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Schools and Child Care in NHC

We strive to keep the information current and include all options for child care and schools in NHC, but as options may change monthly/annually, please consider this guide a starting point as you investigate the best options for your child. 

Click the tabs below for more information:

Smart Start Puzzles Center: Child Care Referrals

This regional partnership covering seven counties in southeastern NC provides trained specialists who offer families free, customized referrals to child care, after-school, pre-school and summer camps, including location, operating hours, program costs, and quality standards. Information is provided to help families understand and identify high-quality child care.  Specialists work with community partners to ensure accurate and current data is shared. Smart Start of New Hanover County, 910-815-3731 or Puzzles Region, 800-653-5212. Learn More

For more information about child care and support for early childhood education visit the Smart Start of New Hanover County website:

To find out more about free public preschool, NC PreK, in New Hanover County visit:

For more details about the NC PreK program visit:

For information about NHCS visit their website:

For individual  school performance information check out the school report cards created by the NC Department of Education.

NC School Report Cards: New Hanover County District Schools

In addition to districted schools, the New Hanover County Schools system offers schools of choice which require an additional enrollment form and students are selected by lottery. Monitor the NHCS website for updated enrollment information for the 2020-2021 school year for Kindergarten and schools of choice. Typically, they begin accepting applications sometime in March.

Enrollment Information:



Charter schools are public schools of choice that are authorized by the State Board of Education and operated by independent non-profit boards of directors. State and local tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools, which have open enrollment and cannot discriminate in admissions, associate with any religion or religious group, or charge-tuition. Charter schools operate with freedom from many of the regulations that govern district schools, but charter schools are held accountable through the State assessment and accountability system.

There are 6 charter school operating in NHC for the 2021 - 2022 school year.

For report card information visit: 

Cape Fear Center for Inquiry K - 8th

Coastal Preparatory Academy K - 8th

Douglass Academy K - 5th 

Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington 6th - 9th

Island Montessori K - 8th 

Wilmington Preparatory Academy K - 8th 

Wilmington School of the Arts K - 3rd


D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy is a K-8 year-round public school that was opened by UNCW in July 2018.  

Visit their website:


Visit these links available from the NC Department of Education website for more information about private schools in New Hanover County:

Private Religious Schools in New Hanover County 2019-2020

Calvary Christian School  PreK - 12th 

Coastal Christian High School 9th - 12th 

Friends School PreK - 8th 

Myrtle Grove Christian School PreK - 8th 

Pathways Mid. & Hgh. School

Pine Valley Wee Care PreK - K 

Providence Preparatory Academy K - 8th 

St. James Day School Toddlers - 4 year olds

St. Mark Catholic School  PreK - 8th 

St. Mary Catholic School PreK - 8th 

Wilmington Christian Academy PreK - 12th 

Wilmington Adventist School K - 8th 

Private Non-Religious Schools in New Hanover County 2019-2020

Cape Fear Academy PreK - 12th 

Children's Schoolhouse PreK - K Montessori 

 Hill School of Wilmington Offers a half-day academic program for students in grades 1-8 with learning disabilities (such as dyslexia) and/or attention deficit disorder. 

Innovative Academy K - 8th 

 New Horizons Elem. School K - 5th 

Peace Rose Montessori School 18 months - 12 years old 

Southeastern Autism Academy SEA Academy is a year-round, private school dedicated to providing quality, small group instruction with an emphasis on academic and personal excellence, compassion for all living beings, and character education.  Children with autism, ADHD, anxiety, LD, or other academic and/or social needs particularly benefit from our class size and instructional methodologies. Children 5 - 18 years old.

Waterview Learning Academy Offers a wide variety of non-conventional education strategies, from on-line high school classes for those on the go; to technology and research based strategies to help foster growth; as well as tutoring during the summer and after school.

Wilmington Academy of Arts & Science Cater exclusively to academically gifted students in grades 4-8.

Visit these links from the NC Department of Education for more information about homeschooling:

NCHE North Carolinians for Home Education -  Region 9

Local Contact: Kathy Iandoli

Kathy Iandoli has been married to Lou for thirty-nine years. They live in Wilmington where Kathy has been leading their local group, CHEW, for  twenty-five years. They have homeschooled for thirty-two years and are the proud grandparents of six homeschooled grandchildren. Their five eldest have graduated from homeschooling, and they have recently adopted a 12 year old girl. Kathy has served on the NCHE board for twenty years as the region 11 director and is now serving as the new community relations director.


NCHE Support Groups

NCHE has several online communities focused on meeting the needs of families with special interests.  The majority of these are special interests are focused on unique challenges of students and are most active on Facebook.


Main Library & Law Library
201 Chestnut Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Northeast Regional Library
1241 Military Cutoff Road
Wilmington, NC 28405

Pine Valley Library
3802 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28412

Pleasure Island Library
1401 N. Lake Park Boulevard
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Call (910) 798-6300
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 am - 7 pm
Friday-Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday 1 - 5 pm