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.
- Shape NC – NCPC is in its sixth year of a partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation on a six-year, $6 million effort, to address early childhood obesity.
- Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) is a proven, universal approach to screening young children in primary health care settings.
- Child Care Health Consultants are health professionals knowledgeable about child health and development as well as child care safety.
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.
More on Advancing Child Health
- Local Grant Recipients Awarded Federal Funds to Ensure Children Start Kindergarten Healthy
- More NC Children Getting Services for Developmental Delays
- NC Child Care Health Consultant Certification Project Update October 2015
- The Smart Start Resource Guide of Evidence-Based and Evidence-Informed Programs and Practices
- Nurses’ Home Visits For New Mothers Can Cut Risk Of Preventable Death In Both Mother And Child
- Spotlight on Brain Connections!
- Obesity Is Found to Gain Its Hold in Earliest Years By Gina Kolata, New York Times
- Press Release – Expert Taskforce Releases Recommendations for Obesity Prevention for State’s Youngest Children
- Nurse Family Partnership in North Carolina
- Free! Improving Young Child Mental Health in North Carolina