The Chatham County Partnership for Children leads a comprehensive set of programs that benefits young children and their families, focusing on child care quality, child health and safety, and family support. Our programs include the following: - Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails books to the home of Chatham County children ages 0-5 every month. This program is fully funded by a special legislative appropriation to Smart Start. - NC Pre-K provides free, high-quality preschool for at-risk 4-year-old children for the school year prior to entering Kindergarten. Chatham has 283 spaces for children in 17 classrooms in public schools and private child care facilities across the county. - Child Care Resource and Referral provides comprehensive and interrelated services to families, child care providers, and communities that facilitate access to early care and education and school-age child care options for families through broad consumer education and outreach and individualized child care searches and unbiased referrals; that improve the quality of child care options by providing training, professional development, technical assistance, and coaching to early educators and facility directors; and that maintain data on child supply and demand to share with state and local public and private sector agencies for planning and policy development. - The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides direct food subsidy reimbursements to child care programs that serve qualified nutritious meals; we support 15 child care facilities in Chatham County. - Raising A Reader is an evidence-based early literacy and family engagement program that strengthens literacy practices in child care programs, promotes family literacy and supports the use of the public libraries. We serve over 300 children each year in this program. - Day of the Books is an annual bilingual children’s literacy festival held in Siler City providing free books, literacy activities, and hands-on arts activities to 200-300 children each year. - Kaleidoscope Play & Learn is our newest program, launched in 2020, that facilitates enrichment activities for children and caregivers. This program aims to support caregivers as first teachers for children not enrolled in formal early education by increasing caregiver knowledge and confidence. In 2021 we expanded and now host 3 groups in Goldston, Pittsboro, and Siler City. - Additionally, the Partnership provides Smart Start funds to support community partner services for child health and family support including Focus on Fathers, Child Care Health Consultation, Child Care Behavior Consultation, and Child Growth & Development Consultation with pediatric practices to ensure early identification of children with special needs. - Because health indicators for Chatham County indicate a high rate of obesity in our youngest children, we also implement several strategies to improve nutrition and physical activity in child care, including Child Care Health Consultation, providing and supporting physical activity equipment in child care facilities, and through a collaboration with the NC Center for Sustainable Agriculture to expand the Farm to Early Childhood Education program model in Chatham County. Chatham has participated in Farm to ECE since 2018. Our impact has been to strengthen child care quality and to expand early access to health and family support systems in Chatham County. Quality child care to low income families has improved dramatically since the Partnership began in 1994. As of June 30, 2021, 96% of children receiving child care subsidies attend 4 & 5 star quality rated programs and 73% of all Chatham County children in regulated child care attend 4 & 5 star rated programs.