Imagination Library

Tobias Peterson with his first Imagination Library book.

The Blue Ridge Partnership for Children, the local Smart Start agency, announces a call for proposals for Smart Start funding for fiscal years July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023.

Smart Start funds are dedicated to ensuring that all preschool-age children ages birth to five arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed. In order to accomplish this goal, BRPFC addresses the following community needs in its programming:

  • Early Care and Education – Quality and Workforce: Increasing support to child care providers regarding their professional development, and expanding collaboration between kindergarten and preschool teachers to support successful transitions.
  • Family Support: Increasing access for families to quality child care options and other needed services, and building a continuum of parent education opportunities.
  • Health: Increasing children’s access to health care services and fresh food, and ensuring parents/ caregivers have the tools they need to raise a healthy, safe child.
  • Kindergarten Readiness: Academic and social-emotional readiness including but not limited to expansion of early literacy programs, and provision of services to families and children not enrolled in licensed child care.

If you have a program or project that meets these program priority areas and are interested in providing services that address the needs of children from prenatal to age five, their families and/or caregivers, the Partnership would like to hear from you! Eligible applicants include nonprofit, government agencies, community-based organizations and institutions of higher education with experience in delivering services to children, their families and child care professionals. Approval of funding for these proposals will be provided for a two-year term and is contingent on funding availability and adherence to the requirements of the grant.

To learn more about the application specifics and guidelines for Smart Start funding and request a proposal packet, email at The proposal package is also available on our website at

The deadline for submitting bids for Smart Start funding is noon on Feb. 5, 2021. Proposals should be received electronically at and a hard copy delivered to Blue Ridge Partnership for Children, PO Box 1387, Burnsville, NC 28714.

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