Children born into poverty often have as much as a 30 million word gap compared to their peers born into more affluent families.
By age 3, a child from a higher-income family will have double the vocabulary of a child from a lower socioeconomic status. This gap in early childhood affects cognition, literacy, school readiness, academic outcomes, earning potential, and much more in adult life. It is the most obvious and the simplest area where we can provide meaningful intervention that can enhance family dynamics, reduce ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), and help children reach developmental milestones on track with their affluent peers.
SmartBaby brings families together to learn about strategies to improve family engagement with their young children. In formal meetings, information, data, and strategies are shared. In monthly outings or activities, these strategies are put into practice, and each family goes home with books, board games, or other materials to support on-going practice at home.
The families also create a network of support for one another, a team working toward the same goals--the opportunity to seize a self-determined life and for their children to be anything they want to be.
In its pilot program, SmartBaby tracks both short and long-term outcomes. We are thankful for our collaboration with McNeilly Center for Children who has provided space for us to meet.