Did you know 80% of brain growth happens in the first three years of life?

Meck Basics is a community-wide, early learning campaign designed to equip parents and caregivers of children ages 0-3 with five simple, effective,
research-based brain development tools.
The Basics:
Get Involved

Our goal is to saturate the community with the Basics, work together, and break barriers that result in common developmental skill gaps.

LEARN more about the five basics. Download booklets and watch videos here .

HOST a round table discussion at your work, church, school, etc. We will give you all the information and resources you need for a successful, informative conversation about brain development.

SPREAD the word! Help us pass out flyers and integrate digital information in high-traffic areas!

FOLLOW along on Facebook for important updates, new information, upcoming events and more!
It's true what they say: You are what you eat.

This Giving Tuesday, give the gift of a healthy future to our community's youngest children.
Did you know over 27% of the state’s children ages 2 to 4 are considered to be overweight or obese?

Given that over 60% of preschool-age children spend their days in non-parental care, child care facilities are essential partners in ensuring children develop healthy habits, such as healthy eating and regular physical activity, which can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

The Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen  program seeks to address and prevent the onset of early childhood obesity by providing the training necessary to improve nutritional practices at child care facilities in Mecklenburg County. 

Chefs and registered dietitians work with childcare center cooks, teachers, administrators and parents to address everything from menu development to shopping to cooking healthy meals. With hands-on workshops, books and practical application techniques, this program teaches the most influential people in a child's life how to help them develop healthy, lifelong habits.

Help us teach our youngest children how to live their healthiest lives. Their future, and ours, depends on it.
Mark Your Calendars!
Join us at these fun and festive shopping events that benefit Smart Start.
You shop. Toys & Co donates. It's that easy.

December 7 | 9:00am - 9:00pm
Toys & Co. | 242 S. Sharon Amity Rd.

Toys and Co. will donate 20% of the sales for every person that mentions Smart Start at check out.


Smart Start staff will be on-site from 7-9pm to celebrate the holidays with our friends. Come shop with us!

(And all the other grown-ups on your list)
Volunteer with Us!
Smart Start Volunteer Interest and Information Session
Monday, November 12
6:00PM | 601 E. Fifth St.

Have you been looking for ways to get involved but aren’t sure where to start? We can help with that!

Join us at our Volunteer Interest and Information Session to learn how you can help give children in our community a great start. From Meck Pre-K registration to campaign assistance to helping with administrative tasks around the office and more, there are plenty of ways to get plugged in.

If you are unable to attend the interest session but would like to receive the information, please email
November Events Around the City
Bring your little ones to these fun and kid-friendly events.
Every Wednesday | 8:00-11:30am
Matthews Police Department
1201 Crews Road
Matthews, NC

Certified technicians will check and help families install carseats. No appointment necessary. Bring your vehicle, seat and the child, if possible.

Nov 8-9, 29-30 | 10:00am
McDowell Nature Preserve
15222 York Road

Little ones and adults discover nature together through crafts, games, songs, animal encounters and outdoor exploration. Choose one time slot per week/theme.
Nov. 8 and 9: Falling Leaves
Nov. 29 and 30: Walk and Talk Like the Animals
Pre-Registration is required. Time slots are 10-10:45am and 11-11:45am.

Nov 17 | 10:30am
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road

Create fun holiday decorations using natural materials! Registration and parent attendance are required.
Meet the Smart Start Team

Say hello to our Community Partnership Manager, Cory Pharr.
What is your role at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County?
I am the Community Partnership Manager. I connect with the business, policy, and faith organizations to build a strong and safe community for young children and their families.

How long have you been with Smart Start?
I have worked here for four years. I recently transitioned from Office Manager into my current role.

What is one thing you have learned in this job that you wish more people knew?
I wish more people knew how high-quality early care means better outcomes for health as well as social and economic mobility.
What is your favorite thing to do around Charlotte?
I love to visit Kings Mountain and Crowders Mountain State Park. We also have some pretty good BBQ here.

What is your favorite childhood book?
It's hard to narrow it down to just one favorite! But if I can only pick one, it has got to be Winnie the Pooh.
Funded Program Spotlight
Child Care Health Consultants

Through consultation, health education and technical assistance, nurses and health educators work with individual child care facilities to help create environments that best support the healthy growth and development of young children.

Click here  to learn more!

To locate a Child Care Health Consultant in your area, click on the  Child Care Health Consultants Directory  for a listing of CCHCs by county or call the Resource Center at 1-800-367-2229.
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.