Each child in every neighborhood.
Teddy Bear Breakfast
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Don't wait; there are only a few tables left. Don't miss out on Mecklenburg County's premier family event for children ages 0-5. Bring your child(ren) out to enjoy a morning of dancing, reading, crafts, breakfast and more! Each child will receive a new teddy bear and an age-appropriate book. 
Celebrate Week of the Young Child with us!
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is celebrating NAEYC's Week of the Young Child, a time dedicated to celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers, and families. We will be co-hosting events during the week of April 8-13 with nonprofits around Mecklenburg County celebrating art, music, food, families and more. We invite you to join us at the end of the week for a FREE Family Fun Fair at Johnson C. Smith University on Saturday, April 13th from 10am-2pm.

Music Monday
The Jolly Lollies will help us celebrate Music Monday by singing songs, playing instruments and leading dances with the students in a MECK Pre-K classroom at Marizetta Kerry CDC.

Tasty Tuesday
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool teachers and students will showcase their school gardens and share why they love to learn about growing and harvesting vegetables.

Work Together Wednesday
Smart Start staff will bring " Follow the Bigfoot," a multi-play and collaborative experience, to a MECK Pre-K classroom. Students will have to work together to overcome obstacles on a path to finding Bigfoot.

Artsy Thursday
Smart Start will share the benefits of a weekly art class by showcasing art time at First United Methodist CDC.

Family Friday
We will celebrate Family Friday on a Saturday this year at our FREE Family Fun Fair! Join us on Saturday, April 13 at Johnson C. Smith University from 10am-2pm for music, food, face painting, vendors, raffles, cooking demonstrations and more.
March is Child Advocacy Month
Advocating for our community's youngest children is as easy as 1-2-3.
It's not a secret: babies cannot advocate for themselves. It is our job as a community to speak up and advocate for their health, wellness and education. Now, during Child Advocacy Month, is the time to make our voices heard for infants, toddlers and their families. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  1. Take the ThinkBabies NC Pledge.
  2. Invite policy makers to tour your child care center or program serving babies.
  3. Meet with your legislator and tell him/her why we should support babies and their families.
Sesame Street in Communities
Have you ever wondered how you can help your child meet the milestones for his/her age group? Are there difficult conversations you must have with your child (i.e. grief, divorce, death) but need help finding the right words? Are you interested in helping your child learn through play and need a few tips to get started?

Sesame Street in Communities is a great resource for caregivers! With multi-media tools in both English and Spanish, you'll find plenty of creative and helpful ways to engage your little one. Learn More.
Get your tickets to the 2019 National Smart Start Conference.
Registration  for the nation’s largest conference devoted to early education systems and strategies is  now open .

The conference provides advanced professional development for early education leaders committed to improving the quality of and access to early childhood services for all children ages birth to five. It is intended for professionals who support families, for professionals who support those who work with children, and professionals engaging in early care and education systems change. 
Upcoming Events You Won't Want to Miss!
SOLD OUT - March 16 - Embracing Our Community: Navigating Medicaid and SSI
11:00am-1:00pm | Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Hickory Grove Branch
Learn about what Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can offer to help your family and child with autism meet their goals.
April 13 - Family Fun Fair
10:00am-2:00pm | Johnson C. Smith University
Celebrate Week of the Young Child with us at our fun, FREE event for young children and their families. Food, activities, music, stories, bounce houses, interactive booths and more! Learn More
April 5 - Water Safety and Summer Fun
12:30pm-2:00pm | Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Steele Creek Branch
Stephanie Tomalis, Program Director at Charlotte Aquatics, will speak on the importance of water safety, tips for finding swim lessons, and ways to have fun as we head into the summer months. Learn more
Funded Program Spotlight
Novant Health - Early Childhood Intervention
Novant Health's Early Childhood Intervention provides early identification, referral and enrollment of children aged birth to 36-months with developmental delays and established medical conditions in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County area. Services are offered at all Novant Hospital locations.

Meet the Smart Start Team
Say hello to our Partnership Coordinator, Lauren VanderWall.
What is your role at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County?
Partnership Coordinator. My position does a little bit of everything and is always there to lend a helping hand or put fresh pair of eyes on a project when need be. It’s an amazing position to be in because every day is different.

What are you excited to be working on right now?
Anytime I get to work on Meck Basics related items I get excited. This campaign has the capacity to bring serious change to the community and I love getting to share it with people when I am out in the community.

What is your favorite thing to do around Charlotte?
When it is warm enough you can often find me hanging out at the Whitewater Center working as a raft guide or hammocking. During the winter I love hunting for hole-in-the-wall cafés where I can drink tea and take in a good book.

What is your favorite childhood book?
The first book I was able to read by myself was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr. but my all-time favorite book (evidenced by the split spine, missing cover, and the fact that it’s still in my book shelf) is “The Ordinary Princess” by M. M. Kaye. How can you not like a princess named Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne or Amy for short?
FREE Books for children under 5!
ALL children in Mecklenburg County are eligible to receive a FREE book in the mail each month until their fifth birthday. Start building up your child's at-home library when you sign up today!
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