What is Alliance for Children?

Alliance for Children is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing Union County’s children, age birth to five, their families, and caregivers. We provide programming based on diverse funding opportunities through private donors, local fundraising, private, and governmental grants, along with state allocated Smart Start and NC Pre-K funding .

What is Smart Start?

Smart Start is a nationally-recognized program to ensure all children in North Carolina enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. Funded by the state, foundations and corporations, Smart Start achieves this mission by supporting local programs that can positively affect early childhood, including quality child care, health services, family support and professional development for caregivers.

Is Smart Start just for low-income families?

No. Although the Smart Start initiative does put priority on children in urgent need, the mission of Smart Start is to ensure that all young children are comprehensively nurtured to ensure their future success. This nurturing can be in the form of hearing, dental or developmental screenings, access to higher quality child care and support for families with children who have special needs.

How does Alliance for Children distribute Smart Start funds?

Alliance for Children has a board of directors comprised of community members that make decisions on how to best meet the physical, emotional and educational needs of Union County’s children, as well as the needs of their families and care providers. Funds are allocated to program and service providers based upon these need assessments.

Why is it so important to support children during early childhood?

Supporting the total needs of children and their families prepares them for school and lifetime success. Research show that low family income, chronic health problems, developmental delays, low education level of the mother, and poor familial relationships can devastate a child’s future success in school. In addition, research shows that every $1 invested in high-quality early education for low-income children translates into $7 cost savings down the line, because these children require fewer special services as they grow up.

What are the differences between Smart Start, NC Pre-K, Head Start and Early Head Start?

Smart Start is supported by state funds and private donations and begins providing children at birth with quality child care, health care and family support services. NC Pre-K (formerly More at Four) is a state-funded, pre-kindergarten program connecting four-year-olds at-risk of future school failure with high-quality preschool environments. Head Start is a separate, federally-funded preschool program that advances low-income three and four-year-olds. Early Head Start is a federally-funded that focuses on the development of children from birth to 3 years, and promotes healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women.

How can I enroll my child in an Alliance for Children or Smart Start Center?

Alliance for Children or Smart Start are not a child care center. Alliance for Children provides programs that improves the quality of child care centers, through technical assistance, teacher scholarships, reducing caregiver turnover and strengthening education environments.

How can I get help locating and paying for child care?

Alliance for Children supports programs that help parents navigate the frustrating process of finding affordable, high-quality child care.

You already receive state funding. Why should my company make a donation?

In addition to state funds, Alliance for Children runs on essential private donations from foundations, corporations and individuals, making your donation absolutely critical to ensuring young children’s future success. Alliance for Children is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, meaning your donations are fully tax-deductible. To make a donation, call Alliance for Children at 704-226-1407 or write a check made payable to “Alliance for Children” and mail to PO Box 988, Monroe, NC 28111-0909.