About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Smart Beginnings?

training2Smart Beginnings of Greater Roanoke (SBGR) is a collaborative established to improve early childhood education and bring agencies throughout the region together with a shared vision: Every child in the Roanoke Valley will enter kindergarten emotionally, socially, academically and physically ready to succeed in school and in life.


PARENT EDUCATION : All families of children birth to five will have the information & support they need to promote their child's optimal development & school readiness.

QUALITY CHILDCARE : All families will have access to high quality early care adn education.

GOVERNANCE & FINANCING : All sectors will be engaged in creating & sustaining collaborative structures to ensure an effective early childhood system.

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT: The community will recognize the importance of early childhood and act to support policies and investments promoting a Smart Beginning for all children.

What is the target population?

Young Children - Birth to kindergarten entry

Parents with young children

Early Childhood Educators; Childcare providers

What does SBGR offer to parents?

SBGR 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. Parents can also learn about the importance of quality early care and access valuable resources, such as the Positive Parenting special, on the SBGR website and get parenting tips on our Facebook page. The parents page on our website is packed full of helpful resources and information.

What does SBGR offer to early educators?

SBGR 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 does SBGR offer to preschools and childcare centers?

SBGR is a local coordinator for the Virginia Quality, a state wide 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. pdfVirginia Quality Brochure - What to Look for in High Quality Childcare and Preschool Facilities

How can I ensure more of Roanoke's Children will have a smart beginning?

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 CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION. You can also provide non-monetary support by volunteering. Volunteers with experience in marketing, fundraising and technology are needed as well as those willing to speak out and advocate for a Smart Beginning for Roanoke's youngest citizens.

For more information, please contact the SBGR Program Manager at 540.283.2786 or email us.

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“The Virginia Star Quality Initiative can raise the bar on early childhood education, but success will depend on consumers demanding it.  Help spread the word."

Elizabeth Strother, Editor Roanoke Times

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The United Way of Roanoke Valley serves as the fiscal agent for Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke.

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