Smart Start can provide scholarships to families with children ages 0-5 who are enrolled in 4- or 5-star rated childcare facilities in Henderson County.

In order to qualify for a Smart Start Scholarship, the parent or responsible adult must provide proof of employment of at least 30 hours per week or proof of current enrollment as a full-time student.  This criteria applies to both parents if they are living together in the same home.

Income eligibility depends upon family size and is calculated based upon the gross pay listed on the 3 most recent paystubs from the parent or responsible adult's employer plus any other forms of income the family may receive, i.e., child support.

Family Size 

Monthly Income Limit















Appointments can be scheduled as funding allows to determine eligibility and issue Smart Start Scholarships.  At times, Smart Start maintains a waiting list of interested applicants.


For additional information, please contact:

Kelly Hart, Program Support Specialist

722 5th Avenue West

Hendersonville, NC 28739

(828) 693-1580

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For 20 years, Smart Start Partnership for Children has invested in the community though education, advocacy and providing a variety of services for young children and their families to help ensure a better, brighter future for our local community. Our 2018–2020 strategic plan positions us for continued impact towards creating successful children in Henderson County.

We are pleased to share this strategic plan for Smart Start Partnership for Children that will guide our work over the next several years. Please click on the Strategic Plan link below to view the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

How do I register my child for the Imagination Library?

There are two ways to register:

  • From the Smart Start website:
  • Contact our office to have a paper registration form mailed to you. Call 828-693-1580.

Why do you ask me to complete a survey when I register?

We use the survey to gather information to share with our funders so they can see the program impact and the importance of the Imagination Library in our community.

How much does it cost to sign up?

There is no cost to families for enrolled children, although donations are always welcomed.

Who pays for the book?

In Henderson County, the Imagination Library is entirely funded by our generous community, through business, organization, and individual donations and local and state grants. It only costs $30 to support a child for a year, and anyone can donate!

How do I donate to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?

It only costs $30 to support a child for a year. Donations can be made payable to Smart Start Partnership for Children (Memo: Imagination Library) and sent to:
Smart Start Partnership for Children
722 5th Avenue West
Hendersonville, NC 28739

You can also click here to donate to support this important work via an online contribution.

How can I change my address if my family moves?

If you move within Henderson County, you MUST change your address with Smart Start Partnership for Children in order for your child to continue receiving their books. These books cannot be forwarded, even with a Change of Address in place at the post office. To make this change, please contact our office as soon as possible. It takes 1-2 months for an address change to go into effect, so it’s important that we know about a move as soon as possible for your child’s book delivery to be uninterrupted.

What if I forgot to change my address?

Books will be returned to us at full postage cost or the post office will simply throw them away. This is why it is so important to change your address with us. If we do not hear from you, we will have to remove your child from the program. Every dollar spent on returned postage reduces the number of children we can serve.

If I move out of Henderson County, can I continue to receive books?

There may be an Imagination Library in the community where you are moving. When you call us to notify us of your change of address, we will look to see if there is a program in your new zip code. If it is available, we will help transfer your information.

Why did my child not get their book this month?

If your child did not receive their book this month, it could be for one of several reasons.

  • Some of the books have hard covers and may not fit into your mailbox. If this is the case, the post office might put a yellow package slip into your box and hold your book for you to pick up at the postal service desk.
  • If you have recently moved, it is important that you contact Smart Start to report your address change. The post office will not forward your books.
  • If you did not notify us of an address change, your child may have been unenrolled.
  • If you have recently submitted your registration, it takes 4-8 weeks from enrollment for your child to receive their first book.
  • If you have recently registered, your child may be placed on a waiting list.

Can more than one child in each family receive the books?

Yes! All children ages birth to age four in Henderson County are eligible to enroll.

I am pregnant; can I sign up my unborn baby?

Because we will need to know the exact birth date of your child (to ensure age-appropriate books), it is important to wait until after your child is born to enroll them in the program.

Are all the books the same for each child?

Children who are in the Imagination Library receive a different book each month they are enrolled. The books your child receives are intended to be age-appropriate for your child’s specific age. Each year there will be a new set of books chosen. So, for example, if your child was born in 2016, he or she will receive the same book in July as all the other children who were born in 2016. If you have multiple children who go through the program, there will likely be some duplicate books throughout the 5-year period they are enrolled, but you will also receive quite a few new ones for your family to enjoy.

Who selects the Imagination Library books?

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library Foundation has a Library Committee that consists of early literacy specialists who choose which books are provided each year. Smart Start Partnership for Children is not a part of this selection process.

Where can I donate books our family has outgrown?

We encourage you to donate children’s books for children of all ages to Smart Start Partnership for Children! We hold a used children’s book sale every February to raise funds to enroll more Henderson County children into the Imagination Library. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get event information; we would love to see you there!

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For additional information, please contact:
Kelly Hart, Program Support Specialist
722 5th Avenue West
Hendersonville, NC 28739
Phone: (828) 693-1580
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Welcome new and continuing partners!

To ensure every child in Henderson County enters school ready to succeed, Smart Start of Henderson County leads community strategies for children birth through age five and their families that promote healthy development and learning and enhance access to high quality care.

Smart Start of Henderson County is accepting proposals for Smart Start funding beginning July 1, 2017. Please see the Bid Ad here.

The following includes the Request for Proposals, forms, resources and required documents necessary to submit a complete and accurate bid proposal: 

Request for Proposal Instructions

Project Guidelines 


Program Logic Models and Measurable Indicators

Community Outreach and Awareness Logic Model

Community Outreach and Awareness Measurable Indicators

Parents as Teachers Logic Model

Parents as Teachers Measurable Indicators

Partners in Reading Logic Model

Partners in Reading Measurable Indicators

Reach Out and Read Logic Model

Reach Out and Read Measurable Indicators

Smart Start Quality Enhancement Logic Model

Smart Start Quality Enhancement Measurable Indicators

Smart Start Rewards Logic Model

Smart Start Rewards Measurable Indicators

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Evidence-based Evidence Informed Guide

Early Childhood Profile Indicators

Smart Start Cost Principles

TA Core Competencies

The Bidder is responsible for reviewing all grant documentation prior to submission. Complete applications must be received by 12:00 noon on Thursday, June 1, 2017 in the Smart Start of Henderson County office at 722 5th Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC 28739 and must follow instructions detailed in the Request for Proposals.

You may contact the Executive Director at 828-693-1580 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.