Child Care Quality in North Carolina: Determining the Impact of Smart Start and Child Care Subsidy

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy Meigs-Dellinger Kirk (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
James R. Fredrick

Abstract: This study attempted to determine whether the length of Smart Start involvement and the spending coefficient for subsidized child care services across the 100 counties in North Carolina are accurate predictors of level of state licensure in child care center programs.Through the Smart Start initiative, Local Partnerships receive funding through the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC). The funds are used to address the needs of families with children ages 0 to 5 within a community. A Local Purchasing Agency (county-level) administers federal funds for child care subsidy. In addition, the North Carolina Division of Child Development (state-level) regulates all legally operating child care programs. The intent of the study was to seek support for or against the following hypotheses: H1: SSY 1 and 2 counties will have the highest mean among SSY 1-5) of child care centers with above average licensure.H2: SSy 1 and 2 counties will have the highest mean for spending coefficients and above-average licensure.H3: Increasing spending coefficients will increase the quality of care in each Smart Start Year.The dependent variable is the level of licensure of child care centers in North Carolina. The independent variables are the spending coefficient for child care subsidy and length of participation in Smart Start. The complex task of analyzing child care simultaneously across 100 countries relied solely upon a modified cluster sampling method. Every country was assigned a SSY and identified by the percent of above average child care centers. Within each county, Smart Start and subsidy are highly connected. The results of the study support the need for future efforts at collaboration between Local Partnerships (Smart Start) and Local Purchasing Agencies (Subsidy).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2001
Smart Start, Local Partnerships, North Carolina Partnership for Children, North Carolina Division of Child Development, Local Purchasing Agencies,

Email this document to