information, encouragement and support to
families with children birth to five years old in Macon County
MRI’s early childhood home visiting and family support program, Bright Start, believes that all children can learn, grow, and develop to reach their full potential. As an evidence-based home visiting program and a Parents as Teachers Affiliate program (LINK), Bright Start services are designed to help families learn more about parenting, support their child’s development and help with the challenges of family life. Services are offered free to eligible families who live in Macon County.
Who does Bright Start serve?
Bright Start early childhood home visiting serves eligible families with children birth to five living in Macon County. Bright Start also offers prenatal services.
What do Bright Start Services include?
- Prenatal Visits – Parent educators and parents discuss prenatal care, nutrition and child development occurring during the pregnancy.
- Personal Home Visits – Parent educators and parents discuss family goals, strengths/needs, and concerns. Parents discover how his/her child is doing in the areas of development, health, hearing, and vision.
- Group Connections – A time for parents and caregivers to meet to ask questions and discuss parenting.
- Parent and Child Groups – Families participate in activities including art, music and story-time.
- Infant Massage
- Field Trips
- Family Enrichment Activities
- Lending Library (toys and books available)
- Transportation (limited)
- Development Assessment
- Individualized Family Support Plan
- Transition to Pre-school Programs
Why should my family enroll in Bright Start Home Visiting?
Bright Start parent educators partner with parents and caregivers to realize their role as their child’s first and most influential teacher during the crucial years of birth to five. Positive parenting skills are modeled during home visits and parent/child activities.
Home Visitors can:
- Serve as the family’s main point of contact.
- Ease the anxiety that every parent feels.
- Provide parenting tips that match each child’s needs.
- Watch for developmental milestones.
- Show you activities to help each child develop and grow.
- Connect families to other community services.
The one-on-one home visits are a tremendous help.
—Bright Start Parent
How does Bright Start impact families in Macon County?
Bright Start offers free developmental screenings to all children birth to three living in Macon County. In addition, through home visiting services and group connections, Bright start impacts families served in the following ways:
- Increases and enhances positive parent-child interaction
- Increases a parent’s knowledge of child development
- Strengthens positive parenting practices
- Promotes family literacy
- Identifies children before the age of three that may need further evaluations regarding development, hearing, vision or health
- Promotes school readiness and parent involvement
*Bright Start is funded by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Department of Human Services Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Grant (MIECHV). Bright Start is a Parents as Teachers Affiliate and igrow Macon County partner.