Smart Beginnings

Ready for School. Ready for Life.

Getting our kids ready for school requires the commitment of our entire community; from parents and schools to childcare providers and social service organizations, we all have a role to play. Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke is a collaborative effort of community leaders who are working together to ensure that every child in Greater Roanoke enters kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed in school and in life by providing young children between birth and kindergarten with special support and programming.

Virginia Quality Programs

Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke is proud to be one of fifteen localities across the state implementing Virginia’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (VSQI). We help local preschools and childcare facilities with onsite mentoring, training, and funding to achieve a quality rating. We also assist parents in choosing a preschool, child care program, or family child care home that is right for their child. By selecting a program that is quality rated, you can be confident that your child is in good hands!

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Infant & Toddler Specialist Network

The Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network strives to achieve excellence in early care by increasing the knowledge level and skills of those who care for infants and toddlers, whether in family homes or in centers. Roanoke has one of nine regional offices and 16 infant and toddler specialists located throughout the state.

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The path to success starts early in life. If you are one of the people in a child's life that is responsible for their care and educational success, we invite you to explore our comprehensive resources for both parents and educators. Our comprehensive resources will help you in finding the right facilities to get your child on the right path, identify key building blocks to a foundation for success through educational opportunities and workshops, and ways to get involved with Smart Beginnings and Virginia Quality certification.


Who is the Smart Beginnings Program For?

Young children between birth and kindergarten, along with their parents and their early childhood care providers.

What does Smart Beginnings offer to help Parents?

Our program offers educational opportunities so that parents will exhibit increased knowledge of effective ways to support child development and evaluate early childhood resources to best meet their child’s needs. Parenting seminars are offered throughout the year, in different locations. A full-day parent conference is offered each April in partnership with TAP Head Start.

What does Smart Beginnings offer Early Educators?

Our program offers free quarterly Quality Enhancement Workshops to childcare professionals in the region to ensure that early childhood educators are equipped to provide the best care possible to children during their early years. These workshops are based on the state Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals and the Milestones of Early Childhood Development.

What can Smart Beginnings offer to preschools and childcare centers?

Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke is a local coordinator for the Virginia Quality, a statewide program that works to improve the quality of preschools and child care centers by providing each site with on site mentoring, staff training, funding for enhancement, and a star rating. This rating serves as an indicator of the quality of care provided at each center– a valuable resource for parents seeking childcare

How can I ensure Roanoke's children will have more access to quality early childhood education?

There are many ways you can help. You can make an investment in Roanoke’s future workforce by making a donation to Smart Beginnings through the United Way’s Community Impact Fund. You can also provide non-monetary support by volunteering. Visit our Get Involved Page to find opportunities.

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