For Early Childhood Educators

Smart Start of New Hanover County provides assistance to early childhood educators and administrators through coaching, technical assistance, training, and access to resources. We are here to support the early childhood community in delivering quality early learning experiences that are positive and stimulating for young children.


Classroom Support: Quality Enhancement

Our consultants offer personalized coaching to early childhood educators to enhance and sustain the quality of care and education for young children. Services include assistance with room arrangement, daily schedule review, policy and procedure updates, preparation for Environment Rating Scale assessments, and other related areas.

social emotional well-being

Classroom Support: Social Emotional Learning

Meeting the needs of every child in the classroom can be challenging. Our consultants assist with child-specific or whole classroom social emotional development and behavior management to help prevent expulsion and promote inclusive practices within the classroom. Contact Mindy Davis at or call 910-815-3731 ext. 1010.

ece consultant

Early Childhood Program & Family Child Care Administrators

Running a child care program can be difficult! How do you help your teachers learn about child development or how to write a lesson plan? How do you work with a child who may have a challenging behavior? Or what should a good Policy and Procedures or Parent Handbook look like? Smart Start Early Care & Education consultants can assist you with those challenges and more!

Job Board

Job Board

Search early childhood educator job openings for FREE! Job information includes position, pay range, age group and more. For any questions, contact Rita Albrecht at Smart Start NHC.



Interaction plays a crucial role in brain development, especially for children ages 0-3. Whether you are preparing for ITERS-R assessment or just looking for an effective way to measure interactions, LENA Grow is an easy way to help without adding more stress to you or your amazing teachers. Through coaching and the use of talk pedometers, you will see exactly how much you talk to your children and how to improve in 5 short weeks! Best of all, this program is FREE to participate in! Contact Krista Smith to learn more! 910-815-3731 ext. 1023 or

resource room

Smart Start’s Early Learning Resource Center

The Smart Start Resource Room is available for early childhood professionals and families providing access to curriculum guides, theme kits, activity ideas and services such as laminating, bulletin board paper, die cuts and book binding.


Workshops & Training

Smart Start Early Care and Education consultants provide specialized, DCDEE approved workshops on a variety topics such as ITS SIDS, Challenging Behaviors, Environment Rating Scales, Infant Toddler Development, and Family Child Care Home specific topics. Click here to visit our Workshop and Training calendar.

community resources

Educator & Community Resources

Find helpful information and links to professional resources for early educators and child care administrators. Knowledgeable counselors are also available to help you identify and access services to meet the needs of your students and classroom.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is Smart Start and how does it support early childhood development?
Smart Start is a statewide initiative in North Carolina, focused on supporting the healthy development and school readiness of children from birth to age five. It achieves this through a network of local partnerships that offer services like early education, parent support, child care quality improvement, literacy promotion, and community collaboration. Smart Start advocates for policies and funding to ensure children and families have access to necessary resources and services. Ultimately, it plays a crucial role in preparing children for success in school and life.
What resources are available through Smart Start to support children with special needs or disabilities?
Smart Start of New Hanover County (NHC) offers a range of resources and services to support children with special needs or disabilities. These may include parent support and education, referrals to local resources, professional development and training, advocacy efforts, classroom & teacher support, and collaboration with service providers. Contact Smart Start of NHC for more detailed information.
What research or evidence-based practices inform the Smart Start approach?
Smart Start’s approach to early childhood development is informed by evidence-based practices and research findings. These key areas include emphasizing early brain development, supporting quality early childhood education, promoting parental involvement, offering early intervention services, prioritizing health and wellness, nurturing social-emotional development, being culturally sensitive and inclusive, collaborating with the community, and utilizing data for informed decision-making. By grounding its initiatives in these practices, Smart Start aims to provide effective and targeted support for the optimal growth and well-being of young children.
How can I collaborate with Smart Start of NHC to enhance my child's growth?

Active participation and open communication with Smart Start can create a supportive environment for your child’s growth and development:

  • Contact Smart Start of NHC to inquire about available resources and programs.
  • Attend workshops, seminars, and events organized by Smart Start on child development, parenting, and community resources.
  • Join parent support groups to connect with other parents, share experiences, and learn from experts.
  • Consider participating in home visiting programs for guidance on parenting and child development.
  • Engage in parent-child activities like playgroups, storytimes, and family outings organized by Smart Start.
  • Stay informed through newsletters, social media, and the official website for tips, resources, and program updates.
  • Advocate for policies and funding supporting early childhood development in our community.
  • Utilize Smart Start resources, such as books, pamphlets, and online materials on child development and parenting.
  • Collaborate with local service providers, including healthcare professionals, therapists, and specialists.