About Us

Chowan/Perquimans Smart Start Partnership

Chowan/Perquimans Smart Start Partnership

About Us

The Mission of the Chowan/Perquimans Smart Start Partnership, as a regional, community-based organization, is to facilitate collaboration and coordination of comprehensive family support services for all children to maximize school preparedness and to ultimately develop future productive citizens.

The Chowan/Perquimans Smart Start Partnership was founded July 7, 1998.

Through our Childcare, Family Support, and Child Care Health Consultation Programs, we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of children and families. Our goal is to bring people and organizations together to work for and with children and their families, while educating families about available services, so their children will have the best possible start in life.

As the implementing agency for North Carolina’s Smart Start program in Chowan and Perquimans Counties, our primary mandate is to enhance child care services delivered to children birth to age five, so that they may enter school healthy and ready to learn. In addition to working for the delivery of accessible, affordable, high quality child care, we also provide services to children birth through age five who are not in formal child care settings and their families.

The Partnership currently works in collaboration with various agencies in order to deliver quality service, including, but not limited to, the Departments of Social Services in both counties, the Public Libraries in both counties, Albemarle Regional health Services, the Safe Kids Coalition, and the Local Interagency Coordinating Council.

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Susan Nixon
Executive Director

Dennet Thomason
Finance/Personnel Officer

Pamela White
Child Care Resource & Referral Director

Donna Critcher
Quality Initiative Coordinator/Project EDU

Cindy Smith
Child Care Health Consultant

Sarah Williams
Community Outreach Coordinator/Program Evaluator

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Board of Directors

Susan Beckwith, Chair
Inner Banks Inn & The Table Restaurant

Sally Francis Kehayes, Vice-Chair
Community At Large

Susan Chaney, Secretary
Perquimans County Department of Social Services

Linda Bond, Treasurer
Linda’s Little Bit of Heaven

Lora Aples
Northeast Workforce Development, Youth Services

Lance Forehand
Gateway Bank & Trust

Joyce Felton
Community At Large

Jennifer Finley
Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library

Frank Heath
Perquimans County Manager

Patricia Howell
Mrs. Patricia’s Daycare

Jerry Parks
Albemarle Regional Health Services

Dee Spruce
Albemarle Pregnancy Resource Center

Dr. Dwayne Stallings
Perquimans County Schools

Gertha Bond-Thomas
Economic Improvement Council, Head Start

Linda White
Edenton-Chowan Schools

Tracey Webster
Trillium Health Resources

Joan White
Out of the Box Child Care

Fred "Trey" Wright, III
Albemarle Regional Health Services

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Grants Received

Promoting Better Health funders:

Vidant Chowan Hospital Foundation Community Benefits Grants for $10,000 for Child Care Health Consultant

Incredible Years Parenting Support Program funders:

Chowan Community Foundation for $2,000.

Northern Albemarle Community Foundation for $2,000.

Women Giver’s of the Northeast for $500.

Trillium Health Resources for $4,000 ($2,000 Chowan County, $2,000 Perquimans County).

Early Literacy Program funders:

Dollar General Literacy Foundation for $2,000 for Summer Reading Program support with Perquimans County Library Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library.

Albemarle Community Trust for $2,000 to provide materials & supplies for the lending library for parents and caregivers.

Ruritan Clubs & Chowan-Edenton Optimist Club — for Reach Out & Read program.

Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge: $25,000 — for Transformation Zone Lead Agency