The Orange County Partnership for Young Children was founded as a nonprofit agency in 1993, as the first Smart Start agency in the state. The mission of the Partnership is to ensure that all young children arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed. The Partnership serves as the administrator for the Smart Start Early Childhood Initiative and the NC Pre-K Program in Orange County. Through the Partnership’s Smart Start and NC Pre-K grants, we promote young children’s healthy development and school readiness by planning and funding a variety of programs that address the critical issues facing young children and their families. Our programs concentrate on early childhood education, children’s health, early intervention, parenting education, and family support.
Our Partnership seeks to address the critical issues facing young children and families that adversely affect a child’s school readiness.
Our goals include:
- Improve early care and education services.
- Ensure low-income families have access to child care for employment or education.
- Enhance family education and support.
- Enhance early intervention services for children at-risk of developmental delays or disabilities.
- Ensure the physical and mental health of young children.
- Ensure that children are safe from abuse, neglect, and injury.
We also focus on specific groups in the community by convening task forces and publishing policy studies. To date, the Partnership has paid special attention to the needs of disadvantaged families, children with special needs, and Latino families in Orange County.
The Partnership promotes collaboration among the agencies that we fund, and also seeks to engage community residents, the business community and the faith community in supporting young children and families.