Education Programs

The Challenge
Most preschool-age children and infants in Mecklenburg County live in families where all parents or care givers work outside the home. These families are struggling to afford quality early education due to rising costs of inflation rates per child. Without it, parents can’t work.

How We Help
Therefore, over 80% of Smart Start’s funding is invested in early childhood education, assisting working parents who can’t afford high-quality care and special services for at-risk children. Other programs improve the quality of child care in our county through teacher education.

Charlotte Bilingual Preschool

Charlotte Bilingual Preschool

6300 Highland Ave
Charlotte, NC 28215
704-535-8080
Provides high-quality preschool education to low-income, at-risk Hispanic/Latino children, ages 3-5, to prepare students for a successful transition to Kindergarten and sets them up for long-term academic and social success...
Child Care Health Consultants

Child Care Health Consultants

2845 Beatties Ford Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28216
704-336-6477
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...
Child Care Subsidy

Child Care Subsidy

4600 Park Rd., Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28209
704-348-2181
Helps low-income families pay for quality child care, which allows them to work or attend school. The program is administered through Child Care Resources Inc...
Directors’ Leadership Academy

Directors’ Leadership Academy

4600 Park Rd., Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28209
704-376-6697
Provides training, technical assistance and peer mentors to child care administrators, and those interested in becoming administrators, to assist them in strengthening their leadership, business, and administration skills.
Early Childhood Teacher Education

Early Childhood Teacher Education

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) Harris Campus, Building I
Charlotte, NC 28235
704-330-4762
Offers developmental courses in English, math and/or reading using a "contextualized" approach that integrates Early Childhood curriculum concepts with primary subject areas. Activity also supports a recruiter and a variety of early childhood classes ...
Infant Toddler Quality Initiative

Infant Toddler Quality Initiative

4600 Park Rd., Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28209
704-376-6697
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 ...
Lakewood Preschool Cooperative

Lakewood Preschool Cooperative

3115 Kalynne St.
Charlotte, NC 28208
704-391-0600
Provides tuition-free quality care and education to at-risk families in or near the Lakewood Community. This 5 star preschool prepares 3 and 4-year-olds for successful entry into kindergarten and focuses on family involvement...
North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten (NC Pre-K)

North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten (NC Pre-K)

1600 Tyvola Rd. Smith Administrative Bldg
Charlotte, NC 28210
980-343-5950
Provides a high-quality pre-k option for children who are at risk and prepares them for success in school. Children attend a full school day, full school year program that meets state standards. Classrooms are located in 4 and 5 star centers, Head ...
Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars

4600 Park Rd., Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28209
704-376-6697
Provides onsite technical assistance, peer mentors, group and onsite training, to 1, 2, and 3 star, GS-110, and temporary licensed child care facilities to increase their star ratings...
Smart Start Education Award

Smart Start Education Award

601 E. 5th St., Suite 500
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-377-6588
Offers education awards in June to child care professionals. The goal is to improve child care quality by encouraging higher education levels for early childhood professionals...
Smart Start Rewarding Excellence

Smart Start Rewarding Excellence

601 E. 5th St., Suite 500
Charlotte, NC 28202
704-943-9403
Helps 4 and 5 star child care facilities maintain their high quality by providing financial support to offset costs related to employing and retaining well-educated, compensated staff, as well as purchasing developmentally appropriate classroom ...
The Learning Collaborative

The Learning Collaborative

3045 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
704-377-8076
Serves preschool children from at-risk families through a 5 star, tuition-free program with literacy-rich activities that address their educational and social needs. A Family Support Specialist builds and nurtures relationships with parents to lay the ...
Thompson Child Development Center

Thompson Child Development Center

1645 Clanton Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28208
704-333-5382
Provides high-quality developmentally appropriate care and education for typically developing children and at risk for school failure due to developmental delays, disabilities, or poverty. Families receive support and guidance in child development and ...