About Smart Start

Smart Start is a nationally recognized early childhood education initiative to expand and improve services for children ages birth to five and their families.


Smart Start was established in 1993, under the leadership of then Governor Jim Hunt, as a state-wide, public/private partnership to help all North Carolina children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.

Funding Programs

Local Smart Start partnerships, comprised of community members, fund programs within their own communities based on each county’s particular needs and resources. Local partnerships operate in all 100 North Carolina counties through funding from the North Carolina legislature, corporations, foundations, and individual donors.

Mecklenburg County Partnership for Children

The Mecklenburg County Partnership for Children, better known as Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, is the local partnership organization serving children and families throughout Mecklenburg County.

Statewide oversight of all Smart Start programs is provided through The North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC).