Editor’s note: This sampling of resources is part of Carolina Public Press’ Special Report about Children in Western North Carolina. This Special Report includes stories about how proposed budget cuts to the Smart Start and More and Four could affect thousands of WNC children and how parents are already challenged navigating the state subsidized childcare system. The Special Report also features a Photo Essay of children in a Smart Start-supported Henderson County childcare center.
North Carolina Government Resources
The N.C. Division of Child Development of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services strives to implement quality standards, increase access for families and collaborate to promote enhanced service delivery of care and education. The agency’s website includes:
- Tips on choosing quality child care;
- A summary of state child care law and rules;
- Information on how financial assistance for child care in North Carolina works;
- Child care center licensing requirements;
- Advice about early intervention for children with special needs.
Smart Start and The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. implement North Carolina’s program for early childhood education and child care that works through 77 local public-private partnerships in the state’s 100 counties in conjunction with nonprofit North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. According to Smart Start’s website, these “local partnerships have established community networks that bridge education, health services, and family supports to best meet the needs of young children and their families.” Resources on the site include:
- Contact information for each county’s Smart Start partnership;
- Academic and other articles about early childhood education and child care;
- Linkage to The North Carolina Partnership for Children’s “Say YES to Early Childhood” advocacy blog.
Federal Government Resources
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families website offers information about:
- A range of services, including guidance about adoption and foster care, child abuse and neglect, child care, child support, disabilities, disaster assistance, early childhood education, the Fatherhood Initiative, Head Start, Native American tribal-related issues, and temporary assistance for needy families;
- Policy planning information including research, statistics, federal policy initiatives, and federal legislation;
- The Child Welfare Information Gateway.
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (ChildStats.gov) features data and statistics about children and families in the United States compiled from various federal agencies, including:
- America’s Children at a Glance which includes national demographic, educational, behavioral, health care-related and other data;
- Publications, such as ones with key national indicators of children’s health and well-being.
North Carolina Organizations
Action for Children North Carolina, a statewide, independent, non-partisan, non-profit child advocacy organization, has a site that includes:
- Statistics, research and publications about children and families and issues facing them;
- Child-related policy work, including state policy campaigns, General Assembly news, legislation monitoring.
Children First/Communities in Schools (CIS) of Buncombe County is a nonprofit that advocates for and offers services to economically disadvantaged children, youth and their families in the county. The organization’s site includes information about:
- The Family Resource Center at Emma, which helps families in crisis with food, clothing, emergency financial assistance, parenting classes and a community garden;
- Latino Outreach;
- Project MARCH Learning Centers for at-risk elementary school aged youth;
- The Project POWER/AmeriCorps program that provides mentoring and enrichment activities to youth living in Buncombe County.
The North Carolina Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families states on its site that, through a System of Care framework, it “provides a forum for collaboration, advocacy and action among families, public and private child and family serving agencies and community partners to improve outcomes for all children, youth and families.”
North Carolina Families United is the state chapter of the National Federation of Families For Children’s Mental Health.
Know a resource you think we should include here? If so, please e-mail it to Assistant Editor Kathleen O. Davis at email@example.com.