1993 Smart Start’s authorizing legislation is ratified on July 9; Smart Start receives $20 million appropriation; the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. is created; the newly created NC Division of Child Development develops and implements Smart Start; in September, Gov. Hunt announces selection of 12 “pioneer” partnerships representing 18 counties.
1994 Smart Start appropriation grows to $47 million; 12 additional partnerships are named from 13 counties.
1995 Ten percent fundraising mandate established; Gov. Hunt announces $7 million pledge to Smart Start by six of the state’s top corporations; Smart Start appropriation increased to $58 million; additional 11 counties are selected, Smart Start services available in 43 counties.
1996 Independent performance audit calls Smart Start a credible program that should be expanded; Smart Start appropriation now $67 million; 12 additional partnerships added; legislation passes requiring 30 percent of Smart Start funds be used for child care subsidies; legislation mandates administration of Smart Start be moved to the NC Partnership for Children.
1997 NC Partnership for Children assumes full oversight and administrative responsibilities for Smart Start; Appropriation grows to $97 million, including planning funds for the remaining 45 counties without Smart Start.
Henderson County Local Partnership is added, and for the first time, every county receives Smart Start funding.
1998 Smart Start services are now available statewide; Smart Start appropriation now $143 million; Smart Start wins the Innovations in American Government award from Harvard University and Ford Foundation.
Henderson County Partnership hires a Program Developer and a needs assessment was completed. The board developed a vision, mission and goals statement and completed a strategic plan. In June 1998, the local partnership was granted their 501c3 status.
1999 Smart Start wins national award from the council of State Governments; FPG Institute evaluation team releases study of six counties which shows children are better prepared for school; Smart Start appropriation grows to $217 million.
Henderson County Partnership replaces Program Developer with an Executive Director. The first invitation for bids was issued for the following projects: Child Care Subsidies, Quality Enhancement, an Early Workforce Study, Preventive Dental Health, Nurses in Child Care, Parenting, and Child Care Resource and Referral. 1999 – 2000 was the first complete year of services for the Partnership. Duke Energy awards the local partnership $20,000 grant to provide outreach to Henderson County families.