Bright Start TN Clearinghouse


Healthy Steps

What is it?

Healthy Steps is an interdisciplinary pediatric primary care program designed to promote positive parenting and healthy development for infants and toddlers. The program brings together the expertise of a child development expert, Healthy Steps Specialist, and pediatric primary care provider. The Healthy Steps model is organized into three tiers of services. Tier one includes universal services such as screeners and child development support. Tier two includes short-term supports such as care coordination, positive parenting guidance, and early learning resources. Tier three includes comprehensive services for families that are most at risk. These services include tier one and tier two services plus ongoing, preventative team-based well-child visits. 

What is the evidence base?

Children in Healthy Steps are more likely to receive developmental screeners and access developmental referrals and timely vaccinations. Similarly, mothers are more likely to be screened for maternal depression and have access to referral services. Mothers in the program feel more supported to breastfeed and have higher rates of continued breastfeeding. Families increase their child development knowledge, decrease their use of harsh punishment, strengthen parent-child relationships, and practice early literacy and school readiness activities at home.  

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