Pre-K lights the pathway of success for young children, giving them the tools and resources they need to thrive.

Wake Pre-K Application Center

Special Event Notice
For the 2020-21 School Year

Thursday, August 6th, 9AM – 1PM
Wake County Smart Start – Lower Level Parking Lot
4901 Waters Edge Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606

Bring your completed application and supporting documents to our office and drop them off right from your car! Follow the signs in the parking lot to drop off event. Staff will be available to help with applications, make copies, and if needed, make a follow up appointment with you.

What are the supporting documents?
+Copy of child’s birth certificate
+Documentation of Wake County residency
+Documentation of all sources of family income


Questions? Contact Taty Padilla, Pre-K Outreach Assistant by email: or by phone: 919-723-9283.

Can’t attend the Curbside Application Event?
Families that cannot attend this event are encouraged to mail in their completed applications with required documents to our office at WCSS, 4901 Waters Edge Drive, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27606. While our office is closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are still processing applications received by mail and preparing for the school year ahead. You may find our Resources page helpful for both community services and learning ideas.

About the Wake Pre-K Application Center:

The Wake Pre-K Application Center is housed at Wake County Smart Start. Families wishing to apply complete ONE initial application through the Pre-K Application Center to be considered for NC Pre-Kindergarten, Title I, Head Start and Child Care Subsidy.

The Wake County Pre-K programs operate across Wake County with smaller class sizes to prepare children for Kindergarten. Programs begin assigning children with highest priority as early as June, but many placements are not complete until August.  Placements are not guaranteed, and based on eligibility criteria.

Wake Pre-K programs:

NC Pre-K (visit)

NC Pre-K provides children with a high-quality classroom program to help four-year-olds get ready for Kindergarten. Children attend Pre-K for 6.5 hours each day, Monday through Friday.

Telamon Head Start 

Wake County Smart Start works with the Telamon Corporation to provide Head Start programs for children ages three and four and their families. Telamon Head Start centers provide a secure setting where children can develop their skills under the watchful eyes of well-trained caregivers.  Partial or full-day services at centers include health and dental screenings, nutritious meals, individual as well as group learning experiences, play opportunities and other structured activities.

Wake County Public School System Title I Program (visit)

Wake County Smart Start works with the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) to deliver the Title I Pre-K Program. The goal of the program is to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed. Screenings for student participation are offered each spring and students qualify based on academic need.

Wake County Human Services Child Care Subsidy

Wake County Smart Start works with Wake County Human Services to help fund the Wake County Child Care Subsidy Program.  The program provides financial assistance to parents for their child care needs. The child care subsidy is based on an assessment of need, income and family size.

Additional Information

To apply, click here.