Pre-K 2-Year Model Cohort
Forsyth County has awarded American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to Smart Start of Forsyth County (SSFC) on behalf of the Pre-K Priority (PKP), a coalition of community organizations and individuals committed to improving the number of affordable, high-quality Pre-K programs available to all four-year-olds in Forsyth County.
The aim of the ARPA funding is to implement a range of high-quality services and supports, to a model cohort of 30 Pre-K classrooms located in settings across the current child care system. Fourteen of the 30 classrooms will be selected from licensed centers that are private/independent providers.
Pre-K 2-Year Model Cohort Opportunity: Provider Q&A
There were two informational sessions offered to review details of this unique opportunity AND answer some questions. If you weren’t able to make it to either, don’t worry, our ARPA Pre-K Provider Overview is below for your convenience.
ARPA Pre-K Provider Overview
What is the Cohort?
In September 2022, Forsyth County awarded American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to Smart Start of Forsyth County (SSFC) on behalf of the Pre-K Priority (PKP) coalition. The aim of the ARPA funding is to implement a range of high-quality services and supports in collaboration with key partners for two years, to a model cohort of 30 Pre-K classrooms located in settings from across the current Pre-K system, including:
- 4 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) classrooms;
- 4 Family Services’ Head Start classrooms;
- 8 North Carolina Pre-K (NC Pre-K) Program classrooms located in community child care centers; and
- 14 classrooms in licensed, Private/Independent Child Care Businesses
The two year period will cover the school years of 2023-24 and 2024-25.
Fourteen of the 30 classrooms in the two-year model cohort will be placed in Forsyth County licensed centers that meet the following criteria:
- An independent, privately-owned, community, or franchise child care center
- Holds a 3-, 4-, or 5-star North Carolina QRIS rating
- Currently has a classroom or multiple classroom(s) serving four-year-olds
- Has a classroom that does not receive public funding from NC Pre-K or Head Start
- Note that the classroom may have children enrolled that receive individualized subsidy payments
For centers to participate, they must be willing to partner and agree to the following:
- Work collaboratively with Smart Start of Forsyth County (and other partners streamlined into the process) who will administer the resources and supports.
- Share information related to the demographics of the children in the four-year-old classroom(s). Note that all personal information will be de-identified.
- Share information related to the teaching staff in the four-year-old classroom(s) that includes, professional credentialing level, salary, years’ experience, and the amount/type of professional development and/or training that is provided to staff annually
- Share information related to the current curricula in use for four-year-old classrooms and be willing to incorporate the Creative Curriculum with financial support and training.
- Visits and consultation with Forsyth Futures (partner performing data collection), an independent evaluator, and possibly other related partners to support gathering data for the evaluation process throughout the two-year cohort.
High Quality Supports & Resources
The high-quality services and resources that will be supplied to this cohort are documented by the respected institutions including the National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and National Education for Early Education Research (NIEER). These essential components of high-quality Pre-K will better prepare the children in those classrooms (along with their families) to experience a smooth transition into kindergarten and, based on the current research, will result in significant gains in their reading and math proficiency in third grade.
The key partners and the services they will provide to this collaborative effort are briefly outlined below:
- Coaching Support & Resources
- Retention Bonus for Teachers
- Salary Equity for Teachers
- Tuition support/scholarship opportunities and stipends
- Family Engagement via Advocates/Specialists
- Professional Development
- Translation Services
- Evaluation of the Model Cohort
Apply For Your Site
Applications for consideration are being accepted now through Monday, May 1. Licensed providers who meet the requirements are invited to apply. Submit all applications to GlynniseH@smartstart.org .
Please use the link above to download and complete the Site Selection Application. For more information please contact Glynnise Highsmith, Senior Director of Pre-K Initiatives.