Program & Facility

Discover how UNC Health Johnston’s Early Learning Center in Smithfield provides a supportive, healthy, educational environment for your young child.

Daily Activities

Each morning, you’ll see the day’s lesson plan posted in your child’s classroom. When you pick your child up, you’ll get a sheet summarizing the day’s activities. You can expect:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Circle time to build social and communication skills
  • Enrichment programs, including aerobics, storytelling, and visits from community educators and performers
  • Hot lunch and twice daily snacks planned by a hospital dietitian to meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nutrition requirements
  • Music programs
  • Naptime
  • Sign language instruction
  • Spanish instruction
  • Spring and fall festival
  • Use of child-friendly tablets and computers to teach digital skills

Safe Place to Play

Your child will have fun safely exploring the section of our playground designed for kids their age. They can ride tricycles and wagons, play games on a sports court, or relax in shaded areas. Weather permitting, children play outside multiple times a day.

Indoors, children enjoy a variety of age-appropriate toys, books, games, and computer-based activities.

In the unlikely case of a medical emergency, rest assured that your child will get prompt care at the nearby UNC Health Johnston hospital. We’ll contact you right away.


Trust us to keep your little one safe in our center, where the front door and the gates to the playground are always locked. Each classroom has a security camera, and security personnel check our campus regularly. Staff know who’s in the building at all times, and unauthorized exits trigger an alarm. Feel free to come check on your child at any time.

Parent Participation

Ask questions or share concerns about your child’s progress any time, especially at twice-annual parent-teacher conferences. To help shape our curriculum, attend monthly meetings of our Parent Advisory Committee and run for a leadership role.

Mothers Room

If you’re a nursing mom with a child in our care, feel free to use our comfortable, private mother's room to breastfeed or pump milk whenever we’re open.

Take a Tour

Call 919-938-7578 to schedule a tour of the Early Learning Center and meet our teachers. You may also take a virtual tour.