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Smart Start Helps Day Care Providers Exceed Standards

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Smart Start provides resources for in-home day care centers.
FAYETTEVILLE — Finding someone qualified to take care ofa child is a huge concern. In the past two years, North Carolina's SmartStart has initiated a program to help day care providers offer servicesbetter than those required by the state.

As a result, more qualified people are becoming interested in day careand that eases parents concerns.

Running a child care business seemed like an impossible dream to TeresaHarvey.

Teresa had help from a Smart Start program called Childcare Solutions.It gave her money to start up a child care business and is allowing herto finish school.

Daycare providers must already be licensed by the state and meetcertain guidelines in order to qualify for grant money, but providers saythe program is about more than just money. It provides toys, books andother resources for them and parents. Childcare provider Leigh Riley saysshe always feels she can go to the organization for help.

Harvey agrees. She says it is a great resource.

Those behind Childcare Solutions hope to make good child care easilyaccessible for parents and easier for owners to provide.

Aside from having more than 300,000 dollars worth of grant money togive away, Child Care Solutions also offers parenting workshops and has alibrary full of parenting books.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the program should call alocal Smart Start facility.

Photographer:Mike Joyner