Meck Pre-K

MECKLENBURG COUNTY

If you think of public preschool as free child care for the poor, you’re behind the times … at least in Mecklenburg County.

The county has opened registration for next year’s Meck Pre-K classes, and some families making six-figure incomes are eligible for the free program.

Lisa Worf / WFAE file photo

Just over half of Mecklenburg County's 4-year-olds are now enrolled in free public prekindergarten, according to a report presented Wednesday at a joint meeting of the county commissioners and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board.

Michael Marsicano of the Foundation for the Carolinas and Leading on Opportunity Council addressed a crowd at Founders Hall Tuesday.
David Boraks / WFAE

It's been two years since a task force of Charlotte leaders published the Leading on Opportunity report. It outlined 21 strategies to improve economic mobility after a national study ranked Charlotte last out of 50 cities. Hundreds of business and civic leaders gathered uptown Tuesday to review the effort so far.

Mecklenburg County is offering another pre-kindergarten program this year, designed to reach more 4-year-olds of working parents.  The non-profit overseeing the program says its having a hard time filling spots before classes begin in October.  Smart Start told WSOC-TV that only 288 of the 600 spots have been filled.