Teddy Bear Breakfast Tickets Available Now!

Reserve your spot today. Tickets sell out quickly.
Teddy Bear Breakfast is Mecklenburg County's premier family event for children ages 0-5.

Bring your little one out to enjoy a morning of storytelling, breakfast, crafts, raffles, music, dancing, ballet performances, and pictures with Brandy the Marvelous Mini Horse. Adults can enjoy a delicious breakfast, too, before bidding on great prizes at the silent auction. 

At the event, each child will be given a brand new teddy bear and age appropriate book. 
Save the Date!
FY 2019-20 RFA Information Session
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Children & Family Services Center, Training Rooms 1 and 2
601 E. 5th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Completed applications are due in the Smart Start office on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 by 5:00 pm.

More information will be available on our website on January 25, 2019.
We just can't say "THANK YOU" enough.
Thank you to everyone who came out and supported us at our Kendra Scott Gives Back evening on December 13. Together, we raised $1,264.35! Come out to shop their new spring line with us at our next Give Back night on May 9th, 5:30-8:30pm.
A BIG Thank you to  Twirl to the World  for continuing to support Smart Start of Mecklenburg County for the 4th year in a row. In 4 years, this amazing group has collected over 1,000 toys for the children of our community!
Access Local Museum for Only $1!
Visit all Discovery Place museums through the Welcome program.
This year, don't let admission costs keep you from visiting the Discover Place museums. Through the Welcome program, North Carolina and South Carolina families who receive Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food and nutrition benefits can visit any of the Discovery Place museums for only $1 per person. This includes Discovery Place Science Discovery Place Nature Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville   and  Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham .
National Bath Safety Month
Learn how to keep your little one safe during bath time.
As parents, it's easy to get comfortable with everyday tasks like bathing our children. Unfortunately, sometimes we get a little too comfortable and forget basic safety measures that could put our children at great risk for injury or worse. Check out these safety tips for a fun and safe bath time:

  1. NEVER leave a child unattended. Children can drown in only one inch of water. If you must go answer the door or your phone, wrap your child in a towel and bring them with you.
  2. Use non-slip mats inside and outside the tub to help prevents slips and falls.
  3. Drain the water when you are finished bathing your child.
  4. Watch for scalding. Test the water with your wrist or elbow to make sure it is not too hot. Set your water heater to 120 degrees.
  5. Learn CPR in the event of an emergency. Find a class here.
Meet the Smart Start Team

Say hello to our Guiding Parents to Services Autism Coordinator, Amy DeShazo.
What is your role at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County?
I am the Guiding Parents to Services (GPS) Autism Coordinator. I work with families who have a child who has recently been diagnosed with autism (or suspect that their child has autism) and help them navigate this new path. I am there to help explain autism to them and direct them toward local, state, and federal resources that can help them support their child’s needs. Parents don’t know what they don’t know and my job is to tease it apart for them, support them where they are now, as well as give them an idea of things that will be coming in the future.
What are you excited to be working on right now?
I am excited to be working with CDSA and CMS and learning more about each of their processes. So many families are faced with a huge set of challenges that all converge at the same time, and to be able to better support them through a huge transition will be personally and professionally rewarding.

What is your favorite thing about Charlotte?
Our family has lived in the Charlotte area for 3 years, and honestly, we have not really explored a lot of the area!! I am open to suggestions for the “must see or must do” items!

What is your favorite childhood book?
My favorite book from my kids’ childhood (I have 16 year old boy/girl twins) is Counting Kisses by Karen Katz. We read that book almost every night. My tired little baby…..do you need a kiss?
Funded Program Spotlight
Infant Toddler Quality Initiative

This program supports child care centers committed to improving the quality of care for infants and toddlers by providing training, mentors and onsite technical assistance. Participating centers develop classroom improvement plans utilizing customized strategies to meet quality improvement goals.

4600 Park Rd., Suite 400, Charlotte, NC 28209
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.