Research on brain development is changing how we think about the early years. It has produced new insights on interacting with a child, managing behavior and preparing children to enter school healthy and ready to learn. Smart Start offers family-focused programs that improve parenting and promote involvement. Parent education programs give parents tools to increase their knowledge of early childhood development and positive parenting practices, and home visiting programs help new parents and parents-to-be by providing education, information and resources. These programs include:

  • Incredible Years is an evidence-based program that works to provide parents with appropriate expectations for their children’s behavior.
  • Parents as Teachers is an evidence-based program that provides the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the early years of life.

In the last fiscal year, these programs accomplished the following:

Parents participating in the Incredible Years program reported a statistically significant decrease in the frequency with which their child displays problem behaviors, as well as a significant decrease in the number of behaviors that are a problem for the parent.

  • 84% of eligible children participating in Parents as Teachers received a developmental and health screening. PAT promotes that all enrolled children have a primary medical home and this includes screenings at medical homes).
  • 62 % of families participating in Parents as Teachers were linked with more than one community resource.