Smart Start proving itself

Published 10:14 pm Sunday, January 6, 2008

By Staff
More children getting help
By CLAUD HODGES, Senior Reporter
More families with young children have access to, and are participating in, high quality child care programs in both Beaufort and Hyde counties.
And, the programs are showing promise in moving these child care programs upward. As the programs increase in size, the benefit for the children, their families and the children’s living environments grow toward self-fulfillment.
The North Carolina Partnership for Children Inc. leads the state Smart Start program and evaluates local and statewide progress every December.
Data released after the evaluation process this December offers a snapshot of how Smart Start’s numerous programs are going statewide.
Smart Start is North Carolina’s early childhood leadership network dedicated to assuring that every child reaches his or her potential and is prepared for success in a globally competitive world.
Since 2001 in Beaufort County, the Smart Start program increased 28 percentage points when identifying the number of children enrolled in high quality child care.
In Hyde County, the increase was 13 percentage points since 2001.
Currently, 70 percent of Beaufort County children and 60 percent of Hyde County children in child care are enrolled in the highest quality programs.
Woolard said that the Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children actively works with child care programs throughout the county to improve the quality of child care.
First of all, she said the partnership assesses center quality. Then, it recommends changes where it thinks there are needs for changes. In conclusion, the partnership extends its arms to help child care teachers continue their education.
Woolard said the award means much for the program and reflects the best working relationship from all individuals in the program.