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Funded Partners

Smart Start provides services directly to the community and in collaboration with funded partners.  Visit our Services page for a complete list of funded programs and the services they offer.

Smart Start of New Hanover County works to ensure that all children have the experiences they need for healthy growth and development by focusing our efforts in three key areas:

  • Early Care and Education
  • Health Services
  • Family Support

To satisfy measurable local and state-wide goals, Smart Start of New Hanover County identifies needs and resources in our local communities and either funds existing services in partner agencies or works directly to address the need.  We collaborate with a network of community services for children and their families to ensure that every child has the opportunity to enter school prepared for success.

Funded Partner Application

Smart Start of New Hanover County

Request for Proposals

Smart Start of New Hanover County (SSNHC), a private, non-profit agency, is the designated Local Partnership for Children authorized to administer and oversee the use of state Smart Start funding in order to help all New Hanover County children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.  SSNHC strategically provides funding to qualified entities/organizations to support the vision and mission of the Partnership.

Smart Start Core Services:  Smart Start legislation mandates how each Local Partnership’s allocation is spent on specific evidence-based and/or evidence-informed services.

  • At least 70% of Smart Start funds are used to improve the quality of child care and/or make child care more affordable and accessible for working families; a percentage of which must be spent on child care subsidies
  • Up to 30% of funds may be spent on improving children’s health, family support, and/or system support services such as monitoring and evaluation.

Applications for up to three years of services (FY21, FY22 & FY23), with an annual budget renewal/review process, are sought from qualified bidders to provide effective strategies, incorporating the use of evidence-based and/or evidence-informed programming, to meet state performance standards and address at least one of the areas below.

Proposals for multiple years of service should address progress in model fidelity/program implementation over time and cumulative or expanding programmatic outcomes over time.

Child Care Availability

  • System-wide availability of, access to and use of high-quality, affordable child care

Child Care Quality

  • Assistance with maintaining and/or improving quality in 4 and 5 star-licensed facilities
  • Increase star-rated licensure and quality of 1, 2, and 3 star-licensed facilities

Early Childhood Educator Professional Development

  • System-wide support services for early care and education professionals, including but not limited to education and training to meet licensure requirements, health and wellness, and turnover prevention and targeted technical assistance and/or coaching to promote positive social-emotional development, language, and cognitive skills in young children and enhancing teacher-child interactions
  • Support for and access to higher education and degree attainment for early care and education professionals working in star-licensed child care facilities
  • Early intervention and inclusion support for young children with/or at risk for special needs in child care

Early Childhood Consumer Education and Support

  • Consumer education on child care options (in collaboration with regional referrals services), information on quality indicators, on the provision of or increasing access to resources related to child health, development, parenting, and transitions to kindergarten materials and information.
  • Data collection and reporting on early care and education supply and demand and other early childhood system issues.

Early Literacy

  • Support for early literacy development within child care and families of young children such as Motheread/Fatheread and Reach out and Read

Family Strengthening

  • Parent nurturing skills across diverse populations to enhance knowledge of child development, build skills, increase confidence, promote positive interactions, and build peer and resource connections such as Parents as Teachers, Circle of Parents, Kaleidescope, Incredible Years, and Triple P – Positive Parenting Program
  • Supports targeted to the birth to three population, children in toxic environments

Evaluation criteria may include the following: evidence of effectiveness; proposed annual outcomes, knowledge/experience with model fidelity or other programmatic guidelines; complete and succinct proposal components; scope and feasibility of project; relevant organization and staff experience/expertise; substantiation of need; and cost effectiveness.

All funding is based on the appropriation of funds to Smart Start by the North Carolina General Assembly and the prioritization of services to best meet local needs, and state and local performance standards.   All funding will be reviewed annually.

Important dates related to Funding Application:

  • Friday, January 17, 2020 at 10:00am– A Smart Start Bidders Meeting will be held at 3534 S. College Rd., Suite F, Wilmington, NC. The purpose of the meeting will be to answer questions related to the application, funding process and agency requirements.
  • By Friday, January 31, 2020 at 5:00pm – Request an electronic proposal packet by calling SSNHC (910) 815-3731 or by sending an email to:
  • Friday, February 21, 2020 by 5:00pm – Proposals are due.  Late, faxed, or emailed only applications will not be reviewed.