Smart Start receives clean bill of health

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 11, 2003

WINTON – The Hertford County Partnership for Children has a &uot;clean bill&uot; of fiscal health, according to the Office of the State Auditor. An audit of the Partnership’s 2001-02 Smart Start activities found no instances of non-compliance or weaknesses in internal controls of the Hertford County Partnership for Children, the local Smart Start organization.

The audit report states, &uot;we noted no matters involving the internal control over the financial reporting and its operation that we consider to be material weaknesses.&uot;

&uot;We are very pleased with our results,: board chair Kathleen Wright said. &uot;We have worked hard to use every tax dollar wisely to help the Hertford County children, and the audit shows we’ve done just that.&uot;

The Hertford County Partnership for Children currently funds 12 programs in the local community, designed to ensure that young children are adequately prepared for success by the time they reach the doors of kindergarten.

Smart Start, a public-private initiative to help all North Carolina children enter school healthy and ready to learn, was started in 1993 and has dramatically increased the number of licensed child care centers; created thousands of child care spaces; helped thousands of children get health and vision screenings; trained child care teachers and helped moms and dads get parent education in 55 counties. The Hertford County Partnership was one of the first programs to operate in the state.

Smart Start places great emphasis on local control, coupled with strict accountability, oversight and tough measures to ensure fiscal integrity. Local Smart Start partnerships undergo annual financial and compliance audits by the State Auditor, are required to report quarterly to the General Assembly, develop annual strategic plans and participate in a statewide contract and monitoring system during their first two years of operation. The program is supported statewide by businesses, churches, non-profits and entire communities.

For more information about the Hertford Partnership for Children or Smart Start programs offered throughout the county, contact Adrienne Barr, Executive Director, at 398-4124 or visit