Every child deserves the chance to realize their fullest potential in life. While others may focus on the challenges of the children we serve, we see possibilities – possibilities for confidence, happiness, achievement and self-reliance.

For nearly 70 years, The Centers for Exceptional Children has been providing a critical combination of support services, programs and facilities dedicated to one thing: helping children with special needs and their families thrive.



Join us for a one-hour tour to meet our team and learn firsthand how The Centers for Exceptional Children is helping children with special needs and their families thrive in Forsyth County. Each tour includes a look at our classrooms and grounds, as well as discussions about the educational opportunities, enrichment programs and support services we offer. 

New tour dates will be added soon. Our buildings are currently closed due to COVID-19.

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Family Support Network

Providing support and guidance to families of children with special needs.


Infant & Toddler Programs

Offering five-star childcare for all children ages birth through 36 months.



Pre-K & Elementary Programs

Enhancing Individualized education and unique growth opportunities for students with physical and developmental disabilities.




Out of School Time

 Supporting working families with high-quality extended day and summer programming.




How are Family Support Network (FSN) staff uniquely qualified to support my family?
We use the Parent-to-Parent model of support. This involves one parent helping another. All FSN staff are parents or grandparents of children with special needs and have expertise in supporting families and have backgrounds in Social Work, Education, Counseling and other Human Service fields.
Does my child need to attend The Special Children’s School or The Children’s Center in order for us to take advantage of Family Support Network Programs?
No, the FSN programs are available to any family in Forsyth and the surrounding counties who have a child with special needs from birth to 21 years old.
Is there any charge for Family Support Network programs?
There is no cost to families for the services provided by the FSN.
How do I enroll my child in the Infant & Toddler Program (ITP)?
Get in touch with Shawn Martin, our Director of Education Programs by EMAIL or through our online portal today to learn more about the process for enrolling a child a 0 – 36 months (with or without special needs).
Does the program operate year-round?
Our school year program operates on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools calendar and we offer a summer program that runs for approximately 7 weeks (June – early August).
How much does it cost to enroll a child in the ITP?
Tuition for school day only (Monday – Friday from 7:55 AM – 2:25 PM) is $615/month, payable September through May.

The Extended Day program is open to children ages 0 – 5 years old, and operates until 5:30 PM each school day for $260/month.

Our Summer Program operates for 7 weeks (Monday – Friday from 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM) and tuition is $185/week. Families only pay for the weeks they select during the enrollment period. There is a $50 deposit that is applied to the first payment.

Does the program accept vouchers/scholarships?
We accept childcare vouchers from the Department of Social Services and family scholarships from Smart Start of Forsyth County.
What are the qualifications for staff working in the Infant & Toddler Program?
All lead teachers in the Infant & Toddler Program hold a bachelor’s degree in birth-kindergarten education or a related field. All staff are CPR First-Aid certified,and those staff working with children under the age of 1 have ITS-SIDS training.
Do you offer child care when school is closed for students?
Our school year programs follow the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools calendar. When public schools are closed, we are closed.
How do I enroll my child in the Out of School Time programs?
The CFEC Extended Day Program is designed for parents who need care for their children after the regular school day ends from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm. In the summer, we offer a 7-week session, from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm. Enrollment is open to children attending The Children’s Center and The Special Children’s School. During the Summer, siblings my participate as well. Contact Sarah Shutt at sarah@thecfec.org to request an application.
What measures does The CFEC have in place to meet the medical needs of students?
Full-time professional nurses are employed at both schools, and all direct service staff are trained to address feeding, medication, and emergency management.
What are the advantages of the Typical Child or Inclusion programs?
We believe strongly that children with and without disabilities have a great deal to offer one another in an educational setting. Incredible things happen for everyone when diverse groups of children learn and play side-by-side!
Does The CFEC offer volunteer opportunities?

There are numerous Volunteer Opportunities available through The CFEC. Find out more here.

With El Grupo de Esperanza, I learn new things, I feel supported and our whole family benefits.

Cinthia Sanchez


Brittney Albert

Brittney Albert

Development & Marketing Associate
Cheryl Taylor

Cheryl Taylor

Manager, Education Programs
Chris Gentry

Chris Gentry

Director, Family Support Network
Ed Simpson

Ed Simpson

Manager, Finance
Meredith Flowe

Meredith Flowe

Executive Director
Sarah Shutt

Sarah Shutt

Administrative Assistant
Shana Heilbron

Shana Heilbron

Director, Development & Marketing
Shawn Martin

Shawn Martin

Director, Education Programs


The Centers for Exceptional Children is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Our EIN is 56-0615188. Below are links to our financials. If you need any additional financial information about The CFEC, please call the development office at 336-727-2440 ext. 53127.


501(c)(3) Letter

FY 2019 Form 990

FY 2019 Audit


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The CFEC Main Office

2315 Coliseum Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Phone: (336) 727-2440
Fax: (336) 727-2873


Monday – Friday:

7:30am – 5:30pm


Make a difference in the lives of children with special needs by volunteering at The CFEC. Opportunities include working with children, performing clerical tasks, landscaping and building maintenance, and assisting with special events.


Click here to learn more.


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