19307_10151272529716225_1269572284_n1993 – Smart Start is launched by Governor Jim Hunt to address the concern that many children begin school unprepared for school success. Chatham Friends of Children gets started to study children’s needs and apply for Smart Start funding.

1994 – We become incorporated as the Chatham County Partnership for Children in June and are selected as a second-year Smart Start county one of the first 24 pioneer counties. We spend our first Smart Start allocation on child care subsidies.

1995 – Establish the initial group of family support and child care quality programs and our first Strategic Plan to guide our program decisions. We establish the first full complement of programs, 32 in all, in the core service areas of Child Care Quality, Child Care Accessibility, Child Care Affordability, Health, and Family Support.

1997 – Smart Start Governor’s Award for Child Care Accessibility.

1998 – Smart Start Governor’s Award, this time for Child Care Affordability.

2000 – US Department of Justice awards one of 9 National SAFE START grants to Chatham County to be implemented by our Partnership ($3.3 million over a 5 year period.

2001 – Chatham County Partnership chosen as a mentor partnership for the National Smart Start Technical Assistance Center. ($25,000 awarded for this recognition).

2002 – The Partnership’s first large-scale private fundraising effort funds Bennett Preschool, Pittsboro Kiwanis Playground, and Siler City Boundless Playground at Paul Braxton Center. These were developed entirely with private donations and intensive community volunteer effort. Safe Start services are launched, meeting the needs of children exposed to violence.

2003 – Launched More at Four pre-kindergarten programs in collaboration with Chatham County Schools; served 34 children in the first year.

2006 – Received Congressional Discretionary Award to continue Safe Start service coordination, thanks to the support of Congressman Bob Etheridge. OPC Area Program funds Safe Start services for 3-8 year olds not eligible for Medicaid or insurance.

2007 – Z. Smith Reynolds, United Way, OPC Area Program, and Chatham County fund Safe Start services to children not eligible for Medicaid or insurance. Smart Start special grant awarded to implement early intervention child find project.

2008 – Safe Start continues to provide services coordination, referrals, and identification of children exposed to violence. Federal funding for Safe Start ended December 2008. Local support from United Way, Chatham County and OPC Area Program sustain the program through the end of the fiscal year.

2009 – More at Four grows to serve 269 children countywide, expanding to include new private child care sites as well as additional classrooms in the public schools. Safe Start service coordination ends with a sustainable system of trained intervention services directly working with human service agencies identifying children exposed to violence.

2010 – The Partnership launches another special project: the Natural Learning Initiative Chatham! Two child care sites implement natural design elements on their playgrounds. This represents a significant investment of private funds that the Partnership has saved over the years from individual donors and bank earnings.

2011 – Awarded funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation for the Shape NC project. This award continues the Partnership’s commitment to reducing childhood obesity and creating natural outdoor learning environments in child care settings.

2012 – The NC Legislature reorganizes early education by moving More at Four from DPI to DHHS and renaming it the NC Pre-Kindergarten Program, NCPK.

2014 – United Way and Chatham County government partner with Smart Start to launch and establish the Raising a Reader program in Chatham County child care programs.

2015 – Triangle Community Foundation funds a Capacity Building grant to develop a long-term sustainability plan involving the merger of the Partnership with Child Care Networks, Inc.

The Partnership assumes full responsibility for the Reindeer Run 5K Walk/Run, Pittsboro’s longest continuing charity race. Proceeds from this event will benefit community efforts to increase opportunities for healthy active lifestyles, including the Partnership’s Shape NC child care centers, public schools, and other community organizations.

2016BETTER TOGETHER! The Partnership merges with a longstanding partner agency, Child Care Networks, on January 1, with the slogan “Better Together.” All of CCN’s services and contracts are brought into the merged agency, including Child Care Resource & Referral Lead Agency and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

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