Our thoughts are with you as we all face the challenges of coping with the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the rapid changes it is bringing to our daily lives. We know that parents and child care providers are significantly impacted right now, and we will be continuing our advocacy work on behalf of young children and their families.

Our COVID-19 resource page serves as a platform for the latest news, guidance, and resources, as well as keeping you updated on ways that you can take action to support families and the early childhood system.

Things are evolving quickly, so please check back regularly for the latest updates. We wish you all continued good health and safety as we work together in these unprecedented times to do what’s best for our county’s youngest children.


Our community is facing an unprecedented challenge, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can support Smart Start of Mecklenburg County’s response by donating directly.
Do you have a child who will be four years old on or before August 31? You may
be eligible for MECK Pre-K, a Mecklenburg County-funded program that offers
free, quality pre-kindergarten at locations across the county.

Decades of research have shown that pre-kindergarten helps prepare children for
success in school and in life. To enroll in MECK Pre-K, children must turn four on
or before August 31 and families must have an income at or below 400% of the
federal poverty level and household size.
The staff at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County thanks you all for coming together on May 5th to give back to our community in honor of #GivingTuesdayNow.

We’re grateful for everyone who shared our cause on social media or donated to our Child Care Provider COVID-19 Relief Fund. It truly takes a community to accomplish our mission.

And if you missed #GivingTuesdayNow, don’t worry! You can still make an impact by donating today.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MASK
As the Smart Start of Mecklenburg County office prepares to reopen amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, safety is a top priority for our staff members.
 
Neither North Carolina nor Mecklenburg County have orders requiring people to wear face masks but have provided recommendations on cloth face coverings. Following these guidelines, Smart Start plans to offer masks to employees as a safety precaution. 
 
With the understanding that disposable masks must go to our health care workers, we hope to collect at least 80 – 100 homemade face masks for staff members. 
 
Our team is giving so much of themselves during the global coronavirus pandemic. If you’re looking to return the favor, we ask that you consider donating cloth face masks to continue keeping Mecklenburg County safe.
 
Masks can be mailed to our office located uptown:

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County
 601 E. 5th Street, Suite 500
 Charlotte, NC 28202
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted its operations so that the self-response period will continue through October 31.

What does that mean?

You and your neighbors can complete it — online, over the phone or by mail — now through October. But why not complete it now? It's quick and easy.

The 2020 Census questionnaire will take about 10 minutes to complete.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center | What To Expect In Speech Tele-therapy

Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center's expert Speech-Language Pathologists have been providing speech-language tele-therapy to their patients for several weeks with great results.

They are now offering tele-therapy to any child in the
community in need of services amid COVID-19.
They want to be a resource for families and support the development of children during this critical time.

If you would like to schedule a speech-language tele-therapy appointment or parent consult, please contact their Director of Speech-Language Services, Angie Rikard, at arikard@charlottespeechhearing.com .
Clothing company Dhvani has switched from making active-wear to creating much-needed reusable face masks.

They are allowing everyone to request one online. The face masks are free, and so is shipping- no catch!
“Goodnight With Dolly” will feature Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time. Dolly welcomes the viewers and introduces the title, author and illustrator. Snuggled in bed with her Imagination Library book, Dolly shares stories that are just right for this moment in time.

The readings will be a mixture of Dolly and the interior pages of the books. The books will include “There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake” by Loren Long, “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney, “I Am a Rainbow” by Dolly Parton, “Pass It On” by Sophy Henn, “Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon” by Patty Lovell, “Violet the Pilot” by Steve Breen, “Max & The Tag-Along Moon” by Floyd Cooper, “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña, “Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton, and of course, “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper.

Once a week for 10 weeks at 7:00 PM EST, The Book Lady will deliver her story with the program available across the Imagination Library, Dolly Parton, World Choice Investments, and Dollywood channels.   The read alongs will be a personal gift from Dolly to all families. Free of charge but not free from obligation as the message will be to pass on the love and keep hope alive because we are all Together, You and I.

STAY INFORMED