Wake County Quality Supplement Program

Wake County Quality Supplement Program ended December 31, 2018

The Quality Supplement Program was designed to incentivize and to support facilities with the ongoing cost of providing quality care to children, particularly children receiving child care subsidies. Subsidy reimbursement rates have increased over the past two years, decreasing the gap between these rates and the rates for private child care in the general market.  In light of these rate increases, the Wake County Smart Start Board of Directors has determined that priorities for Smart Start funding should be shifted to other areas of need in the Wake County early childhood system.  As a result, the Wake County Quality Supplement Program has ended as of December 31, 2018 and December supplement payments were the last issued by the Quality Supplement Program. 

Please click here for the complete notice of program termination.

Wake County Quality Supplement Program

In October, 2014, a newly revised Wake County Quality Supplement program went into effect for 4- and 5-star Wake County child care providers hosting children birth-5 on child care subsidies from Wake County Human Services (WCHS). Program changes emerged from research and consultation in the community on how best to support quality in facilities that serve children on subsidy. Wake County Smart Start is contracting with Child Care Services Association (CCSA) to help administer the program.

Wake County Smart Start and CCSA are pleased to announce the continuation of the Wake County Quality Supplement Program for 2018-2019. 

The upcoming program year contains some program changes and updates.  The most notable changes are related to statewide DSS subsidy rate increases as outlined below.  Please be sure to read the Program Overview for complete eligibility and supplement rate information.

  • Due to the subsidy reimbursement rate increase in October 2017 for children 0-2 years old, only children ages 3-5 years old will be counted when determining your eligibility for supplements and your Quality Supplement Rate.
  • In addition, due to anticipated subsidy rate increases for preschoolers, the Quality Supplement program as it is currently designed will operate through December 2018.  Please budget for only six months of payments.  Further information will be provided this fall.

Please Note: Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2018-2019 Wake County Quality Supplements Program.


Wake County Smart Start and CCSA welcome your participation in the Wake County Supplement Program for 2018-2019.  For more details about the program, please see our Program Overview.

In order to apply for the 2018-2019 program year, providers must complete and submit the following materials:

Supplement rates for the 2018-2019 program year can be found on this rate chart.

Please be aware that Wake County Smart Start (WCSS) has an additional fiscal contract for all Quality Supplement participants that must be completed prior to payments. These documents will be distributed and collected once participants have been approved for participation.

For more information about the application process and the upcoming program year, please use the following resources:


If you have questions or wish to receive further information by mail or email, please contact us at the following:



Please check back on this webpage periodically. Updates, reminders, new documents and resources will be posted here regularly.