SMART (Supporting Mothers and Raising Toddlers)

|SMART focuses on deepening parent-child bonds, fostering healthy early childhood development, increasing connections to community resources, and strengthening social networks.

What is SMART?

Supporting Mothers and Raising Toddlers (SMART) is a 39-week play-based learning program for children aged 18-36 months. It is a home visitation program that, in the context of the “new normal”, can be delivered virtually.

SMART has 13 weekly activity sets for each age group:

→18-24 months
→24-30 months
→30-36 months

The program activities stimulate toddlers’ imaginations, encouraging them to learn and bond with their family. It includes:

→An easy-to-follow manual to guide project staff in running the program effectively
→78 activity cards (in English and French) accompanied by high-quality toys and books supporting the activities
→Training and technical support for rolling out SMART to interested partners

 

Who is SMART For?

Everyone. The program is open for all Canadian organizations. It is licensed in Canada by the Mothers Matter Centre (MMC). The MMC will offer:

→Training for facilitators and ongoing capacity-building
→Networking and support among SMART sites
→Quality control
→Toys, books and activity cards

We have had great success with similar programs with refugee, newcomer, and Indigenous communities.

Objectives

→ Facilitating and strengthening the bond between mother and child through engagement in play-based learning activities.
→Improving confidence of mother and child through expressing themselves and interacting with each other following the SMART curriculum.
→Supporting holistic child development for improved school-readiness of children.
→Encouraging mothers to engage and network with other mothers, supported by a peer-to-peer approach and joint discussions in group meetings.

Outcomes for Families

→The mother-child bond is strengthened, helping both mother and child feel more at home in Canada.
→Mothers and children have increased confidence in expressing themselves, interacting with each other and with other household and community members.
→Children are better prepared for school.
→Mothers feel more connected as a result of networking, formation of support groups, and interaction within communities and with other mothers in the program.

What does SMART Cost?

Site license fee $3,000/year, providing:

→Training for facilitators
→Site support
→Site monitoring & performance management
→Research

SMART parent-child materials: $250/family:

→6 books
→23 toys
→78 activity cards

*SMART is an adaptation of Opstapje, a play-based learning initiative created in Germany by IMPULS, for which the MMC has acquired the license and adapted for use in Canada.

If you think the SMART program would serve a need in your community, please contact our SMART Coordinator:

Yusra Qadir
Director of Innovations, Advocacy and Multicultural HIPPY
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