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2021 Breakfast for Children’s Champions


Our 2021 celebration of Children’s Champions will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 to celebrate deserving individuals and highlight the work of Smart Start. Scroll down to see last year’s nominees and winners!

Call for Nominations!

It is time to nominate someone you know who has gone over and above expectations to support children ages 0-5!  

2021 Nomination Form (must download & save pdf before completing)       (Google Form)

Each year the Smart Start of NHC Pledge Breakfast for Children’s Champions recognizes community members who go the extra mile to make a difference in the lives of young children and their families.  Deadline for nominations is Noon, Friday, January 29th, 2021


Donate today!

Smart Start uses donations made toward the Breakfast to provide services for early educators, families, and children. We ask that you consider making a donation online.  To support Smart Start’s valuable work with children and families in New Hanover County, complete this donation form or access PayPal here.

Join our growing list of Sponsors!


Thanks to your support, families receive our resources, especially when they need it most!  

(pdf link) 





Questions? email Stephanie Harris or call 910.815.3731 x.1013



2020 Breakfast for Children’s Champions

During the 2020 Virtual Children’s Champions Celebration, Kate and Adam Nicholas were named as the 2020 Children’s Champions, and Julia Phelps received the Starfish Public Advocacy Award! 

Watch the full event recording, which includes a surprise live visit from comedian DJ Pryor!



We thank our community for the continued support of our work with families and young children, especially during the pandemic that has highlighted the need for quality early care and education!

Did you know…

  • In NHC, there are an estimated 11,590 children ages birth to five years old, making up 5% of the population, who have not yet entered kindergarten.
  • Approximately 8,922 children under six in the county live in families where their sole parent or both parents are working. The need for quality child care is critical to the economic viability of these families and businesses.
  • Most families in NHC cannot afford the full cost of child care.
  • In NHC, 30% of children ages birth to 5 live in poverty.

Smart Start of New Hanover County envisions every child entering school with the health, family support and early education necessary to succeed.

Questions? email Stephanie Harris or call 910.815.3731 x.1013