswell, Cherokee, Chowan, Clay, Currituck, Dare, Davie, Gates, Graham, Greene, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Macon, Madison, Martin, Mitchell, Northampton, Pamlico, Perquimans, Polk, Swain, Transylvania, Tyrrell, Warren, Washington, Watauga, and Yancey.
In her announcement of the withholding, the Governor said:
“Special exceptions may be made for constitutionally mandated or entitlement programs as well as urgent situations related to direct classroom instruction, economic development opportunities, law enforcement, health care and public safety.”