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Parenting is hard! There are times when every family could use a little (or a lot) of extra support. Smart Start of NHC provides a variety of classes and services to parents and families who live in New Hanover County to make this hard job easier and a bit more manageable.

Early Literacy
Parenting Services & Classes

Early Literacy

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

If you have a child under five years of age, you may register your child to receive one free book each month until his or her fifth birthday while funding allows.  Smart Start of New Hanover County, 910-815-3731 Register Here

Raising a Reader TM

Raising a Reader provides early childhood professionals with materials and strategies for engaging families in reading activities.  Families develop book sharing routines with their child which advances early literacy for children birth to age five.  For more information, call New Hanover County Public Library 910-798-6367

Reach Out and Read


Reach Out and Read encourages school success by partnering with medical providers to “prescribe” books and shared reading activities for families.  At scheduled well-check visits, children ages 6 months to 6 years receive a new, high quality, culturally and age-appropriate book. Primary care providers coach parents in developmentally appropriate reading activities to use at home. For more information, call New Hanover County Public Library at 910-798-6367.

Parenting Services & Classes

Parenting Seminar Series

Join us for our Parenting Seminar Series to learn about some of the most common parenting challenges we all face.  Each is a stand-alone class, does not require attendance to the others, and is available to all members of our community.  To register, call 910.815.3731. Childcare is not provided for this series.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (Early Literacy)

If you have a child under five years of age, you may register your child to receive one free book each month until his or her fifth birthday while funding allows.  Smart Start of New Hanover County, 910-815-3731 Register Here

Transition to Kindergarten

Getting the right start in school begins with a smooth transition to kindergarten. Learn more about how to register for kindergarten and what you can do to ensure that your child is ready to start.

Resource Room

Families and early childhood professionals can check-out curriculum guides, resource books, videos, children’s CDs, and theme boxes with educational toys and activity ideas.  Laminating services, die cuts, a computer work station, museum passes, baby wear and other items are also available. Membership requires a small annual fee. For more information, click here.

Parents as Teachers TM  (PAT)

Parents are supported in promoting healthy development of their children and school readiness through the use of an evidence-based home visiting model.  Parent knowledge of child development and model parenting practices are fostered, and the early detection of developmental delays is improved.  Learn more

Special Needs Support – Circle of Parents ® 

Smart Start’s Circle of Parents support group is for parents of children with special needs or special health care needs.  The group meets weekly through-out the school year.  Meals and a children’s circle for children up to age 12 are provided. Learn more

Young Parents Support – Circle of Parents ® 

Young Parents Support Program supports young parents using group meetings (Circle of Parents) and home visiting to work towards the common goal of building family strengths in the areas of family management, communications, nurturing, and positive discipline. Learn More about this partnership with Communities in Schools – Cape Fear.

Triple P ®  (Positive Parenting Program)

Using evidence based principles, Triple P offers advice and tools that parents need to raise confident, healthy children, and to build stronger family relationships.  Individual support on specific issues as well as general parenting information in a seminar series is provided and available to all parents.  An intensive group is also available to participants referred from NHC Department of Social Services.  Learn more

ABC ®  (Attachment and Bio-behavioral Catch-up) – Positive Parenting Program

This 10 week, strength-based program helps families with children six months to two years learn ways to strengthen the secure attachment between a child and their caregiver. Learn more

Health & Safety Resources

Healthy growth and development is the cornerstone of a child’s success.  This includes choosing a medical home, making sure your child has health insurance, is protected through immunizations, and has a healthy, safe home.  Learn more

Just For Fun

New Hanover County has many fun things to do and places to go with your young child!  Explore some of the locations highlighted here, or like us on Facebook to find out about more up-to-date events and fun things to do at home.  Check the WhatsOnWilmington Community Calendar for free or inexpensive things to do with your child.

Links & Resources

Links to regional services available to families with young children. Click here