Consumer education …

… informing and supporting parents in navigating the child care market place …

Smart Start family child care scholarships help families pay for a portion of the costs of full time (up to 50 hours a week) child care in a  4 or 5 star-rated center or home. Smart Start partners with Work Family Resource Center (WFRC) to serve as a child care resource families.

WFRC staff assist parents seeking high quality child care by providing consumer education and support in navigating among the nearly 220 licensed child care and early learning options available in Forsyth County.

WFRC consumer ed staff in their downtown office complement the work of the staff at Smart Start and DSS staff at Smart Start’s north side office, by providing parents with a list of referrals to the child care programs that reflect their needs and preferences, either by phone or in-person. At SSFC’s northside office, Smart Start and Social Services staff  conduct one-on-one consultations with families applying for DSS child care subsidy, SSFC scholarship, and NC Pre-K programs.

WFRC, SSFC and DSS staff, working together help parents learn about the star-rated license system and indicators of quality in child care programs.

The NC Pre-K program is a stand-alone, non-parent co-pay program. Click here for more information about the NC Pre-K program in Forsyth County.

For the SSFC and DSS scholarship programs themselves, parents generally must be working a minimum of 25 hours per week, or be a full-time student, and meet the income requirements.

Income requirements vary by the size of the household. For example in calendar year 2017, a household of four persons can earn up to $4,100 in gross (total) monthly income, and still be eligible for scholarship assistance. (The State of North Carolina re-calibrates this figure every spring, based upon median household income, following the tax-reporting season.)

Families always shoulder a portion of child care costs, but will never pay more than 10% of the family gross (total) monthly income. Scholarship assistance–varying by income, family-size, the age of the child, the star rating of the facility, and whether the facility is a multi-classroom center, or in a family’s home–helps make up the difference.

For example, a family of four with a gross (total) monthly family income of $3000, placing a three-year old child in a four-star facility, would receive $240 in monthly scholarship assistance; if placing the same child in a five-star facility, the monthly scholarship would be $291. Quality child care pays for itself in many different ways!

Professional staff help guide qualifying families in understanding and taking advantage of Smart Start scholarship resources. Staff at Smart Start and Work Family Resource Center are available to assist parents in-person or through telephone consultation.

All services are available in English or Spanish.

For further information, contact 336.714-4357, or write about family scholarships, or to download or review a copy of the Smart Start scholarship  application form click ENGLISH / ESPANOL .

To search for licensed childcare services in Forsyth County or North Carolina, click here.