News

United Way of Roanoke Valley Convenes Public and Private Early Education Partners to Unify Opportunities for All Families

ROANOKE, VA: United Way of Roanoke Valley (UWRV), with Smart Beginnings of Greater Roanoke, is leading an innovative new pilot program benefitting families in our region through the Commonwealth’s Preschool Development Grant, Birth-5 (PDG B-5).

The program, called Smart2Start, is a coordinated enrollment system that will improve efficiency in the placement of children into early care and education programs, thereby making full use of publicly-funded seats.

Smart2Start will help the most vulnerable of our region’s families by streamlining recruitment, eligibility, and enrollment in early care and education. The unique system brings together public-school systems, Head Start programs, and private providers to place children in early care and educational settings. A single application for programs in six counties throughout the Roanoke Valley will account for the preferences and needs of each child’s family.

Smart2Start will be the sole point of contact, ensuring all families have access to these early childhood resources. Although Smart2Start is especially beneficial to socially or economically disadvantaged families, all families can benefit from the implementation of this coordinated enrollment system.

“The success of our children and their families influences economic, health, and social outcomes for our entire community,” said Abby Hamilton, United Way of Roanoke Valley President & CEO. “Smart2Start is an additional tool reinforcing our shared commitment to give our youngest citizens the critical foundation needed to succeed in school and in life.”

The Smart2Start application will be available beginning February 1 for the 2020-2021 school year. More information can be found on the Smart2Start website, Smart2Start.org.

For more information, contact Connie Stevens, VP of Communications at United Way of Roanoke Valley, 540.777.4205, connie@uwrv.org