Wake County SmartStart, Inc.

4901 Waters Edge Drive, Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 851-9550
(919) 851-9530 (fax)


Child Care Program Quality Supplements
The Child Care Program Quality Supplements activity provides monthly supplement payments to eligible 4 and 5 star centers and homes that serve children on subsidy in order to support and maintain high quality child care. Eligibility and payment amounts are based on criteria developed by the Wake County SmartStart Board of Directors. Monitoring of quality practices will occur monthly through review of licensing data and submission of requested documentation. Facilities may be referred to programs that will help them improve or maintain their quality. Application support, referrals and monitoring components are provided by Child Care Services Association.

Community Outreach & Education
Community Outreach and Education works to increase access to services and resources for families of young children ages birth through 5 through collaborative community outreach.  Outreach efforts also seek to strengthen connections between the business, civic, faith and general public sectors regarding the importance of early childhood services. Efforts include the provision of informational materials and newsletters, creation of materials to highlight community services and engagement with community partners in providing community awareness events and presentations.

Improving & Sustaining Quality Child Care
This Initiative provides on-site consultation to three and four star licensed facilities in Wake County. Services include on-site technical assistance, staff training, consultation, improvement plan development, and professional development consultation to child care providers.

NC Pre-Kindergarten Program
The NC Pre-K program serves at-risk children and prepares them for success in school. Children in NC Pre-K attend a full school day, full school year program. The program is integrated with other early childhood programs in the community. Children participating in the NC Pre-K program may be served in licensed classrooms in the public schools, child care facilities or Head Start programs.

Program Coordination and Evaluation
In an effort to build the capacity of communities and families to prepare children for success in school and in life, Wake County SmartStart Program Coordination and Evaluation staff work with community stakeholders to develop activities to achieve the goals, objectives and outcomes articulated in the Wake County SmartStart strategic plan. Staff provide support and expertise and oversee other roles such as preparing community needs assessments, managing the Request for Proposal processes and participating in the development of staff funding recommendations. Staff also work with partners to develop annual evaluation plans and track implementation and outcomes for all funded activities; conduct partner site visits to assess progress toward program goals; participate in strategic planning; gather and analyze relevant data; and report findings to the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) and others as required and/or requested.

Wake Connections
Wake Connections, implemented by Wake County SmartStart and funded by the John Rex Endowment, provides a centralized, coordinated intake and referral system to match children and their families with home-based services. Through a web-based database, Wake Connections streamlines recruitment and outreach efforts in order to appropriately link children and families seeking services to available programs which can support the family's needs. Partners of the system serve young children, families, or pregnant mothers in Wake County.


The social, educational and economic benefits for investing in our future workforce are so clear that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a 2010 report saying, "Early childhood education has a tremendous impact on the national viability of the American dream."