State Funding Streams

State funding for early childhood initiatives is provided largely through two programs—NC Pre-K and Smart Start. NC Pre-K is funded by revenue generated from the state’s lottery games and annual General Fund appropriations. Smart Start is funded through annual General Fund appropriations. In addition to these two state- funded programs, North Carolina has made smaller state appropriations for programs such as Maternal and Infant Health and Child Care Subsidies.

State Funding Sources

State ProgramOverviewAdministratorFlow of State Funding
Developmental Day Center (DDC)DDC funds assist in providing special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities who are placed in approved developmental day centers by local education agencies. NC Department of Public InstructionThe NC Department of Instruction allocates funds to local education agencies. The local education agencies then contract with service providers.
NC Pre-Kindergarten ProgramThe NC Pre-K Program is designed to provide high quality educational experiences to enhance school readiness for eligible four-year-old children. Program requirements are designed to ensure a high quality pre-kindergarten classroom experience children in each local NC Pre-K Program.NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early EducationNC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education. At the local level, funds are administered by either the Smart Start Local Partnership or the Local Education Agency.
Smart Smart - The NC Partnership for Children, Inc.Smart Start consists of a network of nonprofit local partnerships led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. Smart Start a public/private partnership and has local partnerships serving all 100 North Carolina counties.The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc.The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., allocates funding to Smart Start local partnerships.

Smart Start local partnerships are independent, nonprofit organizations.
NC Infant-Toddler Program
The Infant-Toddler Program provides supports and services for families and their children, birth to three who have special needs.NC Department of Health and Human Services, Early Intervention BranchLocal Children’s Development Services Agency (CDSA) refers children to recommend services provided by ITP. CDSA has 17 offices across North Carolina.