Smart Start is North Carolina's nationally recognized and award-winning early childhood initiative designed to ensure that young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.
Smart Start is a public-private initiative that provides early education funding to all of the state's 100 counties. Smart Start funds are administered at the local level through local nonprofit organizations called Local Partnerships. Services at the local level depend on local needs. Funding for Smart Start is currently $192 million in state funds.
Smart Start funds are used to improve the quality of child care, make child care more affordable and accessible, provide access to health services and offer family support. Smart Start has achieved tremendous results in these areas and continues to strive to reach all children in North Carolina.
Smart Start has garnered much national recognition and is considered a model for comprehensive early childhood education initiatives. In 2001, the National Technical Assistance Center was established to assist other states with the development of a similar early education initiative.