Family child care scholarships …

… helping families access high quality child care during their child’s First 2000 Days

Smart Start of Forsyth County provides almost $2 million dollars annually in scholarships to eligible families to support their efforts to access high quality early learning and childcare for their birth-to-five year old children.

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.

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, 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’s 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 / ESPAÑOL

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

Smart Start’s staff also help resolve any issues of scholarship eligibility, as well as help find ways to find additional funding in difficult, emergency situations. The Family Child Care Scholarship Eligibility Committee works with Smart Start to ensure that the maximum number of children and families have the benefit of high quality early development and learning opportunities.

Family Child Care Scholarships Eligibility Committee
Artetta McKinney, Forsyth County Department of Social Services
Gena Puckett, Work Family Resource Center, Inc.
Jenny Whitley, SSFC, Inc.
Jeanna Rutledge, Community Volunteer
Staci McMillian-Smith, SSFC, Inc., Convener
Marilyn Odom, Community Volunteer / YWCA

For more information about the Family Childcare Scholarship program, contact Staci McMillian-Smith, MEd, at 336.714.4362, or