Recruiting for High School Class of 2032!

It's time to enroll in MECK Pre-K. We've got the who, what, where, when, how and why.
MECK Pre-K is a Mecklenburg County-funded program that aims to ultimately offer universal pre-kindergarten to all of the County’s 4-year-old children.

WHO is eligible?
Children must be four on or before August 31, 2018 and live in Mecklenburg County. Participation in MECK Pre-K is based on verified family income at or below 220% of the federal poverty level and household size.

WHY should I register my child for MECK Pre-K?
Research shows pre-kindergarten makes a difference in the school readiness of children. Not just in the short-term to get children ready to succeed in school, but in the long-term as children grow up, become employed, and contribute to the strength of the economy.

WHERE will these new classrooms be located?
MECK Pre-K programs will be located in high-quality four and five star child care centers throughout Mecklenburg County. Please visit our website for locations.

WHEN does the school year start?
MECK Pre-K will follow the CMS traditional calendar and a similar daily schedule. The 2018-2019 school year runs from August 27, 2018 to June 7, 2019. MECK Pre-K classrooms will open as close to the start of the school year as possible.

HOW do I register my child for MECK Pre-K?
To apply for the 2018-19 school year, fill out an application (link below). Families must show birth certificate, proof of residency in Mecklenburg County, and household income. 
Introducing the Child Care WAGE$ Program

Early childhood educators in Mecklenburg County may qualify for a salary supplement from WAGE$.

Did you know the median wage for a child care worker in North Carolina is $9.86 per hour? Lack of resources and an effort to maintain affordability for parents often make it difficult for individual child care programs to reward or encourage teacher education through salaries. As a result, many teachers leave the field or never even consider the profession an option.

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County is investing $1M in supplemental wages for our early childhood workforce to ensure they are more fairly compensated for the important work they do. The Child Care WAGE$® Program provides education-based salary supplements to low-paid teachers, directors and family child care providers working with children between the ages of birth to five. The program is designed to provide preschool children more stable relationships with better-educated teachers by rewarding teacher education and continuity of care.
You're Invited!
Join us for two events that benefit and celebrate Smart Start.
Operation 007:
The Young Professional's Gala
September 8, 2018 | 6:00-11:00pm

Join the who's who of Charlotte at this black-tie, red carpet event. Guests will enjoy drinks, food, dancing and a Casino Lounge. A portion of proceeds raised at the gala will benefit Smart Start of Mecklenburg County.
Smart Start 25th Anniversary Gala
September 22 | 7:00-11:00pm

Join us at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh for an evening of play, entertainment, and the honoring of Smart Start's 25 years of work to build strong and vibrant children, families, and communities in North Carolina.
Free, Fun and Kid-friendly Events

Check out these fun and educational events around Charlotte.

September 9, 2018 | 2:00pm-3:00pm
Reedy Creek Nature Preserve

Grandparents, bring your grandkids along for a hike while we explore the wonderful world of plants and celebrate National Grandparents Day.

September 12, 2018 | 11:00am-11:45am
South County Regional , Community Room

Children learn about language and literacy through play. Manipulatives and toys will be available for families of children from birth to age 5 to play together. Books will be pre-selected and available for check out.

September 26, 2018 | 9:30am-10:30am
South County Regional Library

Learn fun ideas and activities that you can use to support early literacy at home. Learn how to use the ABCs of Active Reading one on one with your child. For parents and caregivers, come prepared to play and learn together with your child. Registration is required. This is a 2-part series, and participants will benefit from attending each session.
Meet the Smart Start Team

Say hello to our Director of Planning and Evaluation,
Jennifer Stamp.
What is your role at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County?
I am excited to announce my new role, as of August 1, is Director of Planning and Evaluation. This newly created position is designed to assist the Board with the implementation of Smart Start’s new strategic plan.

How long have you been with the organization?
I just hit my two-year work anniversary with Smart Start! I started in August 2016 as Program Evaluation Manager.

What are you excited to be working on right now?
WAGE$, an education-based salary supplement for early childhood teachers and directors. In Mecklenburg County, early childhood teachers earn $11.00 an hour, and WAGE$ encourages teachers to take additional coursework and stay in the classroom. Continuity of care is critical for children ages 0-5.
What is your favorite thing to do around Charlotte?
My favorite thing to do around Charlotte is to go rafting and hiking at the U.S. Whitewater Center.

What is your favorite childhood book?
My favorite childhood book(s) was the  Nancy Drew  series. I inherited a first edition set, published in the 1930’s, and became obsessed with solving mysteries and problems.
Funded Program Spotlight
Child Care Resources Inc. | Child Care Subsidy

The Child Care Subsidy program helps eligible families pay for quality child care, which allows them to work or attend school. The program is administered through Child Care Resources Inc.

Click here  to learn more about Child Care Resources Inc.
4600 Park Rd. | 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.