Smart Start

Smart Start is North Carolina's nationally recognized and award-winning early childhood initiative designed to ensure young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start is a partnership between government and private businesses to provide early education funding to all of the North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Smart Start is a public-private initiative that provides early education funding to all of the state's 100 counties. Smart Start funds are administered at the local level through local nonprofit organizations called Local Partnerships.  Smart Start funds are used to improve the quality of child care, make child care more affordable and accessible, provide access to health services and offer family support.  If you are not a Harnett County resident, please visit the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) for more information on the partnership in your area.

Smart Start has garnered much national recognition and is considered a model for comprehensive early childhood education initiatives.



The North Carolina General Assembly provides Smart Start dollars to every county across the state.  HCPC is the agency that administers Smart Start dollars to Harnett County.  This means that every program funded by Smart Start dollars in the county has to follow strict legislative guidelines and mandates.



North Carolina's federal Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant is not funded through Smart Smart although it funds an array of projects dedicated to improving early learning and development opportunities for North Carolina's young children and families. Visit the Early Learning Challenge to learn more about funded projects.