Advancing Child Health

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 | Author: Eric

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 practices related 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.



First 2000 Days Faith Summit

Friday, July 26th, 2013 | Author: Eric

Thanks to all of those who participated and made the Faith Summits a success.

Faith leaders from across the state are coming together to discuss the vital role places of worship play in building a strong foundation for learning and health for the youngest members of our communities.

Five regional summits were held in Greenville, Concord, Fayetteville, Burlington and Marion.

Completed Summits:

Greenville, NC
September 12, 2013
9:00 AM – Noon

Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church
1095 Allen Road
Greenville, NC 27834

Concord, NC
September 17, 2013
10 AM – 1 PM

McGill Baptist Church
5300 Poplar Tent Road
Concord, NC 28027

Fayetteville, NC
October 1, 2013
10 AM – 1 PM

Snyder Memorial Baptist Church
701 Westmont Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28305

Rutherfordton, NC

October 15, 2013
10:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Second Baptist Church
191 Green Street
Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Burlington, NC

October 29, 2013
10 AM – 2 PM

First Presbyterian Church
508 W. Davis Street
Burlington, NC 27215



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Heavy in Kindergarten, Obese by Grade 8

Tuesday, July 09th, 2013 | Author: Alyssa

Researchers find that children who were overweight in kindergarten were more than five times as likely to be obese by the time they entered eighth grade as classmates who were of normal weight. To read more about this recent study, please visit:

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Early Childhood Pioneer Sue Russell Honored at National Conference with Karen W. Ponder Leadership Award

Monday, May 06th, 2013 | Author: Tracy

NCPC Board Chair Dr. Nancy H. Brown awards Sue Russell the 2013 Karen W. Ponder Leadership Award

Sue Russell, one of the key leaders and architects of North Carolina’s early childhood system, was awarded the Karen W. Ponder Leadership Award at the 2013 National Smart Start Conference. The award, named for Smart Start’s former president, recognizes outstanding service to young children and families in North Carolina.

“There are many people that have been instrumental in the progress that North Carolina has made in creating a nationally recognized early care and education system that has inspired so many other states. If all of those people were asked to point to the person most instrumental in helping them to contribute to creating the vision of our system, I am confident that they would all point to Sue Russell,” said Peggy Ball, former Director of the Division of Child Development and Chair of the North Carolina Child Care Coalition.

Sue is the architect of the nation’s most well-known and replicated initiatives designed to help early childhood teachers gain greater levels of education, earn a living a wage and provide children with more stable relationships. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project provides scholarships to child care workers to complete early childhood course work and to increase their compensation. The Child Care WAGE$® Project provides education-based salary supplements to low-paid teachers, directors and family child care providers working with children between the ages of birth to five.

Sue brought this same creative spirit and problem-solving sensibility to helping envision and bring to fruition North Carolina’s nationally recognized early childhood initiatives, Smart Start and NC Pre-K. She went on to launch the Child Care Services Association, now one of the most well respected early care and education non-profit agencies in the nation, offering a broad range of services to child care programs and families. Every day, Child Care Services Association’s work demonstrates the agency’s mission of ensuring accessible, affordable high quality child care for all young children and their families, providing services to almost 100,000 children every year.

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NC Candidates for Governor Talk About Education

Friday, October 05th, 2012 | Author: Tracy

From the Public School Forum of NC:

Governor Candidates Q&A

The Public School Forum recently reached out to candidates running in the November 2012 General Election for the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction asking for information regarding their views and plans for education in North Carolina. The information that follows in this report was provided directly from the candidates and reflects their goals for education in North Carolina. This week we highlight responses (in alphabetical order) from candidates for Governor.

Added by NCPC: Lt. Governor Walter Dalton speaks to the importance of early education.


Walter Dalton, Democrat
Profession: Lieutenant Governor, Attorney

Q: What are your top three priorities for North Carolina’s public school systems?

A: My top priorities are 1) increasing student academic performance at all grade levels, 2) treating teachers as professionals and giving them the tools to teach 21st-century skills, and 3) aligning our education efforts with the job needs of the future by tying education to the student and to the workforce.

Q: How can public funds be best invested in public education? Please explain your opinion.

A: To maintain a globally competitive economy, North Carolina must continue investing in early childhood development and building a talented teacher corps.
The best education dollar spent is on early childhood education. Many studies have proven that we can build a globally competitive workforce by giving each child a solid foundation in their formative years. That’s why I have always supported Smart Start and helped expand the program to all 100 counties, and it’s why I believe we should extend pre-kindergarten to as many students as possible.

Another wise investment is teacher recruitment and training. We will not recruit the best and brightest minds to the teaching profession unless we treat teachers as professionals. North Carolina must work to move teacher salaries to the national average, continue to invest in Schools of Education, and fully fund innovative programs like the North Carolina Teaching Fellows. In the state Senate, I worked with Governor Hunt to increase teacher salaries to a competitive level and to fund Teaching Fellows.
Partisan ideology has jeopardized those educational investments. More than $900 million has been cut from our classrooms, nearly 1,000 educators lost their jobs, and the Teaching Fellows program was canceled. More proposals call for an additional $1 billion siphoned from our schools through vouchers and privatization, which would decimate our economy and our students’ futures.

As Governor, I will stand up for our children and our future. I will fight to restore funding to our early childhood programs, classrooms, and teacher training programs. I will push to move us to the national average on teacher salaries, to fund innovative and creative educational approaches, and to cut the dropout rate through customized learning.

Q: What is one piece of legislation regarding public education that you would like to see pass the General Assembly while you are in office?

A: I will fight for legislation that aligns our education system with 21st-century job needs. In an increasingly technological world, North Carolina must embrace innovative, creative approaches that customize learning and train students for new jobs.

North Carolina’s early college model is a shining example of innovative education. Early colleges are innovative, five-year programs managed by public schools and higher education partners. Students earn a high school diploma along with an associate’s degree or two years of college transfer credit. Early colleges up the academic rigor, save parents money, and have been proven to drastically decrease the dropout rate.

Early colleges have been among my top policy priorities. In the state Senate, I sponsored the Innovative Education Act, which laid the foundation for early colleges in North Carolina. The bill passed with bipartisan support. As Lieutenant Governor, I chaired the Joining our Businesses and Schools (JOBS) Commission, which worked to create specialized early colleges that align with 21st-century workforce needs.

As Governor, I will fight to expand access to the early college model to students in every county. There are currently 70 early colleges serving 10,000 students. Giving students in all counties the opportunity to participate in these innovative programs will allow us to train a more globally competitive workforce and to recruit jobs to our state.
Our work on early colleges has gained national recognition. The New York Times has said that North Carolina’s early college system should be a model for the nation. The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals honored me with its Public Policy Award, and the Southern Growth Policies Board honored my JOBS Commission with its Innovator Award.

As Governor, I will work to expand access to early colleges to every county and find new ways to provide customized learning experiences within all school systems. This is the only way North Carolina’s students will stay competitive with other states and countries – in student achievement and in the job market.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add regarding your stance on education policy?

A: As Governor, I will work toward a future where quality education is the foundation for a strong, globally competitive economy. In North Carolina, we know the blueprint for success: investment in innovative, effective schools that align a globally competitive workforce with the jobs of the future. We must also keep our community colleges and universities strong, never eroding these catalysts for research and economic strength.

Barbara Howe, Libertarian
Profession: Homemaker

Q: What are your top three priorities for North Carolina’s public school systems?

A: I really only have one priority for NC government school system. I want to enable more parental choice through a taxpayer choice scholarship plan. Any NC taxpayer can receive a tax credit against his or her tax liability by providing a scholarship for any NC child to attend any school. As hard as I know schoolteachers work to bring quality education to the students in their classrooms, the model under which they work, a monopoly government school system, is not the best way to deliver education. Parents are the customers and we seem to forget that. Parents should have more options. With implementation of more choice, a lot of our current problems would be fixed, but until choice comes about, my second priority would be to look for a better way to measure success that does not involve the endless testing that we currently do. Third priority would be to see that more dollars make it into the classroom.

Q: How can public funds be best invested in public education? Please explain your opinion.

A: The main change I would push for under the current education system is to reduce the layers and layers of bureaucracy and see that “public funds” are invested in teachers and students. Bureaucrats and legislators don’t educate anyone.

Q: What is one piece of legislation regarding public education that you would like to see pass the General Assembly while you are in office?

A: I will advocate for a taxpayer choice scholarship plan that allows any taxpayer to receive a tax credit for providing a scholarship for a child to attend any school.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add regarding your stance on education policy?

A: A monopolistic one-size fits all approach is not an effective way to provide education to the many children in North Carolina. Children come with a multitude of needs and learning styles. Parents need more options to address these unique needs. With increased competition, all forms of schooling, public and private, will improve.


Pat McCrory, Republican
Profession: Former Mayor of Charlotte

Q: What are your top three priorities for North Carolina’s public school systems?

A: 1) Improve the Graduation Rate: North Carolina high schools are failing to graduate 22% of our students. We must give North Carolina families and students additional paths to success so our students can realize their potential.
2) End Social Promotion: We must stop social promotions for third grade students and create a “tough-love” strategy to improve literacy at this crucial time in their education.
3) Reward Success and Hold Schools Accountable: We must reward good teachers for the job that they do while grading our schools based on student achievement in reading and mathematics.

Q: How can public funds be best invested in public education? Please explain your opinion.

A: My siblings and I all attended North Carolina public schools, so I passionately believe that every child in our state deserves the same great opportunity for the quality education we received in the public schools. Our children’s education is responsible for creating North Carolina’s future leaders and productive citizens.
I believe school reform is not all about the money; it is about the results. I believe that we must implement reforms to improve student achievement while growing our economy to produce the resources for the state to adequately invest in education.

Q: What is one piece of legislation regarding public education that you would like to see pass the General Assembly while you are in office?

A: North Carolina’s public education system needs major reforms. The primary goal of those reforms must be to empower students to grasp control of their adult lives by providing them the necessary skill set to get a job. Twenty percent of our students are failing to graduate, and far too many employers today report high school graduates are unable to complete a job application or calculate change for money. An important aspect of increasing career readiness is improving vocational training in our high schools.
I think there are two successful career paths. Instead of the present system of providing only one pathway to a high school diploma, we need to reform the system and provide two. One diploma would certify a student college ready, with the necessary skills to succeed in college. The second diploma would certify a student career ready, with the necessary skills to get a job or attend a community college.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add regarding your stance on education policy?

A: We will never be satisfied until we transform our public schools into centers of excellence. We cannot achieve excellence by simply spending more money on a broken system; we must make major reforms. Our primary goal must be to empower students to grasp control of their adult lives by providing them the necessary skill set to get a job.


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UPDATE: Still Face Experiment Researcher Coming to NC

Monday, October 01st, 2012 | Author: Tracy

Online Registration is now open!

A brochure also is available outlining the day’s events.

Ed Tronick, Ph.D., internationally known for the Still Face experiment, will be the featured speaker at the North Carolina Infant and Young Child Mental Health Association’s First Annual Meeting.

Exploring the Foundations of Parent-Child Relationships: Ed Tronick and the Still Face Experiment

November 9, 2012, 9 AM – 4:30 PM
Embassy Suites Hotel Greensboro Airport
Greensboro, NC

Register Online
$75.00 Member Registration Fee. $90.00 after 11/2/2012
$100.00 Non-member Registration Fee. $115.00 after 11/2/2012
$65.00 Student Member Registration Fee. $80.00 after 11/2/2012

Dr. Tronick will share his research findings, his theory, and videotapes of infants, young children, and parents to illuminate these processes.

Ed Tronick Ph.D. is an internationally known researcher and leader in the field of infant and young child mental health. His Still Face experiment, which uses microanalysis of infant/young child-caregiver interactions, led to creation of his Mutual Regulation Model. This Model views infants as part of an early dyadic communication system in which the infant and adult mutually regulate and scaffold their engagement with each other and the world by communicating and responding to each other’s intentions. Through this back- and-forth engagement, including matched and mismatched intentions and emotional states, the infant and young child learn about communication and emotional regulation. These processes form the foundation of social-emotional development and underlying brain architecture upon which the child’s later ability to regulate emotions and attend to tasks is built.

Category: Advancing Child Health, Uncategorized  | Comments off

2011 Shape NC Annual Report

Friday, August 10th, 2012 | Author: Tracy

The Shape NC 2011 Annual Report shares the initiative’s early results, and they are promising.

Child care centers from the first round of Shape NC grantees are, on average, meeting 65 percent of Shape NC’s best practices (up from 49 percent at baseline), with significant improvement in the areas of screen time, healthy beverages, outdoor play and healthy foods.

Child care centers from the second round of Shape NC are halfway through the grant and also improving.  The ten centers are, on average, meeting 52 percent of best practices (up from 31 percent at baseline), with significant improvement in screen time, active play and healthy foods, and are on target to meet the end-of-project goals.

Download the Shape NC 2011 Annual Report.


Category: Shape NC Evaluation, Uncategorized  | Comments off

Military Leaders Call Early Childhood Investments Critical to National Security

Friday, July 27th, 2012 | Author: Tracy

Major General Charles Luckey discusses why early childhood development is critical to our national security at the 2012 National Smart Start Conference. He is the Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff for Reserve Matters/Joint Staff Lead Iraq Transition.

NC Lt. Governor Walter Dalton Thanks Early Childhood Profesionals

Friday, May 18th, 2012 | Author: Tracy

Lt. Governor Walter Dalton helped kick-off the 2012 National Smart Start Conference earlier this month. He thanked the 1,000+ early childhood professionals in attendance for the hard work they do and spoke to the value of early childhood education.

Weight of the Nation Documentary and Campaign

Friday, May 11th, 2012 | Author: Tracy

Obesity is common, serious, and costly. More than one-third of adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% of children and adolescents are obese.  Weight of the Nation brings together public health researchers and practitioners, policy makers, and national partners devoted to obesity prevention and control to raise awareness across the country as well as share approaches that show promise or demonstrated success for improving healthy eating and active living.

The Weight of the Nation is a documentary series and public health campaign.  Three years in the making, the campaign is an unprecedented collaboration of HBO and the Institute of Medicine, is association with CDC, the National Institutes of Health, made in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.  The Weight of the Nation films broadcast on May 14-15 on HBO, and will stream free of charge after the broadcast at

What can you do to help improve the weight of the nation?




Take The Weight of the Nation Pledge for Progress

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