This week House budget writers proposed changes that will dismantle North Carolina’s nationally recognized early childhood system. We cannot let them get away with it. Call your legislators and let them know that North Carolinians will not tolerate destroying years of early childhood progress that has raised third grade outcomes and given thousands of children an opportunity to succeed.
Let’s be clear—these changes are not about money. These are policy changes to an initiative repeatedly shown to work because of its policies.
This budget takes everything that makes Smart Start work and eliminates it. Furthermore it ignores everything we know about children and child development. Smart Start has always been about all of the children in our communities. The House forbids Smart Start from providing parents with tools that support them in raising healthy, happy, successful children and ensuring that children have access to preventive health care. Under this plan, families with young children who do not use child care may not receive any support from Smart Start.
These proposals are incredibly puzzling to say the least. The come on the heels of study just released by Duke University that found that Smart Start’s approach improved third grade reading and math scores and lowered the special education placement for children.
Tell your legislators that these changes are unacceptable. Our children deserve better.