Home Together NC budget series Lucy Daniels Center and Smart Start

Lucy Daniels Center and Smart Start


North Carolinians understand that the future of our state depends on ensuring that our young children birth to five have the early intervention and quality education to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

That’s why our General Assembly created Smart Start, our nationally-recognized infrastructure for early childhood education.

Through 77 local partnerships that serve all 100 counties, Smart Start serves hundreds of thousands of children every year by providing quality child care, dental and health screenings and referrals, mental health services, and family supports such as adult literacy coaching.

Smart Start served 124,000 children in child care last year alone, along with thousands more young children who are not in child care by providing services such as parent training and health screenings.

Smart Start’s success has been verified repeatedly in more than 35 independent studies and recently Duke University released a study that showed that Smart Start increases third grade test scores and reduces the need for special education.

Investments in quality early child education pay off and Nobel-prize winning economist James Heckman has found that such investments yield higher returns than those in higher education or job training.

Legislators are currently consider cuts to Smart Start that would undermine the entire program and threaten the future of our children and our economy.

If you’re concerned about the fate of Smart Start and other public investments, visit www.togethernc.org to learn more about our efforts to promote healthy, successful communities.

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