The local Smart Start branch in Durham County has made a decision that has caused considerable concern from parents, childcare providers, and even the Durham County Smart Start board itself.
In December 2010, the Smart Start contractor Child Care Services Association (CCSA) mismanaged a multi-million childcare scholarship contract, kicking nearly 200 children off the scholarship halfway through the year, sending parents scrambling to find another source of affordable childcare and affecting childcare providers who had to make up for lost revenue.
Now, Durham County Smart Start has decided to give CCSA the scholarship contract, again.
Despite protest from members of the public, allegations from board members claiming the committee that makes funding decisions is not representative of the community it serves, and appeals from board members who claim they never got a straight answer as to why CCSA botched the contract, the board carried the decision. Roughly one third of the board, those most affected by the CCSA funding mismanagement, were listed as having conflicts of interest and were unable to participate in the final discussion or in the funding vote.
Durham County Smart Start appropriates around 80 percent of its budget to CCSA.
View the full article and video footage of the Durham Smart Start board meeting here.