Smart Start of Mecklenburg County mobilizes resources, forges partnerships and supports families to improve early childhood health, education, and development - all to help ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Our four areas of focus are early care and education quality and accessibility, family support, health, and early literacy for children ages birth to five.
MECK Pre-K is Still Taking Applications
MECK Pre-K is still taking applications for the current school year! While we have lifted the income eligibility requirement, priority is still being given to families with a household income that is at or below 400% of the federal poverty level.

Find out if you qualify for MECK Pre-K by answering two simple question: Do you live in Mecklenburg County? Will your child turn four on or before August 31?

If you answered “yes” to both questions, you can apply to MECK Pre-K! Visit our Enrollment Page to download an application and learn more.
Anthony Hamilton Reads a Children's Book!
Anthony Hamilton, singer, songwriter, and record producer reads “I Am Every Good Thing”. It’s an upbeat, empowering, and important book written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James. Fun fact - all three gentlemen are from Charlotte! If you have a favorite book you like to read with your little ones, we invite you to upload a video to social media and tag us!

Talk, Sing and Point
Creating a “language rich” environment helps build a child’s vocabulary and promotes healthy brain development. As adults talk with children about what they are doing, pointing and naming objects, and describing the sequence of events, it helps even very young children begin to connect words to things and to actions. 
 
Everyday activities offer the perfect opportunity to talk with your child. Every time you talk, sing or point to what you are talking about, you provide clues to the meaning of what you are saying. As your child gets older, talking with them and asking or answering questions helps them learn about the world.

GPS Now Offers *VIRTUAL* Parent Support Meet-Ups
As parents of young children with autism, the triumphs and struggles each day are hard to comprehend to those who do not live in this world. However, connecting with others who are working through similar issues can be an incredible support.

Through a conversation facilitated by Amy DeShazo, Autism Coordinator with Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, parents are encouraged to learn from each other.

For more information or to register, contact Amy at 704-943-9416 or deshazo@smartstartofmeck.org. Sessions are each Thursday, 10am - 12pm. 

Funded Program Spotlight
For the last ten years, the Polliwog Project has provided support to children ages 0-5, in danger of losing their childcare placement due to behavior issues. Polliwog provides behavior and developmental therapy to reduce the number of childcare expulsions, with the support of caregivers and their childcare provider. With the recent rise in information on trauma and resilience, this year the Polliwog Project is broadening and deepening its focus, incorporating the evidence-based Pyramid Model and Teacher Pyramid Observation Tool into its design and focusing specialized therapies offered to wrap around eligible children enrolled in Polliwog.

Program Manager, Hoover Footman, explained, “Experiences during early childhood shapes the structure of the brain. With integrating the Pyramid Model and Teacher Pyramid Observation Tool, the Polliwog Project will be able to enhance our efforts in providing child-focused classroom support for teachers, multi-level behavioral intervention, concentrating on improving social-emotional development and professional development for early childhood providers and families.”

Smart Start applauds innovation that takes the latest research into account and is excited to see what outcomes this shift in approach will create in our community!
Save the Dates
GivingTuesday - December 1
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County will soon celebrate #GivingTuesday, a special day dedicated to giving. We invite you to save the date and consider donating to our mission as we kick-off the holiday giving season.

The Library that Dolly Built - December 9
The Imagination Library documentary, "The Library That Dolly Built: Celebrating the People Who Made Dolly’s Dream Come True," will premiere on December 9, at 7 p.m. EST exclusively on Facebook.

To learn more about the programs we support and how you can make a difference in our community, follow us on social using the links in the footer.

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