It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

...to support children birth to five in Mecklenburg County!
As we bid farewell to 2018, we send our most heart-felt gratitude to the partners, donors, volunteers and friends who have come alongside us this past year. Thank you for entrusting our organization to serve as the leading steward for the well-being of our most precious resource – our youngest children.

This past year, our community began to more fully realize the importance of early care and education as the #1 determining factor on the opportunity trajectory of an individual. We could not be more excited about the increased attention on the issue at the very heart of our mission.

In this season of giving, we ask for your support to ensure that each child in every Mecklenburg neighborhood has the opportunity for a strong and positive start that will set them on the path to individual success and collective well-being.

Our best wishes to you for a healthy, hopeful and peaceful 2019!
Online Shopping this Season?
Shopping at AmazonSmile is just like shopping at Amazon. But better. When you shop AmazonSmile   and enter  Mecklenburg Partnership for Children   as your designated organization, the  AmazonSmile   Foundation donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to Smart Start at no cost to you. You just shop as you normally would!

When you shop at  smile.amazon.com using your same Amazon login information , you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus of helping us raise money for the children of Mecklenburg County. So go ahead and add a few extra items to your cart. It's for the children.
Wine, cheese and jewelry

Need we say more?
Enjoy wine and cheese as you cross those last few names off your Christmas list.
A portion of your sale will benefit us!

December 13 | 5:30-8:30pm
Kendra Scott | South Park Mall

Can't make it to the event? If you call in an order ( 704-837-7689) during the event, your sale will still support Smart Start of Mecklenburg County.
We Want to Hear Your Ideas!
Submit your Letter of Intent for Community Initiatives.
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We are seeking letters of intent (LOI) from non-profit organizations for consideration of one-year funding in FY19/20. The proposed activity will serve parents and/or children prenatally to age five, must be evidence-based or evidence-informed, and address at least one of the four impact areas: (1) Early Care and Education; (2) Health; (3) Family Support; (4) Literacy. Programs that are currently SSMC-funded do not need to submit an LOI. The purpose of the LOI is for SSMC to quickly assess if your proposed idea aligns with the organization’s goals. If the proposed activity aligns with SSMC outcomes, you will be contacted by staff to discuss next steps.  
Recruiting for Class 2032!
There's still room for your little one in MECK Pre-K.
MECK Pre-K is a free, high-quality program designed to strengthen four-year-old children’s academic and social skills.  Classrooms are located across the county and are taught by a licensed teacher and teacher assistant.  Children attend a six and one-half hour program each day based on Charlotte-Mecklenburg School’s calendar.

To apply for the 2018-19 school year, your child must have turned 4 years old on or before August 31, 2018 and live in Mecklenburg county.  
Futures are Looking Bright, Thanks to You!
Thank you to all who donated on Giving Tuesday! Thanks to the generous support of our friends in the community, we raised $1,622 for the Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen program. We are grateful for our community's support and love. We can't wait to offer this incredible program to even more child care centers in Mecklenburg County.
Winter Activities for Your Little Ones
Keep their little hands (and brains) busy this holiday season with these fun winter activities.
Art
Follow a few easy steps for these fun Painted Penguin Footprints . This wintery art project is hands-on (or should we say feet-on) fun for kids of all ages.
Science
With some Borax and a few art supplies you probably have laying around at home, you can grow your own crystals .
Reading
Snuggle up and read Ezra Jack Keats' book " The Snowy Day ." In this wintry tale, a young boy explores his neighborhood after the first snowfall of the season.
Meet the Smart Start Team

Say hello to our Accounting Specialist, Alexis Louis.
What is your role at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County?
My role at SSMC is the Accounting Specialist. In my position I not only support the SSMC's finance team, I also support other Smart Start partnerships in our state through the our regional accounting work. I’m also the chair for the Happiness Committee...I bring the fun!

How long have you been with the organization?  
I’ve been employed with SSMC since May 15 th  2017.

What is one thing you have learned in this job that you wish more people knew?
I wish all the parents knew about all of the available resources that we fund.
What is your favorite thing about Charlotte?
I love the trees and the people!

What is your favorite childhood book?
My favorite childhood book is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
Funded Program Spotlight
YMCA Parents as Teachers

Provides case management and educational support using the evidence-based Parents as Teachers (PAT) curriculum for parents. Services include: group
meetings, home visits, leadership training, high quality child care and referrals to community resources.

Location: 400 E. Moorehead St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: 704-995-1471
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County administers approximately $22 million a year in state, county and private funds to programs serving children birth to age five, their families, and their caregivers in Mecklenburg County. 
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County offices will be closed for the holidays December 24 to January 1 - the office will reopen on January 2nd.

We wish you all a Happy Holiday!