Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Anson County Partnership for Children?

Anson County Partnership for Children is a non-profit public/private organization which was formed in 1996 in response to the North Carolina Smart Start initiative. Smart Start’s mission is to help ensure that all NC children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. The Partnership is responsible for developing collaborative strategies to meet the needs of children and families in Anson County. These strategies utilize Smart Start state funds and other funding sources to develop: direct services for children and families; parenting education; child care provider training programs; early literacy services; health services; and other services which are needed to help young children and their families. The Partnership’s Smart Start programs focus on five core areas, customized to meet Anson County’s unique needs. These core areas are: Child Care Quality, Child Care Accessibility, Child Care Affordability, Health Care and Family Support.

What is Smart Start?

Smart Start is North Carolina’s nationally-recognized initiative to ensure all children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start helps working parents pay for child care, improves the quality of child care and provides health and family support services in every North Carolina county.

Smart Start reaches children during the most crucial years of development, with the intent that they arrive at school healthy, motivated and ready to succeed. The goal is to ensure that every child in Anson County has the opportunity for a brighter future. Smart Start brings together all parts of the community — families, churches, business, nonprofits, local government agencies and schools — to work together to improve the lives of young children in Anson County. 

Smart Start, the initiative that created all local partnerships in North Carolina, was launched in 1993 by Governor Jim Hunt. Smart Start provides a comprehensive approach to preparing children for school, and the model is being replicated in other states. Local partnerships, such as ours, determine programs and services that best meet local needs. The North Carolina Partnership for Children is the umbrella non-profit organization, which sets guidelines, as well as provides oversight and technical assistance to local partnerships across the state.  For more information on Smart Start visit

What is the difference between Smart Start and Head Start?

Head Start is a federally-funded preschool program that targets low-income 3- and 4-year-olds. Smart Start is funded through state and private funds and provides a variety of services for all children from birth through age 5 and their families.

Who is served by the Anson County Partnership for Children?

Anson County Partnership for Children serves all children ages 0 to 5 and their families in Anson County each year. The Partnership assists child care providers and early education teachers through consulting services, trainings, and technical assistance to improve their abilities to teach young children.

Why do programs funded by the Anson County Partnership for Children focus on early childhood development?

Years of research proves that educational and emotional development happens at a far greater rate in the earlier years of life and what happens then matters for a lifetime. To make the greatest impact, we must put in place and maintain programs that support children and families in their earlier years of development.

  • Children who arrive at school healthy and well-prepared:
  • Outperform other children on achievement tests
  • Require less grade repetition
  • Are more likely to graduate high school
  • Are less likely to be arrested or commit crimes.

 Is Smart Start just for low-income families?

No. Smart Start works to ensure all children have the skills they need to be successful in school. This includes access to higher quality child care, literacy programs, health/safety related programs and support for families.

How can I enroll my child in a Smart Start center?

Smart Start is not a child care center. Smart Start works to improve the quality of child care centers and homes through educational opportunities for child care teachers, reducing teacher turnover, providing resources and educational materials, etc. The Partnership for Children can provide you with information on what to look for when choosing quality child care in our community. 

How can I get help paying for child care?

The Subsidy Enhancement program is administered by Anson County Department of Social Services and is a Smart Start initiative funded by the Partnership. For information on how to receive help paying for child care contact Anson County DSS at 704.694.9351

What is the difference between Smart Start and NC Pre-Kindergarten program?

Smart Start is a state-wide initiative that begins serving young children at birth with high quality child care, health and family support services. Education begins at birth, so it’s important to reach children early. In Anson County, the Partnership administers the NC Pre-Kindergarten program, a program specifically targeted to reach four-year-olds at-risk of school failure and provide them a quality preschool classroom.

How can I get involved?

There are many ways you can get involved in our efforts to ensure that Anson County is a better place to be a child and to raise a child.  Please contact our office today for more information about how you can help.