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Smart Start is North Carolina’s nationally recognized and award-winning early childhood initiative designed to ensure that every young child living in North Carolina enters school healthy and ready to succeed. The Cabarrus County Partnership for Children is the local non-profit organization that administers Smart Start funds in Cabarrus County. We collaborate with existing programs and support the creation of new ones to measurably strengthen families and improve the lives of children.

The Cabarrus County Partnership for Children (hereinafter referred to as the “Local Partnership”) is soliciting proposals to establish a contract through a competitive process. The purpose of this Request for Application/Proposals (RFA/RFP) is to acquire the services of qualified programs (hereinafter referred to as the “Contractor”) to support our local community with evidence-based or evidence-informed services for children birth to five and their families.

Purpose of the Request
Experiences during early childhood literally shape the structure of the brain. Because today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders everyone has a stake in making sure that all children have the experiences they need to thrive. Providing support to the programs and people who are involved in a young child’s life—families, teachers, doctors, caregivers, social workers, and many others is a way to ensure every child has all they need for healthy growth and development.

The Local Partnership is seeking proposals from programs that are interested in providing services that support the quality and availability of early childhood services that address the needs of children from birth to age five, their families and/or caregivers specifically around the Local Partnership’s priorities of substance use, mental health, and obesity.

Priorities are based on the following community-based needs:

  • Early Care and Education – Quality and Early Care and Education – Workforce: Increasing the quality of infant/toddler early care and education. (Roughly 38% of our County’s infants and toddlers do NOT receive high quality early care.)
  • Family Support - Family-focused programs that improve parenting and promote involvement. Some ways these can help ensure children’s success are: parent education programs that give parents tools to increase their knowledge of early childhood development and positive parenting practices, as well as home visiting programs to help new parents and parents-to-be by providing education, information and resources.
  • Health - Increasing prenatal and infant/toddler access to healthcare and working with providers, health departments, families, and communities to improve the health and safety for young children (19% of children in Cabarrus County enrolled in Medicaid are NOT receiving well-child visits), increase healthy weight (34% of Cabarrus children are NOT at a healthy weight), and ensure that more children are screened for developmental delays and referred to services for help before they start school.

Application Deadline


Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, couriers, by overnight/express mail couriers, or other representatives of the applicant must be received on, or before, the due date listed. Applications must be delivered between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) and delivered to:

Cabarrus County Partnership for Children
Attn: Lauren Westin
1307 South Cannon Boulevard
Kannapolis, NC 28083


RFP - General Information and Requirements

RFP Application FY 19-21

Logic Models and Budgets

Supplemental Documents

Proposal Review Rubric

Activities in Revised Smart Start EB/EI Ratings (rev. 9/19/18)

EB/EI Programs and Practices

Smart Start Cost Principles (rev. 7/1/18)

SS Program Match Manual


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