Allocation Process

Smart Start conducts an annual allocation process to review and approve funding for programs that meet the criteria of Smart Start’s objectives based on annual funding from the state legislature. 

Every three years, bids are requested from community agencies who are direct service providers and information is given about the types of programs we are able to fund, including proposal requirements, deadlines, procedures, etc. Funding is not guaranteed for a full three years as it depends on available funding and program performance. 

Program activities are reviewed and approved by the Smart Start Board of Directors on an annual basis.

FY2017-2018 Funding Opportunities

Early Care and Education 

Quality of Placements & Staff Education

PBIS PLA50 – Child Care Subsidy

In collaboration with Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, administer the provision of child care subsidy in the following priority area:

·       At-risk populations participating in Smart Start-funded programs 

Contractor will have previous experience administering subsidy application process including application screening and eligibility determination, administration of subsidized vouchers to eligible participants and payment processing.  Click Here for application and budget templates.

FY2015-2018 Funding Opportunities

Family support

PBIS FS10 – Parenting Skills:

1)      Evidence-based home visiting program using the Nurse-Family Partnership, Parent as Teachers or Healthy Families America model to help parents with multiple risk-factors with children 0 to 5. Contractor will offer a menu of services which includes: parent education using a research-based curriculum, developmental screenings, support system development, and community referrals with follow-up. Agency must have demonstrated success in working with the target population and implementing the program with model fidelity.

2)    Parent education for families with children 3-5 utilizing the Incredible Years curriculum OR parent education for families with children 0-3 using an evidence based curriculum/model. Support services may include: counseling, developmental screenings, home visits and community referrals with follow-up.  Target populations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • adolescent parents
  • parents aging or aged out of the foster care system
  • homeless families
  • families of children with special needs
  • fathers with primary custody
  • children involved in domestic violence, sexual abuse or substance abuse situations
  • parents who have been referred or mandated to attend parenting classes
  • immigrant families

Activity should not focus solely on children in a licensed child care setting. Agency must have demonstrated success in working with the target population and willingness to implement the program with model fidelity.

PBIS FS20 – Family Literacy:

1)    Evidence-based early literacy program using the Raising A Reader model targeting low-income and minority families with children 0 to 5, designed to increase the amount of time families engage in literacy activities, increase the frequency of public library visits, and/or increase the number of books in the home.

2)    Evidence-based early literacy program using the Reach Out and Read model targeting medical practices serving low-income and minority children 0-5.  Agency must have established contacts and prior work experience with the local medical community.

3)      Evidence-informed early literacy program using the ReadyRosie model targeting families with children 0-5. This opportunity is not limited to families with young children enrolled in a licensed child care setting.  Agency must offer ReadyRosie in conjunction with other early literacy programs it currently provides.

PBIS FS30 – Child Care Referrals:

Consumer education and child care referrals, via the telephone or in-person, to help families identify and select quality early education services that meet their child care needs and preferences.


PBIS H10 – Early Intervention

1)      Comprehensive services for children with behavioral challenges that impact their child care placement or who have therapeutic needs that do not qualify for the NC Infant-Toddler Program, or CMS Preschool Exceptional Children Services. Contractor will offer a range of service options which may include direct therapy, staff and parent training, mental health consultation, support groups, and information and referral to link children and families with existing community resources.

2)      A child-find activity designed to identify children in one of three priority populations who may be eligible for enrollment in early intervention services:

  • children admitted to an Intensive Care Unit
  • homeless children
  • children exhibiting symptoms that fall within the Autism Spectrum Disorder

Contractor will offer education and support to assist families with referral to and possible enrollment in early intervention services and will work with families/ relative caregivers and child care providers to link children with appropriate community services and supports.

3)      Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Coordinator to provide training, technical assistance and coaching to Mecklenburg County medical practices to assist them in integrating developmental screening, referral and follow-up into their practices. Contractor must have experience in working with medical practices serving children birth to five, knowledge of validated screening tools and referrals to appropriate community services.

Early Care and Education 

Quality of Placements & Staff Education

PBIS PLA30 – Supply of Placements

Support for star-rated preschools located in inner-city neighborhoods that serve high risk children ages 2-5 and their families.  Children will attend the preschool for less than eight hours/day.  The preschool must provide the following:

  • high quality early care and education using a recognized curriculum/approach,
  • on-going parent training/support through a dedicated family support staff member
  • home visits
  • access to early literacy resources and community referrals.

PBIS PLA40 – Child Placements

1)      Contractor will offer the following menu of services: 1) training and technical assistance including sessions that focus on children’s behavioral concerns (if applicable), 2) access to mentors, 3) materials delivered onsite by a mobile resource center and 4) grants to purchase materials/equipment based on environment rating scale assessments. Services will be available to one or more of the following groups of child care facilities (separate proposal required for each group to be served):

  • 4 and 5 star rated child care facilities to help them maintain their star rating
  • GS-110, temporary-licensed, 1, 2 and 3 star rated child care facilities to help them increase their star rating
  • Star rated child care facilities to help them increase their quality of care for infants/toddlers

2)      Child Care Health Consultation to assist child care facilities in areas which will include: health and safety practices, professional development, communicable diseases, emergency preparedness, nutrition education, and referrals.  Contractor must provide medical personnel for program consultation.

3)      Intervention using an established curriculum to help star rated child care facilities improve the environments, policies and practices of nutrition and physical activity for children zero to five.  Contractor may provide training, on-site technical assistance, resources and grants to purchase materials/equipment needed to reach project goals.

4)      Comprehensive services designed to increase directors’ capacities to effectively manage high-quality child care facilities and will build capacity for individuals interested in becoming directors. Contractor will offer a menu of services which may include: leadership training, technical assistance, access to mentors, workshops, resource materials and grants.

PBIS PLA50 – Child Care Subsidy

1)      (no bidding requirement) In collaboration with Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, administer the provision of child care subsidy in one or more of the following priority areas:

  • At-risk populations participating in Smart Start-funded programs
  • Non-TANF families

2)      (bidding required) Support for 5 star rated child care centers serving a minimum of 15% of enrolled children with a developmental delay as documented by an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), diagnosed disability or chronic health condition as documented by a health care provider’s diagnosis AND the facility has current subsidy contract with a local purchasing agent.

3)      (no bidding requirement) NC Pre-K

PBIS EDU10 – Teacher Education

1)      Faculty and other resources to provide diverse delivery strategies through an accredited institution of higher learning examples of which may include: remedial courses for early childhood professionals, a recruiter, weekend/summer institutes and/or additional courses to meet emerging needs.

2)      Education Award Program which includes managing all components of this activity based upon Smart Start-established guideline including determining participant eligibility and check distribution.

PBIS COMP10 – Teacher Compensation

Program for 4 and 5 star facilities that offers monthly bonuses (up to 12 months) to be used for staff performance bonuses, curriculum training, health insurance, retirement and/or materials/equipment for children’s learning.  Facility eligibility will be based upon available funding and a Smart Start-determined menu of criteria that may include but is not limited to: compliance history, substantiated abuse/neglect complaints and number of subsidized children enrolled. Contractor will document program eligibility, prepare and disburse reports and bonuses, maintain files and computer database, provide technical assistance and conduct monitoring visits per Smart Start-established guidelines.



Production of parent and community educational information for distribution to diverse populations.  Strategies may include, but are not limited to, Smart Start website, printed parenting resources, a Smart Start annual report, and agency brochure. The activity may include an educational event.

Bidders’ Conference


The Annual Bidders’ Conference will be Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 10 to 11 a.m. at:

Children and Family Services Center

601 E. 5th St.

Training Room 1

Charlotte, NC 28202

All bidding materials will be posted on the Smart Start website before the conference so that you will have a chance to download all forms prior to the bidder’s conference. (Check our website after Jan 14th)


Parking is located adjacent to the CFSC building on 5th Street.