Shape NC

Wake County Smart Start


Wake County Smart Start
Shape NC: Healthy Starts for Young Children
4901 Waters Edge Drive, Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27606



Shape NC: Healthy Starts for Young Children promotes healthy eating and active learning through play for children from birth to age five by assisting communities in healthy endeavors. The initiative was created to increase the number of children starting Kindergarten at a healthy weight and ready to learn.

In Wake County, Shape NC provides an opportunity to integrate support of some of the ongoing work around healthy eating and physical activity. This includes evidence-based programs WCSS currently funds to support the quality of child care, such as Farm to Child Care (F2CC) and Preventing Obesity by Design (POD). Shape NC also includes Be Active Kids (BAK) and Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (GO NAP SACC).

Approximately 32% of Wake County’s young children are enrolled in regulated child care centers, where they receive most meals and spend most of their waking hours. By focusing efforts on these sites, while our children are still young, Shape NC intends to improve early childhood practices and inspire a lifetime of healthy behaviors through this comprehensive and integrated approach.


Interested in this program? Please contact Lynn Policastro, Healthy Initiatives Program Coordinator, or call 919-851-9550. For more details about the Farm to Child Care program specifically, click here.


Shape NC is managed by Wake County Smart Start in Wake County. It is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Social Innovation Fund, and it is an initiative of The North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation.

Related Programs

System Improvement and Public Engagement

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


Wonderschool supports family child care home providers by providing dedicated technology, training, ongoing mentorship, and community to operate and grow.

Wake ThreeSchool

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

NC Pre-Kindergarten

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.

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.

Child Care Health Consultant Program

The Child Care Health Consultant Program provides on-site health, safety, and nutrition consultation in child care facilities.

Advancing School Readiness

Advancing School Readiness has two components. Directors can apply to participate in the Wake Directors’ Leadership Academy or the Accreditation project.