North Carolina has a track record of innovation and nation-leading success in early care and education. Our state pioneered the nation’s first comprehensive early childhood initiative (Smart Start) to improve the quality of child care, provide access to health screenings and offer support to families. Since 2001, North Carolina has provided early childhood education through the More at Four Pre-Kindergarten Program, now known as NC Pre-K. Our state was also the birthplace of the T.E.A.C.H. project, a national model to provide early educators with scholarships to obtain higher levels of education. And we were the first state in the country to make full-day kindergarten available to all North Carolina children.