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Hunt: Smart Start, More at Four make NC a better state (video)

Former Gov. Jim Hunt along with a number of high-profile business leaders came to the General Assembly Wednesday to urge legislators to preserve funding for early-childhood education.

Hunt acknowledged that lawmakers have a difficult job this session in balancing the budget. But he says Smart Start has become a symbol of pride for North Carolina, with a clear and proven track record for improving student achievement.

Republican legislators are weighing whether to cut funding for Smart Start, consolidate the program with the More at Four, or simply eliminate both. On Tuesday, House and Senate leaders said no final decisions have been made yet regarding the budget.

To hear more from former Governor Hunt, click below:

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10 Comments

  1. Dale Clary

    March 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    We must do everything possible to prepare our kids for school and and the challenges that brings

  2. Katie Gryder

    March 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Unless you work with More At Four children, then you cannot even imagine the impact that this program makes upon them. I work with a More At Four program and i see it every day…all the good that we do. What good is our future for humanity if we don’t put children first, especially the poor and needy. Not every time is it their fault that they are dealt poverty or unfortunate circumstances. Please put our children first.

  3. DEBBIE SMITH

    March 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    IT JUST SEEMS THAT WE ARE ONLY FOCUSING ON THE MORE AT FOUR PROGRAM, BUT THIS IS NOT THE ONLY PROGRAM WE HAVE OUT HERE. WE ARE TRYING TO PUSH FOR FREE BUT THAT IS NOT THE ONLY ISSUE HERE. THERE IS GREAT CHILDCARE CENTERS AND HOMES THAT OFFER A GOOD PROGRAM TO CHILDREN. NO IT IS NOT FREE BUT IF SOME OF THE MONEY WAS PUT INTO THE CHILDCARE CENTERS AND HOMES THEN THE CHILDREN THAT ARE IN THESE PROGRAMS COULD BE FREE. MORE AT FOUR YOU HAVE TO HAVE A FOUR YEAR DEGREE TO WORK HERE THAT MEANS A HIGHER PAYING PERSON THEN WHAT IS IN A CHILDCARE OR HOME. WE CAN TEACH JUST AS MUCH AS THE TEACHER CAN AND SAVE MONEY, SO LETS LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE PLEASE. ITS CALLED SAVE MONEY AND GET SAME QUALITY FOR LESS THANKS

  4. Shawnda

    March 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    yes debbie I understand but there is no reason to say something about anyone’s education. Yes you probally can teach children the same without the degree,but education does matter. I know I worked hard to get 4 year degree and the More at Four program is great. Any childcare program that has the child’s interest at heart is a good program. Both childcare and More at Four are good programs. However, I don’t think it is appropriate to be snappy about people and their educaton. Its your decision to further it and it takes a hard worker to complete. So Im in favor for keeping more at four around, it has proven itself to be a great program we don’t have to say anything about it. Thanks

  5. heidi hullette

    March 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    business owners, employees, and job seekers rely on smart start for high quality , reliable child care. The average working parent misses five to seven days of work per year because of child care problem. Costing U.S. businesses 3 billion a year in lost productivity. Studies show that high quality child care improves productivity, reduces abesenteeism, and cuts turnover.

    More at Four needs to stay. And I am not sure when they last time some people have checked more at four teachers pay but isnt that much, I could make more at WaI mart.

  6. DEBBIE SMITH

    March 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    SHAWNDA NO ONE IS BEING SNAPPY AND YES THE MORE AT FOUR PROGRAM IS VERY GOOD AND WASNT TALKING ABOUT IT IN GENERAL JUST WANT EVERYONE TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE. EVERYONE IS OUT FOR FREE WHEN YOU CAN GET IT, BUT I AM SAYING THERE IS HIGH QUALITY CHILDCARE CENTERS THAT CAN TEACH AND DO FOR CHILDREN JUST LIKE THE MORE AT FOUR PROGRAM.WE ARE GETTING TEACHERS CUT IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEMS BECAUSE OF FUNDING. SO WHY NOT KEEP OUR SCHOOL TEACHERS AND CUT THE MORE AT FOUR PROGRAMS. THE SCHOOL TEACHERS AT THIS POINT IS MORE IMPORTANT. HIGH QUALITY CHILDCARE DOES AND WILL HELP CHILDREN BUT THAT IS WHAT KINDERGARTEN IS FOR TO PREPARE CHILDREN FOR SCHOOL. AS FAR AS YOUR EDUCATION I AM GLAD YOU HAVE A FOUR YEAR DEGREE, BUT IN THE SAME TOOKEN WHY ARE YOU NOT IN A SCHOOL SYSTEM AS A REGULAR TEACHER. TO SUM IT ALL UP JUST LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE.

  7. DEBBIE SMITH

    March 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I AM ALSO FOR ANY PARENT THAT NEEDS HELP WITH CHILDCARE TO PUT THERE CHILD IN A MORE AT FOUR PROGRAM OR GET SOME HELP WITH THERE CHILDCARE FEES, BUT IT IS LIKE ALL THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT IS MORE AT FOUR OR HEAD START, BUT WHAT I AM SAYING ABOUT LOOKING AT THE WHOLE PICTURE IF WE LOOSE SUBSIDY FUNDS THEN WHAT ARE MORE AT FOUR PROGRAMS AND HEAD STARTS GOING TO DO, BECAUSE THEY PRETTY MUCH RUN OFF THE SUBSIDY FUNDS. IF I AM CORRECT THEY DIDNT THINK THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE THE FUNDS THIS GO AROUND, BUT LETS CUT OUR SCHOOL TEACHERS. THANKS

  8. Mel

    April 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Debbie,
    With all due respect, I worked in a high quality child care setting, head start, MoreAtFour, and Title 1 preschool, they are not the same. Child care does help children meet goals, but these other programs help the entire family and the economy. I have a four year degree and almost have my Masters. Just because some people are more educated and have teaching license doesn’t always mean that they “want to be in the school system as a regular teacher”. I am a regular teacher in preschool and feel very offended by your comments. The education that I have and with my experience show me that these “true high quality programs” make a huge difference on children and families. More screenings, assessments, and educational practices are used in these other programs. I used to think that I could teach just as well without my degree, but now am more knowledgable and able to help make a better difference. We need qualified teachers working with children of all ages. After all, these four year olds will one day be 10. Think about it!!!
    PS. The pay is not what it should be for a teacher with the education that they have, but we don’t do it to get rich-it is to make a difference.

  9. Beanie

    April 26, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I am a More at Four teacher and have a Master’s degree. I am sick of the drama and tired of fighting. Nobody in this state seems to value children or quality teachers.

  10. Kelly

    May 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I have to enroll my almost 4 year old tomorrow for the up coming school year. He is ADHD and has futher testing to determine if he may also be Autistic. I can’t find the answers that I am looking for in comparing the more at four program or head start. I know that I DO NOT want him in a private daycare. (Been there, done that..he got kicked out) I just a bad taste in mouth of that now. Of course I want what is best for him. He doesn’t do well with others at all, but I need to prepare him for kindergarden. Any ideas or suggestions??? THANKS SO VERY MUCH!