Any more questions? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help. We would love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my child have to be?

  • Children must be four (4) years old by August 31st of the current year.

How to apply for NC Pre-K?


  • Smart Start of Forsyth County, 7820 North Point Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
  • Head Start at Healy Dr,  2050 Big House Gaines Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

What documentation do I need?

  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Forsyth County residence (utility bill or lease)
  • Income documentation for working parents (W-2, 1099, or most recent month of paystubs, etc.)
  • Court-ordered documents, IEP documents, or speech documents, etc.

Do I need to work for my child to qualify for NC Pre-K?

  • No. Parent(s) in the household do not need to be employed for their child to qualify for NC Pre-K.

How long does it take for the NC Pre-K application to be processed?

  • The process can take up to 3 or 4 weeks.

When does Smart Start stop taking NC Pre-K applications?

  • We accept NC Pre-K applications all year, although the online system goes offline annually to maintain the site. Paper applications are available during these times.

How long will I have to wait for my child to be placed?

  • Although we strive to place all our applicants, we cannot provide a specific date.

Is NC Pre-K mandatory for my child to attend?

  • No. NC Pre-K is not mandatory for children to attend.

When I create a SchoolMint account, is my child signed up for all Smart Start programs (NC Pre-K and Family Childcare Scholarship)?

  • No. Family Childcare Scholarship and NC Pre-K have different applications that need to be completed.

¿Qué edad debe tener mi hijo?

  • Los niños deben tener cuatro (4) años antes del 31 de agosto del año en curso.

¿Cómo puedo solicitar NC Pre-K? · Sitio web: smartstart-fc.org

  • Ubicaciones:

Smart Start del Condado de Forsyth

  • Dirección: 7820 North Point Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
  • Head Start en Healy Dr
  • Dirección: 2050 Big House Gaines Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

¿Qué documentación necesito?

  • Certificado de nacimiento del niño
  • Comprobante de residencia en el Condado de Forsyth (factura de servicios públicos o contrato de arrendamiento)
  • Documentación de ingresos para padres que trabajan (W-2, 1099, o el último mes de recibos de sueldo, etc.)
  • Documentos ordenados por la corte, documentos del IEP, o documentos de terapia del habla, etc.

¿Necesito trabajar para que mi hijo califique para NC Pre-K?

  • No. Los padres en el hogar no necesitan estar empleados para que su hijo califique para NC Pre-K.

¿Cuánto tiempo tarda en procesarse la solicitud de NC Pre-K?

  • El proceso puede tardar entre 3 y 4 semanas.

¿Cuándo deja de aceptar Smart Start las solicitudes de NC Pre-K?

  • Aceptamos solicitudes de NC Pre-K durante todo el año.

¿Cuánto tiempo tendré que esperar para que mi hijo sea colocado?

  • Aunque nos esforzamos por colocar a todos nuestros solicitantes, no podemos proporcionar una fecha específica.

¿Es obligatorio que mi hijo asista a NC Pre-K?

  • No. NC Pre-K no es obligatorio para que los niños asistan.

Cuando creo una cuenta en SchoolMint, ¿mi hijo está inscrito en todos los programas de Smart Start (NC Pre-K y Beca de Cuidado Infantil Familiar)?

  • No. La Beca de Cuidado Infantil Familiar y NC Pre-K tienen diferentes solicitudes que deben completarse

What is the Pre-K Initiatives (PKI) Department?

  • Pre-K Initiative is a grant funded department that supports the improvement of equitable measures in the early childhood landscape of Forsyth County.

What services are provided through the PKI Department?

Sustainability and support services for owners and Early Childhood Educators in center based, family childcare, and high school settings to include:

  • Educational Training and Technical Assistance and Coaching
  • Workforce Development Coaching and Apprenticeship
  • Early Care Professional Development and Training
  • Family Childcare Professional Development Community (PLC) support
  • Child Development Associate (CDA) Credentialing
  • National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) Accreditation
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation

How do I contact the Pre-K Initiatives (PKI) Department?

  • Contact the Pre-K Initiatives Program via email [email protected] or scan QR Code for more information.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

  • Click Here to access the website
  • You will need to create an account and complete the online application. Our application is completely online and allows for required document upload.

When Do I Report a… Job Change? School Change?

  • You need to report a job or school change within 10 business days.

What is Recertification? When is it Due? Requirements?

  • Recertification is the process to recertify for the new fiscal year. It is in April every year and due on the last day of April. You must be working at least 25 hours per week or going to school full time or a combination of both to be eligible to recertify.

How Often Can I Change Providers? What is the Process?

  • You can change providers one time throughout the fiscal year unless it is deemed necessary by the scholarship team. You will tell your provider that you are leaving and then contact the scholarship team. We will send you the 2 week notice form through Docusign to fill out. When we receive the form back with a release date, we can transfer the voucher. All parent fees must be paid in full before moving.

How long do I have to find a spot and use my voucher?

  • The scholarship team will give you a deadline.

What does it mean if my child is placed on the waitlist?

  • If SSFC does not have funding at the time that you apply, your child will be placed on the waitlist. Children will be pulled off of the waitlist to be placed when funding becomes available or in July of each year. 

What is Student Recertification? When is it Due?

  • Student recertification is in the Fall of each year. You will need to provide a school schedule that shows how many semester hours that you are enrolled in at that time.

What is my Parent Fee? Who Does My Parent Fee Go to? What is NOT covered by your Parent Fee?

  • Your parent fee is 10% of your gross income. Fees are paid to the provider. Smart Start is not responsible for any other fees incurred

What is over the Market Rate? Or Why am I Paying more than my Parent Fee?

  • Smart Start can only pay providers what the current state market rate is. If the provider charges more than that amount, it is considered an over the market rate and you would be responsible for that amount as well as your parent fee.
  • Ex. State market rate $500, provider charges $700. You would be responsible for the extra $200 and your parent fee.

What does my voucher cover… (full-time, part-time, ages, etc)?

  • Your voucher covers up to 11 hours per day. Ages are up to 5 years old and not kindergarten age eligible.

How do I add a new baby/child to my file?

  • If funding allows, you will add the new baby to your application and send the birth certificate or mother’s verification of facts form from the hospital to your case work. We can then send the voucher for the baby to start. This is contingent on current funding at that time. If funding does not allow at that time, you can add the baby on July 1st. Families will be pulled off of the waitlist when funding allows.

How are absences handled?

  • If your child misses more than 5 days in a row due to illness, you will need to provide a doctor’s note to excuse those absences. If your child misses more than half of the days in the month you will receive a warning letter. If it happens again, the voucher may be terminated.

Are Vacation payments included in the voucher?

  • We will pay for 2 weeks of vacation a year. If you need more, we will not pay for those weeks and you will be privately paid for those weeks.

How does maternity leave and suspension work?

  • Maternity Leave- Send your case worker a doctor’s note for the time that you will be out of work. You can continue to pay your parent fee and send your child to care or you can suspend your voucher during that time.
  • Suspension- Ex. Teacher would like to keep their child home for the summer. If your provider agrees to hold your child’s spot with no pay from you or Smart Start, you can suspend your voucher during that time and then start it again when you go back to school. The provider has to agree to this.

How do I sign up to receive free books?

  • We currently cannot accept applications for this program due to capacity. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.