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 last 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 18 participating centers:
    • All participating centers improved their use of 86 best practicesrelated to physical activity and nutrition during the year.
    • Those centers that started in the second year of the grant doubled the number of best practices they were using during the year, increasing from 31% to 63% by the end of the second year.  Centers starting in the first year were up to 74% of best practices in use by the end of the second year, compared to 49%.
    • Increasing the number of best practices in place resulted in many improvements for children during the year. For example, the percent of  children who were provided:
      • 90 minutes or more of daily physical activity increased from 14 percent to 72 percent in year two centers and 87 percent to 100 percent in year one centers.
      • Fruit two or more times per day increased from 9% to 54%in year two centers and 57% to 100% in year one centers.
  • 40 medical practices with a total of 239 medical providers, participated in ABCD in the fiscal year 2013. These practices served 36,079 children and 57%of these children received Medicaid.
  • 2,447 child care facilities received child health consultation services funded by Smart Start. This is an increase from 2,303 in the prior fiscal year.