Advancing School Readiness

Child Care Services Association


Child Care Services Association
Advancing School Readiness
1829 East Franklin Street Building 1000
PO Box 901
Chapel Hill, NC


(919) 967-3272

Advancing School Readiness has two components. Directors can apply to participate in the Wake Directors’ Leadership Academy or the Accreditation project. Both provide regular training and on-site technical assistance. Both projects are open to directors/programs actively seeking to improve program quality.

To qualify directors/programs must meet the following criteria:

  • 4- or 5-star child care center with 4 or more program standard points
  • Program serving at least 2 children on subsidy

Wake Directors’ Leadership Academy

The Wake Directors’ Leadership Academy (WDLA) provides in-depth training and support (for one year) for directors of child care facilities seeking opportunities for professional growth in their roles as administrators. The WDLA will strengthen the network of directors in Wake County and provide situations for directors to enhance leadership skills. The project will utilize the Program Administration Scale (PAS) to focus on several topics including personnel and supervision, program outcomes and budget management.


The Accreditation project will provide on-site technical assistance to programs wishing to become nationally accredited through NAEYC. This will include assistance with portfolio development, training on NAEYC standards, policy review, and self-study support. This is a 3-year project that will assist child care providers through the 3 stages of accreditation: self-study, application and candidacy. Programs participating in the project will also receive financial support to help cover some of the fees associated with NAEYC Accreditation.


For more information and to apply, please contact Jenna Nelson.



Advancing School Readiness is funded by Wake County Smart Start and managed by Child Care Services Association (CCSA). CCSA is a nationally recognized nonprofit working to ensure affordable, accessible, high quality child care for all families through research, services and advocacy.

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System Improvement and Public Engagement staff work with community stakeholders to strengthen and support the early childhood system of care and education.


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Wake ThreeSchool is play-based preparation for Wake County’s three-year-olds before entering Pre-K.

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Farm to Child Care

The Farm to Child Care program supports child care facilities, fostering nutrition plans that include fresh, local produce for snacks and meals throughout growing seasons.

Program Coordination and Evaluation

Program Coordination and Evaluation staff work with community stakeholders to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate funded activities to achieve the goals, objectives, and outcomes identified in the Wake County Smart Start strategic plan.

Quality Enhancement Projects

These projects support quality child care and are part of the Quality Enhancement Department within Wake County Smart Start.

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