Smart Start of Forsyth County

aka SSFC   |   Winston-Salem, NC   |  http://www.smartstart-fc.org

Mission

To promote equitable access to quality, comprehensive early childhood development and education in response to the needs of our community. Equity Statement: We are a public/private partnership corporation that works to ensure that children, birth to five are prepared for success in school and life. We believe all children deserve opportunities to quality and equal education, to be happy and healthy, and to reach their full potential. We provide equitable opportunities to people of all races, ethnicities, cultures, religions, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions abilities, marital and parental statuses, ages, philosophies, and military or veteran statuses.

Ruling year info

1995

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Louis A. Finney Jr.

Main address

7820 N. Point Boulevard Suite 200

Winston-Salem, NC 27106 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

56-1899564

NTEE code info

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Management & Technical Assistance (B02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SSFC exponentially increases the overall quality of early childhood development and training in Forsyth County. To achieve this goal, we operate several programs that address the needs of families and early childhood community needs. These programs include: 1) Our commitment to early childhood literacy. Through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL), we engage and conduct outreach to inform families about our programs and accept applications for children to receive books on a monthly basis in order to encourage reading as early as possible. For the 2021 fiscal year, over 12,000 families with children ages 0-5 have registered with DPIL. These families connect though reading with their children. 2) We assist families with the cost of 4 and 5 star rated childcare providers through childcare subsidies and emergency childcare scholarship. Financial assistance is for families eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Smart Start of Forsyth County

Smart Start of Forsyth County supports programs for parents, child care facilities, and educators by directly administering services in house, and by providing financial support to local human service agencies to administer services. Parents who seek support in child rearing, locating affordable child care options, health intervention, and preparing young children for school can access Smart Start programs in a variety of settings including child care centers, pediatrician offices, and within the home. Child care centers and homes, along with individual early childhood educators, can find comprehensive support for improving or maintaining the quality of a child care facility as well as support to obtain higher levels of education through our partnerships with local universities and colleges.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Caregivers

The Welcome Baby program provides short-term home visitation services for new parents or caregivers who are “at-risk” and aged 14 – 30 years old. “At-risk” factors such as domestic violence, postpartum depression, substance abuse, mental illness, financial problems, isolation, and unstable housing are determined during an initial screening. Family Support/Home Visitors also provide in-home visitation using the Partners for a Healthy Baby and Triple P Curriculums for child development, health and safety education, postpartum support and referrals for child development screenings and community resources. Services are provided for up to 60 families from Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and other referral sources. Home visits are either weekly or bi-weekly for at a minimum of six months post-delivery. Staff provides four support group sessions each year for parents and/or caregivers of children aged 0-5 to build parenting skills.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Infants and toddlers

Smart Start of Forsyth County provides education scholarships to qualified childcare providers and directors who are enrolled in Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs. Scholarships for tuition and books are paid directly to the college for a minimum of 32 students attending an accredited post-secondary, not-for-profit institution in North Carolina. Participants paying tuition in advance may be reimbursed up to the lesser of 100% or $1,000 of tuition after the drop/add period. Scholarships are also available for students working in a licensed early childhood program in Forsyth County at least 20 hours per week, with children between the ages of birth to Pre-K. The childcare program and students are required to be in good standing, per the NC Division of Child Development guidelines, at the time the scholarship application is approved. Scholarships for are offered during the fall and spring, and if funds are available, summer sessions.

Population(s) Served
Academics

Our Parents as Teachers program is an evidence-based program that serves vulnerable “at risk” families where a parent educator coaches parents as their child’s first teacher. Parent educators are PAT trained and certified and implement the program with model fidelity. They also have a Bachelor’s degree in a human service related field and experience relevant to serving our Forsyth County target population.

Our PAT program provides:

∙ Personal visits, based on recommended dosage for each family's number of risk factors
∙ 12 group connections per program year
∙ Annual developmental screenings and a health review that includes a record of hearing, vision and general health status, and
∙ Referrals to community resources provided to families as needed

Population(s) Served
Parents
Infants and toddlers

Smart Start of Forsyth County's Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) for early education specialist in centers serving children, aged birth to five in Forsyth County, increases low star licensure statuses of care centers, maintains licensure status of five star centers, offers administrative training, and assists early education specialist with assessing classroom-level processes associated with children's performance. Teaching and learning services include curriculum and behavioral support, mentoring/coaching, professional development e.g. workshops, continuing education classes delivered by approved presenters, environmental rating scale and classroom assessments, and professional learning communities of practice sessions. In addition, Brazelton Touchpoints training is offered for early childhood educators to strengthen the system of care and early learning. Family child care home (FCCH) providers are eligible to receive academic achievement incentives administered by TLS. Staff positions, meetings, service-related materials and events e.g. recognition, education, etc. are supported by this activity.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Academics

The Child Care Health Consultation Services will be provided through SSFC's Manager of Child Care Health Services, a trained Public Health Professional. The Manager of Child Care Health Services will provide technical assistance in the form of consultation and coaching to early educators focusing on improving the capacity of child care providers' health and safety outcomes. They will also provide trainings related to health and safety topics to child care providers and early educators, allowing educators opportunities for continuing education.

This program is an available service to childcare providers, and our staff are not auditors or connected to state and federal agencies. The Child Care Health Consultation services are intended to help build capacity in a much needed area of child care and staff development, and we look forward to working with you in this pivotal area.

Smart Start of Forsyth County will implement and ensure activities follow the Child Care Health Consultation Service Model which was founded to ensure consistent statewide child care health services positively impact the quality of care received in early care and education settings. The CCHC Service Model is in alignment with Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs (CFOC) and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness’s Child Care Health Consultant Competencies.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Ethnic and racial groups
Health
Family relationships

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of teachers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Students

Related Program

Teaching and Learning Services (TLS)

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric measures skills attainment for instructors to assess ongoing learning, knowledge, and workplace application to meet student goals/ targets for performance.

Number of teachers who demonstrate effective teaching practices

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Students

Related Program

Educator Scholarships

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric measures teacher education and skills for instructing in the classroom.

Number of opportunities teachers have to provide and receive mentoring

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Academics

Related Program

Smart Start of Forsyth County

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Teacher mentoring ensures professional development, facilitates opportunities and connections, and promotes ethical behavior, while identifying skills gaps and training opportunities.

Number of administrators and staff who plan and experience professional development activities together

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults, Students

Related Program

Smart Start of Forsyth County

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Collaborations with teachers ensures ongoing professional development and connections, while identifying training opportunities.

Number of classrooms receiving early intervention services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth

Related Program

Smart Start of Forsyth County

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Early intervention services are strong indicators related to child well-being where measurements of program/ agency operation and functionality are derived from complete and accurate data.

Number of childcare subsidy families who would have other wise not received childcare services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth

Related Program

Smart Start of Forsyth County

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is a new metric being tracked and data will be updated once collected.

Eight evidence-based programs directly impacted 9,977 parents, children, and teachers who would not have access to services through any other nonprofit agency’s services.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Health, Social and economic status

Related Program

Smart Start of Forsyth County

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

How many parents, children, and/or families were directly impact by our programs and services?

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SSFC aims to assist kids in adapting to- and thriving in- their educational surroundings at every level. Our programs feed their overall development and facilitate a positive lifetime of well-balanced intellectual and creative development. Our work also:

Fosters Socializing Skills
Early childhood education aims to develop friendships among children belonging to the same age group in an environment that encourages interaction with other kids, builds strong friendships, and also helps them come out of their comfort zones. As a result, a child can overcome his/her shyness and mingle with others, thus promoting social development.

Develops an Enthusiasm for Learning
As kids learn their initial lessons through reading, play and structured activities, it lays the foundation for learning and also develops their imagination power. The thirst to acquire more knowledge is built at this very stage. The basics of reading and writing are covered through our programs and helps children realize the importance of education in life.

Promotes Holistic Development
Education in early days guarantees all round development for a lifetime where physical, social, emotional and mental development are crucial factors for later stages in life. As a kid gets an environment where he/she can freely express ideas and feelings, it helps to identify how they learn and any issues that require special attention and support to overcome potential blockages to success.

Teaches the Kids to Respect
The kids often try to emulate the behavior they observe. When they observe positive and respectful relationships between their parents, different teachers, and caretakers at school, they will simply try to follow the same. Infant education instills in the kids the necessity of respecting the feelings of other toddlers, their surroundings as well as listening to instructions from the teacher. It also teaches them to handle their belongings properly and not damage them.

Develops Sharing and Team Work Attitude
Early education ensures that children learn to co-operate and share their belongings with others. It might happen that a child does not share toys with his/her sibling at home and just fiercely opposes the idea at school during the first few days. Though it might get difficult to convince a stubborn child, it is essential that he/she learns the art of sharing at an early age. Also, these activities are aimed at building an ability to respect the opinion of others, develop listening skills and promote teamwork. Apart from this, our programs teach resilience to kids through experiences. A child may lose in a race or get minor bruises, but it may also teach them how to cope with greater challenges in life.

Our programs accomplish more than just play and fun learning. With SSFC, children's basic education and life skills through active and hands-on experiences also develops positive self-esteem, love for learning and mutual respect for others for a lifetime.

SSFC employs theory of change with measurable project outputs to assess program effectiveness. Each project has a logic model to communicate activities and goals and assist with program implementation as well as evaluation. Additional strategies used to ensure goal accomplishment include: 1) professional development plans that address the needs of staff to carry out program activities, 2) internal monitoring on a monthly basis through staff monthly reports on program outputs and quarterly data reports for each programs, 3) internal file audit on a quarterly basis to confirm family eligibility requirements and support documentation, 4) an annual outside accounting audit, and 5) formal partnerships with local organization. SSFC also contracts with an outside evaluator to help measure progress.

Additional strategies include providing training and technical assistance to enhance the quality of early childhood education services to childcare providers serving children birth to five as well as NC Pre-K sites. The overall goal of SSFC’s training and technical assistance is increase the star ratings of childcare. North Carolina uses a 5-star rating system for childcare, 1 star indicates a site meets some of the state’s minimum requirements, while 5 stars demonstrates a site meets all state standards. Services offered to increase and maintain star ratings for child care providers consist of developing a technical assistance plan for providers, offering individual coaching sessions with teachers to improve instruction and lesson plans in early childhood learning domains, implementing a leadership institute for child care directors, addressing challenging behaviors in the classroom, and helping families transition from child care to kindergarten.

SSFC administers the NC Pre-K program to increase school readiness for eligible four-year-old children. The program serves over 700 children countywide. SSFC partners with Head Start, the public-school system, and 4 and 5-star childcare providers to serve NC Pre-K children.

Effective program governance allows SSFC to achieve its mission. First, SSFC’s Board of Directors is comprised of diverse community members who remain committed to assuring that our children are healthy and prepared to succeed in school and life for generations to come. Our board members are citizens from local childcare centers, educational programs, government agencies, business communities, human service organizations, and families.

Second, SSFC has a flat line management structure based on programmatic activities and assigned staff. The organization’s structure delineates lines of authority, program responsibility, and allows for clear lines of communication.

Third, SSFC partners with community organizations on an informal and formal level to achieve its mission. On an informal level, SSFC leads community meetings to identify needs of families and childcare providers and to collaborate on short as well as long-term solutions. SSFC also engages in formal partnerships with key community organizations to meet programmatic goals.

Finally, SSFC’s strategic plan guides program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Our program solicits input from all staff and the board of directors on the strategic plan, using a SWOT analysis. To gauge needs in the community, a gap analysis helps to identity needs within early childhood for SSFC to address.

SSFC has accomplished a successful collective community network and early education impact through the administration of our NC Pre-K program which has:

1) Increased school readiness for eligible four-year-old children.
2) Served over 700 children countywide.
3) Partnered with various community leaders, organizations, and school districts in the public-school system.
4) Provided access to high-quality infant and toddler care through partnerships.
5) Expanded voluntary evidence-based home visiting to support our country's most vulnerable families.
6) Developed community connections to provide voluntary, high-quality childcare for families with 4 year-olds and who reside at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.

Our ongoing concentrations for continuous improvement entail reaching out to providers and local community members to assess what new needs may be surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. SSFC funds programs that fill early childhood education needs in the community, so we are always looking to the future to ensure children and families receive quality services.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

Smart Start of Forsyth County
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Smart Start of Forsyth County

Board of directors
as of 9/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Sheryll Strode

Executive Coach and Chair, CEO Peer Advisory Board


Board co-chair

Reginald McCaskill

Maximum Enterprises, Inc.

Anna Miller-Fitzwater

Wake Forest Baptist Health

Anthony Jones, Jr.

United Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church

Bennett Bruff

Turlington and Company, LLP

Cleopatra Morrison

Diggs-Latham Elementary, WSFCS

Deborah Best

Wake Forest University

Deborah Reynolds

Marsh & McLennan

Diana Santos Johnson

Attorney-at-Law

Denise Hartsfield

District Court Judge

Douglas Pugner

Attorney-at-law (retired)

Elizabeth Lees

Forsyth Futures

Eric Sadler

Sadler & Plummer Family Dentistry, Inc.

Ginger Gallagher

Vela Agency, Inc.

Heather Egan

Novant Health

Joan Troost

Wells Fargo

Katrina Tucker

Parent Advocate

Kelley Bendheim

Office of Early Learning, WSFCS

Sabrina Hinton

Business Woman and Educator

Susanne Wilkinson

Wells Fargo

Tembila Covington

Cooperative Extension

Theressa Stephens

Church Child Care Center, Inc.

Trey Howe

Pinnacle Finance Partners

Vivien Stearns

Family Services, Inc.

Melinda Hartley

Wilson Weaver

Winston Salem Police Department

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/25/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/25/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.