1993 - Smart Start’s authorizing legislation is ratified on July 9; Smart Start receives $20 million appropriation; the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. is created; the newly created NC Division of Child Development develops and implements Smart Start; in September, Gov. Hunt announces selection of 12 “pioneer” partnerships representing 18 counties.
1994 - Smart Start appropriation grows to $47 million; 12 additional partnerships are named from 13 counties.
1995 - Ten percent fundraising mandate established; Gov. Hunt announces $7 million pledge to Smart Start by six of the state’s top corporations; Smart Start appropriation increased to $58 million; additional 11 counties are selected, Smart Start services available in 43 counties.
1996 - Independent performance audit calls Smart Start a credible program that should be expanded; Smart Start appropriation now $67 million; 12 additional partnerships added; legislation passes requiring 30 percent of Smart Start funds be used for child care subsidies; legislation mandates administration of Smart Start be moved to the NC Partnership for Children.
1997 - NC Partnership for Children assumes full oversight and administrative responsibilities for Smart Start; Appropriation grows to $97 million, including planning funds for the remaining 45 counties without Smart Start. Henderson County Local Partnership is added, and for the first time, every county receives Smart Start funding.
1998 - Smart Start services are now available statewide; Smart Start appropriation now $143 million; Smart Start wins the Innovations in American Government award from Harvard University and Ford Foundation.
Henderson County Partnership hires a Program Developer and completes a needs assessment. The board develops a vision, mission and goals statement and completes a strategic plan. In June 1998, the local partnership was granted their 501c3 status.
1999 - Smart Start wins national award from the council of State Governments; FPG Institute evaluation team releases study of six counties which shows children are better prepared for school; Smart Start appropriation grows to $217 million.
Henderson County Partnership replaces Program Developer with an Executive Director. The first invitation for bids was issued for the following projects: Child Care Subsidies, Quality Enhancement, an Early Workforce Study, Preventive Dental Health, Nurses in Child Care, Parenting, and Child Care Resource and Referral. 1999 – 2000 was the first complete year of services for the Partnership. Duke Energy awards the local partnership $20,000 grant to provide outreach to Henderson County families.