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The original item was published from 12/6/2022 3:37:22 PM to 7/13/2023 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: July 12, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Scholarships focused on Early Childhood Mental Health available through Smart Start

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Through a partnership with New Hanover County Government, Smart Start of New Hanover County is offering scholarships for individuals interested in graduate level studies in Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health (I/ECMH) and applications for these scholarships are now open.

These scholarships are part of the county’s direct investment of American Rescue Plan funds, and further the Board of Commissioners’ commitment to mental health resources, support and training.

“We want our community to have the best available mental health resources, and having trained and educated professionals to help is incredibly important,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “So the county has committed $100,000 to provide scholarships for mental health professionals to earn advanced certificates and training focusing on early childhood mental health. It’s one of the many strategies we are deploying around mental health in our community.”

“Smart Start knows just how critical early childhood social and emotional development is for a child’s future,” said Jane Morrow, Executive Director of Smart Start of New Hanover County. “The impact of COVID on our families and young children has been devastating. We are grateful for this opportunity to implement this scholarship program so that our community is better prepared to help our children and the people who care for them.”

Applicants must be residents of New Hanover County who are currently working 30 or more hours per week with or on behalf of young children and/or their caregivers in New Hanover County and are currently enrolled or plan to enroll in an approved online I/ECMH certificate or degree program. A list of approved programs is available here.

Candidates for these scholarships may include current social workers, early childhood educators, early interventionists, early childhood special educators, early childhood program administrators, policy advocates, psychologists, counselors, pediatricians, nurses, public health educators, child protective services personnel and other professionals working with children from prenatal to 6-years old and/or their caregivers.

If approved, this scholarship can provide up to $10,000 in tuition support for students enrolled in approved, online I/ECMH certificate programs.

For more information about the scholarship or to receive an application, contact Smart Start of New Hanover County at 910-815-3731 extension 1006 or email Kim Boyce at

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