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We are pleased to provide and/or fund many programs that promote Smart Start’s ideas of helping all children in NC enter school healthy, motivated and ready to succeed. For further information on any of the programs listed below or to support Carteret Smart Start, contact the office at (252) 727-0440.

DSS Subsidy

The Carteret County Department of Social Services helps working families subsidize the cost of childcare, placing children in childcare centers/Family Childcare Homes that have earned 4 stars or above.

Child Care Resource and Referral

CCR&R provides training and technical support to licensed/legally operating childcare centers and homes. It coordinates training, provides individualized technical assistance, counsels parents on childcare options, and collects data concerning childcare throughout the county. CCR&R maintains a resource library at the Partnership office that is available to both providers and the community.

If you are a parent looking for information on available child care, please contact the Martin-Pitt Partnership for Children at (855) 730-5798, or click here to visit the Child Links site.

If you are a child care provider looking for training opportunities, please click here for our current training calendar.

Early Education Outreach

Our Early Education Outreach program offers Story Explorers – a part-time early education parent/child preschool program.  The program serves children 0-3 years of age.  (**Children cannot turn 4 years old on or before September 1, 2020 to participate in the 2020-2021 program** – Older siblings cannot attend weekly Story Explorer classes, but can attend community field trips.**)Parents and children attend together.  The program is free and open to all families living in Carteret County.  There is an application process with slots filled on a first-come first-serve basis. Only new families need to apply.

Story Explorers runs from September through May.  We have classes at 9:30 and 11:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Each class is 1 1/2 hours in length.  Families participate in the same class each week. A parent or caregiver remains with the child(ren) during the weekly class.

Applications can be found HERE or are available at the Carteret Smart Start office.  We will begin accepting applications for the Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 starting June 1, 2020. Once the classes are full, we will begin a wait list for all days and times.  Families will be notified of their child’s acceptance into the program by August 15, 2020.  If you have not received a response by this date, please assume your family is on the wait list.  You will be contacted when there is an opening.  If you have any questions, please e-mail Tara (twilleford or Lisa ( or call 252-727-0440.

Dolly Parton Imagination Library

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a book gifting program for children from birth to age five.  The mission of the program is to foster a love of reading in preschool children, and ensure that every child born has book, regardless of their family’s income.  Children receive an age-appropriate book each month up to their 5th birthday.

Baby Steps

This in-home family support and parent empowerment program utilizes a strength-based approach while providing education, support and additional resource information to families with children ages prenatal through 3 years old. Through regular visits parents gain valuable information and insights into their children and themselves.

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read works cooperatively with local pediatricians to “prescribe” reading to young children and families during well-child visits.  In addition to children receiving books, parents receive information on early literacy and the importance of reading aloud.

Monitoring & Evaluation

The program ensures accountability for Carteret Smart Start services through evaluation and monitoring.

Ratio Reduction

Carteret Smart Start subsidizes centers to offset the cost of reducing child/staff ratios. In return for paying the extra teacher, we require that ratios be kept at a much lower rate than mandated by the state, and that teachers pursue a higher level of education.

NC Pre-K

The program, through funding from Carteret Smart Start, provides high quality early education to at-risk 4-year olds in public school and private childcare facilities.

Home-Based Family Therapy

Through funding from Carteret Smart Start, home-based family therapy and case management are provided to those children with risk factors that have been associated with the development of negative outcomes later in life. Researchers have determined that certain risk factors exist during early childhood that contribute to later school failure, psychiatric illness, criminal involvement, vocational instability and poor social relationships. The family preservation model provides real logistical support to overwhelmed parents, fosters positive parent-child relationships, assists in the development of household consistency, fosters competence and self-confidence in the child and connects the child and parent with a caring mentor.

Carteret County Partnership for Children

3328-A Bridges Street
Morehead City, NC 28557

Phone: (252) 727-0440 · Fax: (252) 727-0460
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