The SUNSHINE Project

Serving Unmet Needs: Support and Help in Natural Environments

Fostering a Team Approach for Better Outcomes

Connecting children with educated and involved childcare providers.

The Sunshine Project is a FREE service that provides consultation services to early childhood educators and caregivers in support of children 0-5 enrolled in a Buncombe County childcare program. Utilizing the Pyramid Model framework, we provide education and technical assistance to programs who have children experiencing challenging social/emotional behaviors, potential developmental delays and/or specialized needs.


  • 94% of children who have received support from The SUNSHINE Project have been able to stay in the childcare center that they were at risk of being asked to leave because of their behaviors


  • 96.87% recommendation and satisfaction rate from the evidence-based tool SEAM (Social Emotional Assessment Measure) and anonymous satisfaction surveys. 

The SUNSHINE Project, now celebrating 19 years of service, is the only program in Buncombe County that uses the team approach to support children by involving the parents and childcare center staff to improve outcomes for preschool children.

The SUNSHINE Project Staff

  • Provide support, education, and consultation to childcare providers and caregivers regarding children’s needs
  • Assist families of children with differing abilities by providing referral options to access community resources and specialized service providers (ie: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy) in the local community
  • Provide guidance and advocacy for caregivers and childcare providers through the special education identification, evaluation, and eligibility process

Our Early Intervention Specialists

Sunshine Project Expands!

With funding from the Buncombe County Early Childhood Grant, the SUNSHINE Project is now helping to provide:

  • Mental Health Supports: Utilizing clinical interns to provide in-school direct play-based therapy to individual children.
  • Cultural and Ability Responsive Classrooms: Working with teachers to create culturally and abilities sensitive classroom environments.

This grant-based program receives funding from two sources: Smart Start Buncombe County Partnership for Children and Buncombe County Early Childhood Grant Fund.

Interested in this program?

  1. Do you live in Buncombe County? 
  2. Does the child attend a Buncombe County Early Childhood Program? 
  3. Is the child between the ages 0-6?
  4. Is the child at risk of being expelled from their program?
  5. Do you have developmental concerns about the child? 
  6. Do you have behavioral concerns about the child?
  7. Does this child currently have an IFSP or IEP or are you requesting support to obtain an evaluation for one?
  8. Are you an early childhood educator or director interested in coaching and modeling to meet the needs of your students?
  9. Do you need to be linked with referral options and/or resources for this child?

If you said “yes” to a few of these questions, please email us at or fill out the referral form below.


The SUNSHINE Project Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What insurances do you accept? What is the cost for this service?  Answer: We are a FREE grant based service.

Question: Do you accept children over 5 years old? Answer: Only if they are still in their last year of preschool and moving up to kindergarten.

Question: I live outside of Buncombe County. Can you help me? Answer: We can provide our service, ONLY if the child attends a preschool in Buncombe County.

Question: Do you provide one on one individualized support?  Answer: No. We provide coaching and modeling of developmentally appropriate practices for teachers and families. One on one classroom support for children is not a service that we provide

Question: Do you offer services in multiple languages? Answer: Yes, we strive to make our services accessible to all families. We offer support in multiple languages and have staff members who can assist with translation and interpretation as needed.

Question: Who can benefit from this program? Answer: Our program is designed to benefit families with children aged 0-5, early childhood educators, and caregivers. We provide resources, workshops, and support tailored to the unique needs of young children and their caretakers.

Question: You’ve already previously provided assistance to my family. Could we work with you again?  Answer: Yes, you can make another referral.