Helping All Children Turn Five Ready to Thrive!

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Click here to learn more about our 30th Anniversary "Core Pillar" Sponsor.


It’s hard to believe that our new fiscal year has started, summer break is coming to a close, and the new school year will start soon.

Here at Smart Start, we haven’t missed a beat. It has been an active and engaging time for the entire team as we kick off our 2023-2024 fiscal year. So far, we’ve welcomed new board members, added new staff, hosted two MECK Pre-K screening events, celebrated successes at our first staff meeting, and held welcome meetings with both our funded partners and Innovation Grant recipients. By the time you read this, we’ll be kicking off our MECK Pre-K school year with our providers and teachers and hosting our annual board retreat.

As you can tell, our team never stops working for the young children and their families in our community. As part of that ongoing work, the Smart Start team is in the process of setting our goals to map out our plans and focus our work for this year. I’m excited to share more information about our organizational goals with you all as well. Over the course of the year, I’ll use this space to elaborate more on each of our goals and the work we are doing to accomplish them.

We recently closed out our fiscal year, but we are still celebrating our 30th anniversary throughout the remainder of 2023! Check out the events page of our website, and download our app (for iOS or Android) so you can join us at upcoming events. As you scroll down, please be sure to stop when you see the “Donate Now” button and help us work to ensure every child in Mecklenburg County turns five ready to thrive by making a donation of $30 in honor of 30 years.

Lastly, I couldn’t be more excited and honored to lead such an amazing organization, and I look forward to the great work we will do together for the children and families in our community. Thank you for your continued support, and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Mike Blackwelder


Our team is growing! We are proud to welcome two new members of leadership that will help propel our mission forward. 

Meet our New

Chief Impact Officer

Dr. Nicole Campbell

Meet our New

Chief Advancement Officer

Emily Lancucki


​​​​​​​To help close gaps in accessing critical care and resource navigation, Smart Start partners with a wide range of programs that provide family support. Some of these include high-quality home visiting programs like Care Ring's Nurse-Family Partnership.


ICYMI: Smart Start of Mecklenburg County Installs a “Mamava Solo Lactation” Pod to Its Office Suite

The lactation pod allows nursing mothers a secure, discreet, and private location to pump. Mothers can nurse or pump comfortably and in total privacy with a noise-dampening design.


MECK Pre-K is hosting a series of community-based developmental screening events this summer! You can learn more about this high-quality, free pre-k program and register your eligible four-year-old here


SSMC welcomed our new partners for the fiscal year during the annual Partner Kick-off meeting! Learn more about our FY23-24 community partners here.

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The Mobile Learning Adventure (MLA) is a traveling exhibit that allows parents and caregivers to learn about the importance of early childhood education while having fun with their children.

The educational exhibit, popping up at Imaginon on August 18, allows parents and children to engage in unique, interactive activities -- whether visiting a learning kiosk, imagining the future, or exploring the difference between a need versus a want. It's a great way to discover how everyday moments are learning opportunities.

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County staff will be on-site, so it's a great opportunity to learn about our programs offered to families with children aged 0-5.


300 East Seventh Street

Charlotte NC 28202


10:00 am - 4:00 pm

We are currently seeking job applicants who embrace diversity, understand the importance of maintaining a culture of trust, and are willing to work together to deliver positive stakeholder experiences.


Are you looking for a career that offers opportunities to make a difference in a child's ability to enter school healthy and ready to succeed? Click the link below to explore open positions at some of our local Pre-K facilities.


Join us as we celebrate 30 years of helping children turn five ready to thrive, one dollar at a time! This year we proudly celebrate 30 years of mobilizing resources, forging partnerships, and supporting families to improve early childhood health, education, and development.


Want to join our partners in helping children turn five ready to thrive? Click the link below to learn more about how you can become a sponsor or donor!


You can celebrate our 30th anniversary by downloading our new Smart Start of Mecklenburg County app for iOS and Android. Our mobile app is designed to connect Mecklenburg County families and professionals to resources now at your fingertips.

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We mobilize resources, forge partnerships, and support families to improve early childhood health, education, and development - all to help ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Click the links to learn more about our community partners, programs and recent news.



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