IT’S AS EASY AS FILLING OUT AN APPLICATION.

PROVIDE YOUR CHILD
WITH A SMART START

Give your child the building blocks for success.
See available Programs

Why it matters that children enroll in Pre-K:

More likely to make friends and learn in kindergarten.
More likely to graduate high school.
More likely to go to college, and to earn more in a career.
More likely to own a home.
Less likely to drop out of high school.
Less likely to commit a felony.

IT'S TIME TO ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN PRE-K,  MECKLENBURG COUNTY!

If you’re confused about which program to apply to, look at the schools or centers served near you by clicking 'these locations' under each program to help guide which is closest to you.
We exist to help you access programs in Mecklenburg County that offer high-quality Pre-K care and education to ensure children are academically and developmentally prepared for kindergarten.

HEAD START

Head Start is run through Alliance Center for Education and serves children in Mecklenburg County from birth to 5 years old.

This is the best option for you if: 
  • You do not require transportation

  • You would like your child to be taught at these locations

NC PRE-K & 
BRIGHT BEGINNINGS

NC Pre-K and Bright Beginnings is free, high-quality pre-kindergarten for eligible four-year-old children in Mecklenburg County.

This is the best option for you if: 
  • You may need transportation

  • You may need 'wrap-around care'

  • You would like your child to be taught at these locations for NC PRE-K or at these locations for Bright Beginnings.

MECK PRE-K

MECK Pre-K is free, high-quality pre-kindergarten for eligible four-year-old children in Mecklenburg County.

This is the best option for you if: 
  • You may need transportation
  • You may need 'wrap-around care'
  • You would like your child to be taught at these locations

Eligiblity:

To be eligible for Pre-K programs, children must:
  • Live in Mecklenburg County
  • Turn four years old on or before August 31 of the school year they are applying for
  • Priority will be given to families who earn at or below 400% of the federal poverty level, but all are eligible to apply.
Smart Start encourages and provides awareness for the benefits of preschool programs for children in Mecklenburg County. All programs support learning, health, nutrition, parent participation, and students with disabilities.

Documents Needed to Apply:

  • PROOF OF LEGAL NAME AND DATE OF BIRTH
  • DOCUMENTATION OF HOUSEHOLD INCOME
  • PROOF OF PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN'S RESIDENCE IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY
  • COPIES OF ALL CURRENT COURT ORDERS CONCERNING CUSTODY AND VISITATION, INCLUDING PROTECTIVE ORDERS

 

These documents are due by the first day of school:

  • UP-TO-DATE IMMUNIZATION RECORD
  • NC HEALTH ASSESSMENT TRANSMITTAL FORM
  • DENTAL ASSESSMENT FORM

 

Turn Five Ready to Thrive!

 You’re choosing to help your child achieve more by preparing him or her for learning. Your choices will successfully set the stage for a lifetime of learning for your little one.
The many benefits of high-quality preschool education are clear, from preparing children for kindergarten to improving test scores throughout school. Studies also show that children who attend Pre-K are less likely to repeat grades and more likely to graduate from high school than those who do not.

Your child will build math and reading skills, as well as social skills through engaging with other children. All preschool programs are free and include healthy snacks and meals.
Sponsored by: 
We mobilize resources, forge partnerships, and support families to improve early childhood health, education and development - all to help ensure children are prepared for kindergarten.  Our four areas of focus are early care and education quality and accessibility, family support, health and early literacy for children ages birth to five.