Smart Start

The early years are learning years!

There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and the time that child enters kindergarten. During that time, brain architecture is forming, creating the foundation for all future learning.

A child’s early years are a crucial window to create the best possible outcomes in education, health, and economic prosperity, and to build a successful future both for individuals and for our community. High-quality early childhood programs have a lasting impact, and investing in a child’s early years is one of the best investments we can make.

Smart Start in Durham County

Addressing the needs of young children is a shared endeavor. 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 partnering organizations that receive Smart Start grants. The Partnership is responsible for Durham County meeting statewide benchmarks in the areas of early care and education, family support, and health. All funded partners provide evidence-based/evidence-informed services that are monitored and evaluated to document real impact. Our approach to programming in Durham is unique and comprehensive in serving the needs of our local birth to 5 community.

What is Smart Start?

Smart Start is North Carolina’s nationally-recognized initiative to ensure that every child reaches his or her potential and enters school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start seeks to advance a high quality, comprehensive, accountable system of care and education for every child beginning with a healthy birth.

Smart Start helps working parents pay for child care, improves the quality of child care and provides health and family support services in every North Carolina county. Smart Start measurably increases the health and well-being of young children birth to age 5, building the foundation for all future learning, by:

  • Improving children’s early care and education programs so that they are safe, healthy and provide opportunities for children to learn skills they need for success in school.
  • Providing parents with tools that support them in raising healthy, happy, successful children.
  • Ensuring that children have access to preventive health care

The power of Smart Start is that it delivers outcomes by giving communities local control to determine the best approach to achieving them. Durham’s Partnership for Children was established in 1994 and first funded in 1995.

More information about Smart Start is available at the North Carolina Partnership for Children’s web site.

Click here to learn more about our Smart Start Funded Partners.

Partners, please click here to view the Direct Service Provider Manual.