What is Smart Start of Pender County?

Smart Start is a statewide program designed to help all of North Carolina’s children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start of Pender County, Inc. administers Smart Start Funds in Pender County. We work in collaboration with several local agencies to serve children 0-5 in the community through child care, health care, and family support services. We offer a variety of services in support of parents and providers with the goal of promoting quality childcare in all of Pender County. Smart Start of Pender County, Inc. is a private non-profit corporation and although we are primarily funded by the state, we rely on private contributions, as well as other grant sources to help meet the needs of the community.

Smart Start of Pender County, Inc. provides all services in an unbiased manner in regards to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, handicap, and national origin.

Our Office is Officially Open!

We are excited to announce that on October 2, 2020, our office will officially open to the community. In order to ensure the safety of everyone, we have created new policies and structures that will be enforced moving forward.

All entrance services will be by appointment only.  This is to ensure sanitizing of area and social distancing for a healthy environment.  This schedule will be adjusted as COVID-19 opening procedures change. Patrons will be instructed to call the general office number 910-259-9978 or email printable materials to [email protected] to obtain services.

Children:  Please do not bring children into the Resource Library at this time. Only infants in a baby carrier with their mother or father will be permitted in the Resource Library area. The play area is closed.

Checkouts: We are offering two options for checking out items:

  • Inside Appointments: Call general office number 910-259-9978 or email us to schedule a 30-minute on-site appointment.  Last appointments are scheduled 30 minutes before closing.
    • Inside Safety Rules:
      1. Please wash hands in bathroom upon entering the building. Please spray with disinfectant all touched areas upon leaving the bathroom. If none is available, please notify staff.
      2. Please go to your designated area of interest: Personal computer desk or crafting area.
      3. If items are needed for checkout, please ask for staff assistance. Items will be pulled by staff and checked out to reduce contamination.
      4. Items will be placed at entrance door table for patron to take out upon leaving the library.
      5. Items will be checkout in system by staff member to help reduce contamination.


  • Curbside Appointments: Call general office number 910-259-9978 to schedule a curbside appointment or fill out our online order form. Curbside items will be displayed on a table in a grouping pulled by staff upon suggestions from patron.  The patron selects the item from the grouping while standing at the entrance door. Patrons may only check out two items at one time.

Fees: There will no longer be annual membership fees due to the changes in operating within CDC guidelines that do not permit gatherings of certain ratios due to COVID-19. For more information about our new fees, click here. 

Monthly Book Distribution: Please call the Resource Library number 910-259-9978 to tell the staff person that you are picking up books for your children. Give the staff person your name, along with the first name and age of each child. The staff person will sign you in manually on the book distribution sign in sheet. The staff person will then prepare your book bags according to the age of the child. Once the bags are prepared and put on the outside table, please come immediately and pick them up.


Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 8:30-4:30

Wednesday  8:30-5:30

Friday (Staff Only)  8:30-5:00

Closed on First Saturday at this time.

CALLING ALL Pender County Families!

We want to hear how COVID-19 is impacting your children

Take Our Survey Here!

Parent Survey Link:


Provider Survey Link:


All survey respondents will automatically be entered

to win an $100 Amazon Gift Card

COVID-19 has had a challenging impact on our county, particularly among our young children. Our goal is to provide solutions to our families that will help them understand, and better support families dealing with the impacts COVID-19, now and into the future.

If you would like more information on the survey or share how COVID-19 has personally impacted you, please contact Jasmin Johansen at [email protected].

COVID-19 Community Resources

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, we want you to know that Smart Start is here to be a supportive resource for your early education and childcare needs. We take seriously the health of our community and want to ensure that our families have enough information to support their children and families. We will attempt to keep the community resources on this page as up to date and accurate as possible.

Click Here for Our COVID-19 Resource Page

Click Here for our Racial Equity and Inclusion Resource Page

Child Care Providers – Click Here for Information on Forgivable Loans Through the CARES Act

Click Here To Donate To Our Supply Drive!

Thank you as we work together to protect the health of our community.



"In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings."
~ Ann Landers

Upcoming Events



    SSPC November 17 2020 Virtual Board Meeting

    November 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
View All Upcoming Events