Educational Institutions


aka Buncombe Partnership for Children

Asheville, NC


Buncombe Partnership for Children is on a mission is to strengthen the capacity of educators, families, and the community to build a strong foundation for children’s learning and development beginning at birth. Our vision is that every child in our community will reach their fullest potential and be prepared for lifelong success.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Amy Barry

Main Address

2229 Riverside Dr.

Asheville, NC 28804 USA


Smart Start, early childhood development, preschool, pre-kindergarten, subsidy, early education, technical assistance, child care, birth to five, first 2000 days





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Management & Technical Assistance (B02)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

90% of brain development happens during the first 2,000 days of life, forming the foundation for all future learning. Buncombe County’s youngest children are the community’s most treasured resource—and among its most vulnerable populations. Support for each child during the first 2,000 days—the time between birth and kindergarten—is critical. There are 13,500 children under age 5 in Buncombe County. Year-round, full-day child care costs $10,000+ per child, on average. 46% of children in Buncombe County live in poor or low-income households. 70% of children are not enrolled in licensed child care, and families are often on a waitlist for 12+ months for a child care slot. Local priorities for young children, families, and teachers include high-quality, affordable child care for working families; healthy eating, physical activity, and outdoor play; workforce development for early educators; and free programs that encourage families to read, play, and bond.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

3 4 8 9 10 11 16 17

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Early Literacy Programs: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and Reach Out & Read

Family Support: Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups, The Incredible Years, and Asheville Adventure Play

Affordable Child Care: NC Pre-Kindergarten and Child Care Subsidies (Vouchers)

Improving the Quality of Care: Child Care Resources, WAGE$ Project, and Sustaining Facility Quality

Children's Health: Child Care Health Consultation, Preschool Intervention & Inclusion, and Shape NC

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

For children to reach their full potential they need safe and supportive environments, nurturing relationships, and enriching early childhood experiences. Support during the first 2,000 days of life is crucial for every child to succeed. Intentional, local investments are transforming our community by strengthening the capacity of educators, families, and the community to build a strong foundation for children’s learning starting at birth. When we invest in children during those first 2,000 days, we create the best outcomes in education, health, and economic wellbeing for everyone in our community. Because today‘s children are tomorrow’s leaders, parents, and workers, everyone has a stake in making sure that all of Buncombe’s children have what they need to thrive. Our vision is that every child in our community will reach their fullest potential and be prepared for lifelong success.

Buncombe Partnership for Children invests in children ages 0-5 and their families, caretakers, and teachers by partnering with local organizations to provide programs that improve the quality of early care and education; increase access to affordable, high quality early care and education; expand early literacy; support children’s healthy development; and provide family support. Programs for families include: - Asheville Adventure Play - Child Care Vouchers - Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups - NC Pre-Kindergarten - Reach Out & Read We also help families to find and afford child care, to prepare for the transition to kindergarten and other developmental benchmarks, and to connect with local policymakers by sharing what matters to them most about early care and education. To read more about our services for families, visit Programs for early childhood educators include: - Child Care Health Consultation - Child Care Resources - Preschool Intervention & Inclusion - Shape NC - Sustaining Facility Quality - The WAGE$ Project - The Workforce Development Project We also provide professional development and training, assistance with certification and job placement, and teacher and program support. To read more about our services for early childhood professionals, visit

Founded in 1995, Buncombe Partnership for Children serves as Buncombe County’s established resource for early childhood education. We are proud of our role in the community and our tireless dedication to providing reliable care for all of Buncombe County’s youngest children. We have strong, established working relationships with early childhood education providers and stakeholders, and we are seen as an advocate and connector across the local early childhood community. We are determined that come what may, working families and the child care community can continue to count on us for critical support long into the future. The Partnership has proven to be a nimble organization that values lifelong learning, equity, relationships, collaboration, and innovation. Staff and board members are key members of local collaborations including the ACEs Learning Collaborative, the Local Interagency Coordinating Council, and the Asheville Buncombe Preschool Planning Collaborative (ABPPC). The Partnership also plays a leadership role in the ABPPC, Family-Friendly Affordable Buncombe, and the Child Care Quality Team, three coalitions that are strengthening local connections by working across sectors to set goals, plan, and advocate for increased investments.

Progress indicators vary greatly across programs and focus areas. Please contact us directly with program-specific questions. Carol Ann Willhite, Fund Development Director, can connect you with the appropriate staff person. Carol Ann can be reached at (828) 484-2363 or

To learn more about the Partnership's recent accomplishments, please visit to review or download our Annual Impact Reports from the last 3 fiscal years.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), paper surveys, focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), case management notes, community meetings/town halls, constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, suggestion box/email.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: the people we serve, our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: we don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback.

External Reviews



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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/19/2020


No data

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

No data


No data

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 03/19/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more


We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.