New pre-school initiative
Posted on 02/03/2020
pre-school student in the play room at Roanoke AcademyIt is now easier to apply for pre-school.  Atif Qarni, Virginia's Secretary of Education, made the announcement at a press conference at Roanoke Academy.  The United Way of Roanoke Valley, Smart Beginnings of Greater Roanoke, Total Action for Progress, and area school systems are joining forces to create a one stop shop to apply for pre-school.

Smart2Start is a coordinated enrollment system for all publicly funded pre-school programs in the Roanoke Valley.  The enrollment process for the 2020-2021 School Year is underway.

Click here to apply

Additionally, Roanoke City Schools are sending paper applications home with students.

Secretary of Education with Principal BeltonUnited Way president speaking at press conference


Here is the full press release:

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 young residents 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. 


40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA24012 Phone 540-853-2502