First Day of School for MECK Pre-K Students

September 18, 2019

September 4 marked the first day of school for the 2019-2020 school year for children enrolled in Mecklenburg County’s premier MECK Pre-K program. The County-funded program provides free pre-kindergarten classes in participating four- and five-star child care centers across the County for four-year-old children who qualify. All MECK Pre-K classes are taught by a licensed teacher and teacher assistant.

The MECK Pre-K program is entering its second year of operation with 36 additional classrooms, allowing for enrollment of 1,242 children thanks to funding allotted in the County’s FY2020 budget. As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept.3, a total of 1,775 applications had been received for the program, resulting in 1,134 eligible children placed in the program.

“It’s wonderful to see the growing level of interest in the MECK Pre-K Program,” said Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio. “The County is excited to continue its partnership with Smart Start in helping to provide eligible four-year-olds with the foundation needed to start their educational careers off with success.”

To apply for the 2019-2020 school year, your child must be four years old on or before Aug. 31, 2019 and live in Mecklenburg County. Participation in MECK Pre-K is based on verified family income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level and household size (for a family of four, that’s $77,250 in annual household income). Children must also participate in a developmental screening/assessment. For a full list of MECK Pre-K sites or application information, visit

**This article originally ran on the website and has been reprinted with permission.