Gary Pearce on his blog Talking About Politics thinks he has uncovered a hitherto unknown discovery, “Unless I’m wrong (and I doubt that), it’s the first time in recorded history that an entity of the vast John Locke Foundation empire has argued that government can do something best.”
Smart Start is not nor should be considered a “private” operation like a business or a nonprofit that operates mostly our of private capital. Smart Start is a creation of state government funded almost totally by state government and only exists because of its symbiotic relationship with state government. Therefore it performs a function that is very easily performed, at lower cost, by state government.
Let me bring the readers up to date:
Smart Start was established by NC State government and first funded in 1994. Since that time it has received over $2.66 billion in direct state appropriations. It conducts it work through a network of 78 “Smart Start” non-profits and other associated non-profits not directly connected with the Smart Start program. Smart Starts delivers a number of “services” but the largest single item is the Child Care Subsidy that funds day care for children in low income families. That subsidy is the most important part of Smart Start to the majority of families served. To increase the number of children served and increase the efficiency of the delivery of the subsidy, the current network of Smart Start non-profits, and overhead needs to be defunded and the subsidy program dollars returned to the Division of Child Development (DCD) which runs a parallel program of child care subsidies. DCD runs their subsidy program with lower administrative overhead so the same dollars will go further. Also savings out of eliminating the Smart Start administrative overhead can be added to the subsidy program and increase the number of low income children and families served.
It is an inefficient bloated operation that needs to go!