Caldwell County Smart Start will provide for the early literacy program – “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library” (DPIL).  The goals are to: 

  •  Increase young children’s access to books,

  •  Increase kindergarten readiness,

  •  Increase parent-child reading frequency, and

  •  Increase community collaboration. 

DPIL mails age-appropriate books to registered children (ages 0-5) on a monthly basis.  The books will belong to the children and children can receive books regardless of family income.  Caldwell County Smart Start staff will collaborate with other local organizations which champion literacy and reading, such as the Caldwell County Library and the Caldwell County Family Literacy Program in order to maximize the effectiveness of the DPIL.  Staff will monitor the success of the DPIL through surveys and follow-ups with the parents of the children receiving the books.

Complimentary to the DPIL activities may be the development of a locally funded program designed to create and support a pool of qualified volunteers who would provide story reading and storytelling to the children served by child care centers and family child care homes.


Contact: Hannah Romero, Program Specialist 



The Child Care WAGE$® Project provides education-based salary supplements to low-paid teachers, directors, and family child care providers working with children between the ages of birth-five. The project is designed to provide preschool children more stable relationships with better educated teachers by rewarding teacher education and continuity of care. The Child Care WAGE$® Project is offered throughout North Carolina as a funding collaboration between local Smart Start Partnerships and the Division of Child Development and Early Education. Counties that use Smart Start funding to support the Child Care WAGE$® Project may participate. 




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The Quality Initiatives activity will assist private Caldwell County child care facilities in providing high-quality care for children birth through five. Quality Initiatives - Level 1 may support child care facilities holding a GS-110, 1 star, 2 star, or 3 star-rated license through technical assistance. Quality Initiatives - Level 2 may support private child care facilities holding a 4 star or 5 star-rated license through technical assistance and/or cash bonuses.

Technical assistance priority may be given to facilities which serve a higher number of children ages birth through five or receive no or limited technical support from other sources. Technical assistance may include Be Active Kids. Cash bonus amount is dependent upon the star rating and number/frequency of children ages birth through five served at the facility.

Contact: Kristy Campbell, Program Specialist 



Wendy Smith, Program Specialist


Education Reimbursement

Education reimbursement grants may be available to individual child care professionals enrolled in an Early Childhood Education program who apply to Caldwell County Smart Start for financial assistance.  Requirements for financial assistance include: 

  1.  Employment in the Early Childhood field serving children birth through age five;

  2.  Application for education reimbursement assistance submitted to Smart Start prior to registering for coursework;

  3.  Notification to Smart Start of completion of class/course within 30 days of completion;

  4.  Completion of the course with a grade “B” or higher;

  5.  Signed statement by the participating individual that they did not receive any other source of financial aid for the class/course including, but not limited to, TEACH scholarship, other scholarship, Pell grant, or other grants. Recipients of the grants will be contacted/surveyed up to three years past course completion to track their careers to determine the effectiveness of the program.

Contact: Hannah Romero, Program Specialist



The Nurturing Parenting Programs (NPP) are family-centered initiatives designed for parent education and the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. NPP programs feature activities to enhance overall family functioning, positive parent-child interactions, and nurturing skills in families. Caldwell County families with children ages birth through five will be eligible to participate in a Nurturing Parenting, Group-Based Program which will be carried out by a qualified Service Provider. Group sessions will meet in Caldwell County throughout the year. Sessions will be based on the Nurturing Parenting Program’s Parents, Their Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers model. Sessions will be aimed at helping parents gain a greater knowledge of acceptable nurturing practices. Child care will be provided for those parents attending sessions. Sessions will run for sixteen weeks. All Nurturing Program Facilitators (for adult sessions) will be required to hold a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in a Human Services related field and be a certified facilitator in the Nurturing Parenting Model. 


Contact: Caldwell Committee for Healthy Families, Program Facilitator 



Hannah Romero, Program Specialist 



The Purchase of Care (Subsidy) activity provides financial assistance, to be paid on a direct, per child, basis for the purchase of care and enhancements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligible or Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) eligible families. This program is administered through Caldwell County Department of Social Services. 


Contact: Caldwell County Department of Social Services, Program Administrator 




Mother and Baby

The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) will support the prevention of social, emotional, and behavioral problems in childhood, the prevention of child maltreatment, and the strengthening of parenting and parental confidence. 

Triple P is a parenting program, but it doesn’t tell you how to be a parent. It’s more like a toolbox of ideas. You choose the strategies you need. You choose the way you want to use them. It’s all about making Triple P work for you.

Triple P helps you:

  • Raise happy, confident kids

  • Manage misbehavior so everyone in the family enjoys life more

  • Set rules and routines that everyone respects and follows

  • Encourage behavior you like

  • Take care of yourself as a parent

  • Feel confident you’re doing the right thing

Caldwell County Smart Start offers Brief Triple P Level 2 where parents:


  • Choose a topic

  • Participate in a 15-minute session with a Triple P trained Smart Start staff member to discuss the topic and strategies 

  • Set goals 

  • Practice strategies to reach your goals

  • Have a check-in after two weeks

  • Participate in more sessions if needed


  • Crying

  • Promoting Development 

  • Separation Anxiety 

  • Sleep Patterns



  • Bedtime Problems

  • Hurting Others

  • Independent Eating

  • Language 

  • Sharing 

  • Tantrums

  • Toilet Training 

  • Wandering 

  • Whining 


  • Cleaning Up

  • Fighting and Aggression 

  • Going Shopping

  • Having Visitors 

  • Interrupting 

  • Mealtime Problems 

  • Nightmares and Night Terrors

  • Separation Problems

  • Traveling in the Car

Contact: Wendy Smith, Program Specialist 






Little Girl in Car

The Growing up Safe Program will facilitate car seat safety classes and distribute car seats to eligible Caldwell County residents with children ages birth to five. The seats will be distributed to families through the Caldwell County Health Department. CCHD will coordinate with the Caldwell County Safe Kids to organize Car Seat Safety Checks to be held at various locations in Caldwell County. For eligibility and to receive a car seat, please contact the Caldwell County Health Department. 

Contact: Caldwell County Health Department, Program Administrator