DURHAM, N.C. – With the state’s economy slowing, the North Carolina Partnership for Children is anticipating a drop in state funding and has asked local partnerships to plan for budget cuts.
In response, Durham’s Partnership for Children has prepared to cut its budget by three percent, or more than $200,000.
Cuts in funding are expected even though the North Carolina Partnership for Children and its local Smart Start agencies were able to secure a statewide increase in funding during the last legislative session.
The Durham affiliate would have used the funds to expand existing services, create an education program for new parents, develop a screening program for busy pediatricians and fund new slots for infants and toddlers in Durham County.
“This is tough all around because more Durham County families with young children are facing financial hardship with our stunted economy, which has increased their need for our funded services,” Marsha Basloe, executive director of the Durham organization, says in a statement. “At the same time, we must now erase the small legislative increase originally allocated for this fiscal year in addition to planning for further funding cuts.”
The scrapped budget increase would have been the first in a long time for Durham’s Partnership for Children, where funding has been flat since 2000.
The Durham affiliate was founded in 1994 to administer Smart Start funds in Durham County.
Smart Start works to help working parents in the state with child care, health and family-support services.
Durham’s Partnership for Children also administers the More at Four Program and launched Corporate Champions for Children consortium.