Smart Start of Mecklenburg County Announces  New Executive Director
S mart Start of Mecklenburg County is pleased to announce the selection of Nancy Hughes as its new executive director effective  July 24, 2017 .
Nancy has served as an advocate for young children throughout her career.  She is also no stranger to Smart Start, serving as the Executive Director of Smart Start in Johnston County for eight years.  Nancy was the founding Executive Director of this partnership in 1998 growing it from a startup organization to annual revenue of $3.5M when she departed in 2006.

Nancy joins Smart Start from The Arc of Mecklenburg County where she led the organization as Executive Director since February 2016.  Prior to this role Nancy spent seven years at CCRI in the role of Senior Vice President of Program Operations. In this role Nancy provided leadership and supervision to a fifty-member child care resource and referral agency staff to deliver cost effective and results-driven programs and initiatives and also worked closely with Smart Start of Mecklenburg County on the various programs SSMC funds.

Nancy's additional experience includes serving as an independent consultant for two years where she worked with  Together We Feed (2015),  Children's Advocacy and Protection Center (2015) and  Foundation for the Carolinas (2014).

Nancy received her Bachelors degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and her Masters of Public Administration from North Carolina State University.
Triple P - Positive Parenting Program Shares Solutions with Parents
Routines, tantrums, mealtimes, teachable moments, bedtime rituals, descriptive praise....the list goes on with the joys and challenges of parenting. 
Many of the most common parenting questions have very simple solutions - and now, the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program is here to share those solutions with parents.
From toddler tantrums to a teenager's defiance, from bedtime dramas to outright disobedience, Triple P helps parents sort through the issues that affect families everywhere.
Triple P is an internationally-recognized program that gives parents the skills they need to raise confident and healthy children, manage misbehavior and prevent problems happening in the first place.
Triple P works like a toolbox of great ideas. Parents choose the tools they need for their own situation - allowing them to create better relationships with their children, solve problems and become a more confident parent.  Also, Triple P gives parents just the right amount of help they need, offering everything from one-off seminars and brief one-on-one sessions with a practitioner to detailed group courses and longer-term personal support.

Mecklenburg County Triple P launched in June 2013 with trainings offered by Mecklenburg County Public Health.  To date, there are over 100 Triple P Practitioners trained throughout the community including social workers, early childhood education staff, mental health professionals, after school workers, community resource center staff, church personnel and more! 

Below is an updated table summarizing the provisions impacting early childhood programs included in the final FY2017-2019 compromise budget that has passed both the House and the Senate.

Smart Start / North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC)
* Adds $3.5 million in FY17-18 and $7 million in FY18-19 recurring to fund the Dolly Parton Imagination Library statewide (funding would be exempt from admin, match, and child care % requirements)

* Match requirement stays at 19% for FY17-18 and FY18-19.

* Adds $125K in one-time funds for non-Smart Start activities to the Cabarrus Partnership for Children
NC Pre-K
Eliminates 75% of the NC Pre-K waitlist by FY18-19. Provides a total of $9m in FY17-18 and $18.3m in FY18-19, with $6m and $12.2m coming from TANF. An estimated 1,725 children would be served in FY17-18 and 3,525 in FY18-19
Provides additional TANF funds and adjusts CCDF Block Grant funds to increase the subsidy market rate to the level in the 2015 rate study for children 0-2 in Tier 3 counties beginning October 1, 2017. Funding of $10 million in FY17-18 and $13 million in FY18-19 is provided for this rate increase.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE)
Provides CCDF Block Grant funding of $913k to establish 12 FTEs:
  • 1: Oversee infant-toddler programs
  • 4: Subsidized Child Care program
  • 3: Program compliance and fraud detection
  • 4: Support early childhood workforce in licensing, professional development, and educational assessment
Department of Public Health (DPH)
* $2m additional recurring for NFP bringing funding to $3.7 million each year of the biennium.

* Provides $690k to address staffing deficiencies in the 2 CDSAs remaining subject to a federal corrective action plan: New Bern and Blue Ridge.
Other Provisions
* Includes language from SB 429, which would provide Medicaid coverage for evidence-based home visits consistent with the model used by NFP.

* Includes language from SB 168 that would require DCDEE to implement a one-year statewide demonstration project in 3-6 counties requiring parents receiving child care subsidy payments to cooperate with the county child support services program as a condition of receiving payments.

* Includes language creating a "B-3 Interagency Council," led by DHHS and DPI with 12 voting members (including one representative from Smart Start and one from NCPC). The Council is charged with establishing a vision and accountability for a birth through grade three system of early education.
NC Pre-K Earns High Marks
for Its First 15 Years
North Carolina's pre-kindergarten program has supported over 350,000 children in multiple areas of learning and development, according to a new  summary report  from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The report says favorable outcomes from the program can last for years after children enter elementary school.
"The NC Pre-K Program has enhanced children's language development, communication skills, cognitive development, and social and emotional development," said FPG senior research scientist Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, who has led annual evaluations of the program since its inception as "More at Four" in 2001. "Not only does the program benefit children while they attend it, but its positive effects persist."
NC Pre-K is a statewide educational program for eligible 4-year-olds, primarily children whose family income does not exceed 75% of the state median. The program was designed to prepare children for kindergarten by enhancing their school readiness skills.
"Our studies have shown that children who participated in NC Pre-K have made greater than expected gains in language, literacy, math, general knowledge, and social skills through pre-k and into kindergarten," said Peisner-Feinberg.
FPG's most recent evaluation compared children who did not attend NC Pre-K to those who did. At the end of kindergarten, the children who attended the program had significantly better math skills, as well as significantly better executive function skills, a group of abilities related to self-regulation that predict children's later academic performance.

North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten (NC-Pre-K) Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools offers a high-quality pre-k option for children who are at-risk and prepares them for school success. Children attend a full school day program following the CMS schedule that meets state standards. Classrooms are located in 5 star childcare centers, Head Start programs, and public schools. 

North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten (NC-Pre-K)  
1600 Tyvola Rd. Smith Administrative Bldg
Charlotte, NC 28210
Phone: 980-343-5950

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County administers approximately $13 million a year in state and private funds to programs serving children  birth to age five, their fami lies, and their caregivers in Mecklenburg County. 
Thank You!

Thank You for all you do to Ensure That All Children in Mecklenburg County Enter School Healthy and Ready to Succeed!