There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when he or she will begin kindergarten. During that time, brain architecture is forming, creating the foundation for all future learning.

Smart Start Partnership for Children invests in young children and their families to provide the opportunities children need to be successful in school and in life. Our mission is to support, educate, and advocate to build a strong foundation for young children in our community, and we are accomplishing this by partnering with local organizations that:

• Improve the quality of early childhood education.
• Increase access to affordable, high-quality care for children. 
• Provide the tools families need to support their child’s healthy development.
• Expand early literacy opportunities so that every child in Henderson County begins school ready to learn to read.

When all families in Henderson County have access to quality services, children will reach their full potential!


We are a Smart Start Partnership.

Smart Start was created in 1993 as an innovative solution to the problem of children coming to school unprepared to learn. Policymakers established Smart Start as a public/private partnership to address the issue. Independent, private organizations work in all 100 North Carolina counties through the North Carolina Partnership for Children and 75 Local Partnerships, including Henderson County's own Smart Start Partnership for Children. 

Annually, Smart Start Partnership for Children gives away over $450,000 in Smart Start Scholarships to provide access to high quality early care and education, while providing over 250,000 books through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

Smart Start partnerships work with service providers, early childhood educators, families, and communities to support young children and their families. Our everyday work is grounded in our commitment to diversity & inclusion, equity, cultural humility, building resiliency, and community partnerships.