Similarities and Differences


Similarities and Differences - Bright Beginnings and NC Pre-K


How are the Bright Beginnings and NC Pre-K programs the same?


Both programs are offered free of charge.



Teachers must have the same accreditation to teach in either program and all classrooms have both a teacher and an assistant.



Both programs follow the CMS yearly calendar and a similar daily schedule.


Opening the World of Learning is the curriculum used in both Bright Beginnings and NC Pre-K.



Both programs have the same attendance, parent participation, and family reading requirements.



Students must go through a screening/application to determine eligibility  in each pre-kindergarten program.  There are more eligible students than spaces in the Pre-K classes, therefore students are ranked and placed according to the priorities of our funders.  School assignments are made in June so parents are encouraged to apply before the end of May.


Morning and After School Care

While both programs are free of charge, there are fees for any care before or after school hours.  



Both programs serve meals, however the cost varies based on the family income.


Eligibility Both programs require children to be four years old on or before August 31 and reside in Mecklenburg County. ELIGIBILITY DOES NOT GUARANTEE A SEAT IN EITHER PROGRAM.

How are the Bright Beginnings and NC Pre-K programs different?

Sites & Transportation

  1. Bright Beginnings students attend school at a CMS school site. Most children are eligible to receive free transportation as long as there is space available in their Bright Beginnings home school.  Some parents will be offered placements outside of their home zones and will have to provide transportation if they accept placement.  In these cases, parents will be aware that transportation is not an option.
  2. NC Pre-K students attend school at an approved high quality child care site.  Some sites provide transportation, for a weekly fee of no more than $20 per week.  Students must live within a certain radius of the center.  Parents should inquire at the NC Pre-K center for more information.

Eligibility Requirements

In addition to birth date and residency requirements:

  1. Bright Beginnings' eligibility is determined through demonstrated academic need, assessed through a formal screening process. 
  2. NC Pre-K eligibility is determined by family income, household size, and other risk factors.