Bright Start

information, encouragement and support to families with children from birth to five years old in Macon County

Bright Start is an early childhood home visiting and family support program that provides services to families who are prenatal and/or have children from birth up to 5 years old living in Macon County. We believe that all children can learn, grow, and develop to reach their full potential. We use the internationally recognized evidence-based Parents as Teachers model to deliver parent education and support through personal visits and group connections. We partner with parents to explore parenting and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school. We embrace learning experiences that are relevant and individualized to the needs of each family and child.

Age appropriate parent/child activities are done in the home or at a place of the family chooses. Services are free to eligible families who live in Macon County. Bright Start is funded by the Department of Human Services Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Grant (MIECHV).

Who does Bright Start serve?

Bright Start serves eligible families who are expecting (prenatal) or have children between birth to age 5 years living in Macon County.

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.
  • Infant Massage
  • Field Trips
  • Family Enrichment Activities
  • Lending Library
  • Transportation (limited)
  • Child Screenings
  • 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. Research based information regarding child development and age appropriate learning activities are provided during home visits. Each home visit is individualized to meet the needs of the family.

    Parent Educators 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.
    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 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.

    Bright Start has been a Parents as Teachers – Blue Ribbon Affiliate since October 2018.


    MRI Bright Start
    1811 S. Taylor, Decatur, IL 62521

    Lazetta Farnham
    Lead Parent Educator
    (217) 429-1052

    This program has made me more aware of things. Like having a family plan for emergencies – tornados, power outage, medicine storage, and poison control. It has been so informative. Being a first time mom, I wish I had this program when he was smaller. All the support is needed.

    —Bright Start Parent


    want to learn more?

    MRI Kids
    1811 S. Taylor
    Decatur, IL 62521

    (217) 429-1052

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