Find and Get Help Paying for High-Quality Child Care

Wake County Smart Start partners with community agencies that help you find and afford child care. First, consider what high-quality care really means:

What is “high-quality child care?”

At WCSS, we believe that high-quality early care and education promotes positive child outcomes through:

  • Nurturing and responsive learning communities that promote trusting relationships
  • Engaging and positive interactions with children, families and staff
  • Inclusive and safe play environments with opportunities for physical, social-emotional, language and cognitive skill development
  • Teaching strategies that address the varying abilities of each child
  • Practices that respect diversity

What does this mean to you as a parent?

Programs that are high-quality:

  • Teach in a way that meets the individual needs of your child
  • Encourage positive interaction and foster trusting relationships among your child, your family and child care teachers and staff
  • Offers a safe play environment that allows your child to develop skills
  • Respect diversity

High-quality programs also help children build routines. Young children thrive on patterns, often experienced as routines. When those patterns are clear, it helps young children have a sense of normalcy and security. It helps them self-regulate as well as tell time. For instance, young children discover that after bath time comes story time. It helps them predict what will happen next, and in doing so, they feel more empowered to tackle tasks. When a child knows what to expect, it helps them to understand what is important, which in turn strengthens shared values, beliefs, and interests. Attendance at a high-quality program can help with all of this.

One of our goals is to help families connect to resources that can help children ages birth to five be successful in school…and in life.

Here are some tools to help you