Healthy behavior patterns established early in life often lead to lifelong benefits and decreased probability of serious disease later in life. Smart Start strives to improve outcomes for children by increasing young children’s access to healthcare and by working with providers, health departments, families, and communities to improve the health and safety for young children, prevent childhood obesity, and ensure that more children are screened for developmental delays and referred to services for help before they start school.

In the 2015- 2016 fiscal year, these programs accomplished the following:

  • Child care centers participating in Shape NC displayed quick improvements in the use of best practices related to physical activity and nutrition.  Across the 213 participating centers:
    • All participating centers improved their use of 86 best practices related to physical activity and nutrition during the year.
    • 16 childcare centers became demonstration sites (centers that have reached a high level of best practice implementation in areas of healthy weight, good nutrition, and enhanced outdoor learning environments).
    • Over 10,000 children are currently being reached.
    • Increasing the number of best practices in place resulted in many improvements for children during the year. For example, the percent of  children in Shape NC who were provided:
      • 90 minutes or more of daily physical activity increased from 51% to 85% 
      • Fruit two or more times per day increased from 34% to 80%.
  • 40 medical practices with a total of 246 medical providers, participated in ABCD in the fiscal year 2015. Developmental screening rates among ABCD practices rose from 85.2% to 96.3%
  • 2,078 child care facilities received child health consultation services funded by Smart Start. Assessment scores of 80% or higher on sanitation, medication administration, hand washing, and toileting/diapering knowledge rose from 82% to 98% after Smart Start consultation.