As the convener and facilitator of Durham’s early childhood system, the Partnership invests in and works alongside high-quality early childhood programs offered through our partner organizations that receive Smart Start grants.
For nearly 25 years, the Smart Start Initiative has provided a broad range of services to ensure more Durham families receive the support and resources they need, more child care centers can improve the quality of early education, and more parents can access affordable child care. Our approach to programming in Durham is unique and comprehensive in serving the needs of our local birth to 5 community.
Our Board of Directors determines which programs receive Smart Start funding, taking into account recommendations from Partnership staff and our Allocations Committee. This year, we decided to host a Smart Start Partner Fair to give Board and Committee members an opportunity to learn more about each organization. They had the chance to ask questions, get details about programs and services, and interact one-on-one with the service providers who work with Durham’s young children and families every day. It was informative and fun for everyone to see the impact these programs make in our community!
All of our funded partners provide evidence-based/evidence-informed services that are monitored and evaluated to document real impact, and we are responsible for Durham County meeting statewide benchmarks in the areas of early care and education, family support, and health.
Across North Carolina, Smart Start measurably increases the health and well-being of young children birth to age 5, building the foundation for all future learning, by:
Last year, 93% of school readiness outcomes were achieved by Durham’s Smart Start programs.
To learn more about Smart Start, please click here.