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NC Smart Start parent president Fanjul resigns


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The top executive for the parent organization of North Carolina's early childhood initiative known as Smart Start has resigned.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Partnership for Children says Stephanie Fanjul stepped down as president after nearly seven years at the post. Fanjul said in a statement she believed it was time to explore new opportunities and see how else she can improve communities.

Fanjul's announcement at a partnership board meeting last week comes after some challenging years financially for Smart Start, which began in 1993. Then-Gov. Jim Hunt championed the program, which provides health screenings, parent training and high-quality child care to families so tens of thousands of additional children are prepared for kindergarten.

Smart Start saw state-funded revenues decline during the Great Recession and slow recovery.

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