In 2022, Forsyth County and the city of Winston-Salem provided the first local Pre-K funding ($4M+ in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant funding) to enhance quality in over 30 existing Pre-K classrooms in our community.
Counties like Mecklenberg, Wake, and Buncombe are making significant local investments in high-quality Pre-K.
In 2024 Mecklenberg County is spending just over $23 million on MECK Pre-K for a total investment of $69 million. That program, along with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools‘ Bright Beginnings, partly funded by the county, and the state's Pre-K program, serve a total of 5,800 children in the county.
Wake County has been able to reach universal access for 4-year-old children and has already expanded to 3-year-olds.
Buncombe County’s recently approved $603 million budget for fiscal year 2024 includes an investment of $3,892,756 for early childhood education. Commissioners have named early childhood and development among their top priorities for community investments in an effort to ensure that every child in the County has an equal opportunity to thrive during their first 2,000 days. The funding will be distributed to 16 organizations supporting 21 programs.
If you believe all children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their full potential in school, work, and life, sign our pledge to show community support for Pre-K in our community.
If you are an employer, consider investigating childcare and high-quality Pre-K opportunities for employees, starting with Child Care Resource Center. You may also consider childcare subsidies as a form of incentive to enhance recruitment and retention.
If you are an employee, consider requesting childcare support from your employer. This guide provides tips and creative solutions employees may not be aware of.
Join existing community efforts around access to early childhood education and high-quality Pre-K by volunteering or supporting local organizations doing great work. Learn more about who is involved by reading about Our Partners.