Pre-K Initiatives

Preparing Young Children for Elementary School and Beyond!

The Pre-K Initiatives Program

Received $660,000 in funding


  • Smart Start of Forsyth County (SSFC) has played a pivotal role since 1994 in supporting childcare programs to provide the highest quality early learning experience for our county’s early learners.  
  • As childcare programs continue to struggle, with many remaining closed and others unable to fully open post-pandemic, the City of Winston Salem has awarded SSFC with a Transformational Grant for the Winston-Salem Childcare COVID-19 Relief funds
  • Project aims to address staffing shortages, wage inequities, low credential levels, and increase accreditation standings for up to 25 licensed family childcare homes and centers in the City of Winston-Salem, NC

Goals | Expected Outcomes:

  • Focus funds for opening and maintenance of closed and existing, licensed family childcare homes in Winston-Salem, NC. 
  • Increase access to childcare programming by enhancing at least 25 family childcare homes or infant-toddler classrooms
  • Target communities identified as childcare deserts within the Qualified Census Tract and Place Matters footprint 
  • Providers directly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic causing closures and loss of revenue.

Received $3,700,000 in funding


  • The Pre-K Priority coalition includes a group of six of organizations collaborating to deliver a 2-year cohort project with specific high-quality resources and supports that are currently limited or nonexistent. 
  • The model is funded with Forsyth County ARPA dollars and will include 30 Pre-K classrooms across the following sites: 4 WS/FCS classrooms; 4 Head Start classrooms; 8 NC Pre-K classrooms in community sites; and 14 private/independent classrooms. 
  • The project will impact 540 Pre-K students and their families in addition to 60 Pre-K educators. 
  • Smart Start of Forsyth County is the fiduciary and administrative entity for the grant and is operating on behalf of the Pre-K Priority.

Goals & Expected Outcomes

  • A high-quality system of Pre‑K programs available to all four-year-olds in Forsyth County.
  • Focus on providing resources/services to a diverse cohort of 30 Pre-K Classrooms.
  • Access to high-quality, uniform standards that will: 
  • Improve the quality of current programs for families and teachers
  • Support current programs to increase enrollment
  • Help establish new high-quality programs

$350,000 Funded


Funding applied to the 2-year model cohort of classrooms to complement the program in the following ways:

  • Support for the 2-year model cohort to ensure full programmatic resources 
  • Child Plus data management system support
  • State-approved research base Curriculum and Formative Assessment Tools
  • Health screenings and environmental classroom assessment by a Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC) 
  • High-quality programmatic implementation Support

Received $169,000 in funding

For the first time, United Way of Forsyth County is working in partnership with an early childhood non-profit organization to positively impact the childcare landscape in Forsyth County, through its Place Matters strategy.  

The funds did the following:​

  • Enhanced an independent childcare provider within the Place Matters footprint. 
  • Opened and licensed a new childcare facility with two classrooms 
  • Served approximately 34 children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old