Early Childhood Resource Guide
Wake County Early Childhood Resource Guide
0-5 PR and Outreach Collaborative members
Accessing and Paying for Childcare
Child Care Referral Central
Find the right early education program! Families receive personal consultations with knowledgeable early childhood experts who will be a guide as families explore education options important to them and give families the tools and consumer education about quality to help them make an informed decision. Families will receive a customized detailed list of programs that meet their needs. Information for children birth through school-age. (Services are also available in Spanish) No Cost
Phone: 1-855-327-5933 (1-855) EarlyEd
For families earning less than 75% of the state median income, families with children with special needs, and homeless families, the Child Care Subsidy Services provides families with financial assistance for child care. Parent educators and case managers also provide families information about quality child care, star licensing, child development, community resources, and referrals. No Cost
Wake Connections is a coordinated intake and referral system which matches families of young children and expectant mothers with home-based services. The online intake portal captures family and child needs, screens for matches and links with appropriate in-home services. Partner programs include: Parents As Teachers (PAT), Home-based Head Start, Care Coordination for Children (CC4C), Welcome Baby, Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), Family Literacy Program and Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY). Coming soon: Secure Path. Wake Connections is a program of Wake County SmartStart. No Cost
Contact Name: Sasha Gomez
Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD)
ABCD is an evidence-informed intervention and nationally-recognized model that trains pediatric primary care physicians and their staff to perform routine developmental and autism-specific screenings and connects children ages birth to 5 years old with specialized therapies and other early interventions services. No Cost
Phone: 919- 810-7329/810-7328
ABC’s For You and Me – Workshops from Motheread, Inc.
The ABC’s For You and Me workshops empower parents by helping them understand the importance of reading to their children; teaching them specific skills to use in their homes; helping them practice these skills in a supportive environment; and allowing them to share their successes with other parents. At each session parents are given books and story-telling props as well as being introduced to the often intimidating “school language” they will encounter as their children are screened, enter, and progress through kindergarten. No Cost
Contact: Carolyn Dickens
Child Passenger Safety Program
This program has Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians that teach parents and caregivers how to install a car seat. No Cost
Child Protective Services and Foster Care
Programs and services that aim to protect children and enhance their wellbeing by supporting and strengthening families. In partnership with the community, Child Protective Services and Foster Care are committed to ensuring positive outcomes for children and families who become involved in Child Welfare. No Cost
Phone: Report Line at 919-212-7990 (English) or 919-212-7963 (Spanish)
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Help Line
An information and referral help line for those living with, caring for and concerned about, a child with special health care needs. Callers can learn about health care programs as well as funding resources available to North Carolina residents. No Cost
Contact: Stacy Rosser
Care Coordination for Children (CC4C) / Community Care-Wake/Johnston Counties
Care Coordination for Children (CC4C) is a free, voluntary program designed to help families improve health outcomes for their children from birth to age 5 who qualify for services. Concerns and services may include, but are not limited to: developmental delay, disability, chronic illness, social and emotional stress and disorders, periodic medical, behavioral, developmental and psychosocial evaluations. No Cost
Contact: Sharon Klingemier or Karla Theobald
Phone: 919-250-1154 or 919-896-0791
Crianza Con Carino (The Nurturing Program for Spanish Speaking Families)/SAFEchild
This 12-week family education program blends child-rearing information with social supports to strengthen Spanish-speaking families living in Wake County. Culturally sensitive, bi-lingual volunteers facilitate parent groups using a nationally recognized curriculum. The program is offered to urban and rural families who may be experiencing family violence. Parents and their children attend together but meet in separate groups. No Cost
Family Literacy Program/ Telamon
Parents and their children participate in one of two 12-week home visitation programs. The home visitation program uses the dialogic reading method to increase the child’s vocabulary. Each week the Home Visitors provide the family with two books and activities that parents can use between home visits to engage in developmentally appropriate activities with their children. The program also offers a parenting class entitled “Raising a Thinking Child”. This class is designed to teach parents of children ages 2 to 12 years interpersonal and problem solving skills. No Cost
Contact: Sharon Burney
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)/ Family Resource Center of Raleigh
HIPPY is an evidenced-based program that works with families (with children ages 3-5) in the home to support parents in their critical role as their child’s first and most important teacher. Parents are provided with a set of carefully developed curriculum, books and materials designed to strengthen their children’s cognitive skills, early literacy skills, social/emotional and physical development. The program uses trained home visitors who go into the home and role-play the activities with the parents and support each family throughout their participation in the program. HIPPY strengthens communities and families by empowering parents to actively prepare their children for success in school and life. No Cost
Contact: Jacqueline Kehinde
A free and voluntary program specializing in pregnancy and early childhood development. First-time eligible parents are partnered with a specialized trained nurse. The program provides parents with support, education, and one-on-one interaction throughout a pregnancy and until the child turns two years old. No Cost
Project CATCH (Community Action Targeting Children who are Homeless)
A collaborative community outreach program working in partnership with housing agencies to serve all children ages 0-18 experiencing homelessness by providing case management for socio-emotional, medical, educational and basic needs. Services also include Trauma Informed Care Training. No Cost
Contact: Jennifer Tisdale
Project Enlightenment/WCPSS Office of Early Learning
An early childhood prevention and intervention service of the Wake County Public School System for young children birth through kindergarten. Cost: For workshops only – scholarship available for those with financial need
Contact: Audrey Bunch or Louise Taff
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
A nutrition program that offers programs and services to eligible pregnant women and children, birth to 5, including: individualized nutrition counseling, group nutrition classes, breastfeeding promotion and support, referrals for health care and other services, and vouchers for healthy food. No Cost
Helps individuals who are seeking jobs by preparing them with job readiness skills. Our Life Skills program helps those that have obtained employment by achieving stability in every area of their lives. Our Children’s program offers support to the children of the Life Skills participants by helping with education, health and life skills. No Cost
The Arc of the Triangle
Supports children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities [I/DD] to achieve their personal goals and dreams in our community through partnership and advocacy. Supports and seminars, family support, information and referral are all free services to the public. Individual Services are provided to individuals 3 and up who qualify. No Cost
Phone: 919-832-1660 x139
Child Health and Development
4-H Youth Development/WCHS
The programs are led by trained 4-H youth development staff that help youth ages 5 to 18 develop character, positive relationships, better social skills and healthy habits in safe and educational environments. No Cost
Advance Community Health – Pediatrics and Dental
(Formerly known as New Bern Ridge Pediatrics)
A non-profit Community Health Center located in Southeast Raleigh providing pediatric and dental care. Cost: Medicaid, Medicare and NC Health Choice are accepted and discounts are provided for the uninsured.
Allied Rehab (PT, OT, ST)
PT, OT, and ST offered to children of the Wake Forest area. Therapists are certified in a variety of specialty areas from working with Special Needs children with CP, Autism, Sensory Integration Challenges, Articulation/Language Disorders, hearing loss, and many more. Cost: Medicaid and any commercial insurance company can be billed
Contact: Teresa Hale
Apex Therapy, LLC
Home and school based occupational, physical, and speech and language evaluation and therapy services. Cost: Rates for services can be provided upon request. Current Medicaid provider and considered as an out of network provider for additional insurance companies.
Contact: Stacey Keith
El Lenguage es la Clave (Language is the Key)/ Catholic Charities
This program is to teach parents effective strategies that promote language development and put young children on the pathway to literacy. Classes are in Spanish. No Cost Contact: Laura Tirado
Phone: 919-873-0094 ext. 223
School Readiness Services for Hispanic Children/ Catholic Charities
School Readiness Services for Hispanic Children is a multi-faceted program which includes:
- Dialogic Reading method which is designed to build language and literacy in early childhood. The program teaches parents strategies that promote language development;
- Developmental Screening. Based on screening results, children can be referred to community organizations for further evaluation; and
- Information and referrals. As families come to the Hispanic Center seeking services, staff determines the resources families need, assists them in completing applications and provides follow up to ensure needed services are provided. No Cost
Children’s Clinics/ Wake County Human Services
Health care services for children ranging from treatment to education, such as: well care for children (vaccines, check-ups, health exams for daycare, school or sports), health care for sick children, follow-up for long-term illnesses, developmental assessments, fluoride for teeth, asthma education, referrals for behavior services. Cost: The costs of visits are based on family income. Medicaid and NC Health Choice are accepted.
Dental Care for Children
Prevention and treatment services for children including: exams, cleanings, fluoride applications, sealants, education, restorations, extractions, space maintenance. Cost: The costs of visits are based on family income. Medicaid and NC Health Choice are accepted.
Family-Centered Early Intervention Occupational Therapy
Locus Family Centered Therapies provides occupational therapy in a child’s natural environment, helping families to develop new routines that are good for the child and the family support system. The practice leader is one of the only OTs in the state with a doctorate, a focus on pediatric, and 30+ years of experience. Cost: As mandated by DHHS
Contact: Beth Hathaway
Head Start/ Telamon
Head Start is a federal preschool program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Telamon operates three types of Head Start programs for low-income families: Head Start (preschool for children ages 3 to 5 years old), Early Head Start (childcare for children 0 to 3 years old and pregnant women), and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (child care and preschool for children of eligible farmworkers ages 0 to 5 years old). Services are provided through center based and home based options. No Cost
Contact: Call for specific contact
The Developmental Day Center provides an inclusive center-based program for children from 18 months to five years of age with, or at risk for, developmental disabilities as well as for children typically developing. The Child Mental Health Initiative offers individualized treatment and parent counseling. Cost: Fees for all Learning Together program services are based upon competitive county market rates. There are set tuition rates for children who attend.
Contact: Nell Barnes
Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood
The largest nonprofit provider of mental health services exclusively for children in the NC Triangle region. Serving families with individualized care, education and therapeutic programs. Cost: There is a great range in the financial obligations for families because of difference in the fees for different grades, varying amounts of reimbursements from health insurance, and the substantial scholarship support that provided for many families. Program staff and the families generally find a way to make it work mutually when it is the right thing to do. Fees can be discussed more specifically with parents.
Contact: Deborah Mugno
SecurePath is a comprehensive mental health service for young children in Wake County that is provided at the child’s home or preschool. Staff offers mental health assessments, interventions, and therapy for children ages birth to 5 and their parents who need help with their child’s social, emotional, or developmental challenges. Services are provided in English and Spanish. SecurePath works to ensure that emotionally at-risk young children with special needs have early intervention services to better prepare them for success in school and life. Cost: Services are provided free-of-charge to children age five and younger who have not yet started kindergarten.
SecurePath focuses its resources on children and families who do not have insurance coverage or are receiving Medicaid.
For both listings above:
Marbles Kids Museum
A vibrant destination for hands-on, minds-on learning for children and families. Located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, Marbles serves a diverse population of families, school groups and community organizations with dozens of themed exhibits, daily programs, summer camps, IMAX educational and feature films and special events year-round. Museum programs and exhibits are designed for children 10-and-under. Cost: $5 per person. Under 12 months old is free. Free for certain groups.
Contact: Corrie MacNeil
North Carolina Infant Toddler Program
Provides support and services for families and their children, birth to three who have special needs. Research shows that this time period is critical. It offers a window of opportunity to make a positive difference in how a child develops and learns. The program works with local service providers to help families help their children succeed. Cost: There are some services provided at no cost to families and some services that are subject to family cost.
Contact: Stephanie Dellinger
NC Pre-Kindergarten Program (NC Pre-K)/ Wake County SmartStart
NC Pre-K provides a high quality early educational experience for four-year- olds who meet various criteria of need. The program is community-based, voluntary, and prepares four-year-olds for kindergarten. Apply for NC Pre-K, Title I and Head Start with one application at the Wake Pre-K Application Center housed at Wake County SmartStart. Visit the WCSS website to access the application, or attend walk-in application sessions on Thursdays from 1-4 P.M. No Cost
Contact: Wake County SmartStart
Preschool Programs Services – Office of Early Learning, Wake County Public School System (WCPSS)
WCPSS provides preschool services for eligible children through the Title I Pre-Kindergarten Program and Preschool Special Education Services. Pre-K Title I classrooms offer a child-centered, developmentally appropriate experience for four-year-old children who have an academic need. Children with disabilities ages three to five are educated in the child’s least restrictive environment and are served in a variety of special education settings and natural environments. No Cost
Welcome Baby/ SAFEchild
New moms are often exhausted, uncomfortable, and overwhelmed with feeding and caring for a newborn baby. Support is critical during the first year of becoming a mother. SAFEchild’s Welcome Baby program is a home visiting program that pairs a new mom with an experienced and friendly mom who provides friendship, support, and ideas to cope with the challenges of caring for a newborn. Welcome Baby accompanies a new mother on the greatest adventure of all — becoming a mom! Any first time or pregnant mom in Wake County may join the Welcome Baby program. Welcome Baby volunteers are experienced mothers who are trained to offer support and share the information all new moms need to care for their baby. The volunteers learn about evidence-based practices and current health and prevention issues such as the Period of PURPLE Crying and Shaken Baby Syndrome. No Cost
Contact: Michelle Putterman
Speak Easy Rehabilitation
Speak Easy Rehabilitation provides speech language therapy to Wake, Durham, Harnett, Lee, and Moore counties and Community Based Rehabilitative Services to Wake and Durham counties. Services occur at the child’s home or daycare center. Cost: A medical service that will bill the family’s insurance or accept private pay.
Contact: Anna Evans
The Autism Society of North Carolina’s LifeLong Interventions Program
ASNC’s LifeLong Interventions program is an intensive, comprehensive treatment service for individuals with autism across the lifespan. Utilizing only evidence-based practices for the treatment of autism; the methodology is rooted in the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). All services are rendered by a registered behavior technician, who is overseen by board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) and licensed psychologists. Cost: Credentialed, in-network provider with BCBSNC and acquiring accreditation with Cigna, United Healthcare, and Aetna. Private payment is also accepted.
Contact: Whitney Luffman
Phone: 919-743-0204, ext 1131
WAKE Up and Read – School Readiness
Collaborates with community partners to improve access to books for families with young children and use of appropriate literacy strategies for caregivers. No Cost
Phone: (919) 852-3319/431-7725
A variety of programs and services offered for adolescents and youth ages 0- 18. Services include a 24/7 dedicated Children’s Emergency Department on the Raleigh Campus along with a number of stand-alone emergency departments throughout Wake County that care for both adult and pediatric populations. Support and preventive care is offered through the pediatric care clinic, Special Infant Care Clinic (for newborns and children up to age 3 with prematurity or developmental problems), inpatient care at the WakeMed Children’s Hospital and a variety of outpatient specialty care offices for children and families. Cost: Varies by program and insurance coverage.