Virginia Beach GrowSmart

Virginia Beach GrowSmart GrowSmart is the City of Virginia Beach's early learning effort. We provide information and resources for parents & educators of young children, ages 0-8. 2013 "Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation" (Alliance for Innovation)
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GrowSmart is the City of Virginia Beach's early childhood education initiative. We strive to ensure every child in Virginia Beach will be born healthy; enter kindergarten ready to learn; and continue to read proficiently through third grade, establishing a strong foundation for success in school and in life. Virginia Beach GrowSmart exists to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness, and reading proficiency of young children, ages 0-8. We provide resources for parents and caregivers through a variety of events, trainings, and article shares. In addition to providing resources for parents and families, GrowSmart offers programming to ensure the availability of high-quality early education and to promote reading proficiency by third grade. Some of GrowSmart's programming includes: Early Education Small Business Training Program, Provider Training series, Virginia Beach Reads, Virginia Quality initiative, and a few other events for children and families.

Mission: Virginia Beach GrowSmart seeks to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness, and reading proficiency of young children, ages 0-8.

The effects are devastating- please read this story about the reality of the pandemic on early care and education. The e...
06/18/2020
First Five Years Fund

The effects are devastating- please read this story about the reality of the pandemic on early care and education. The effects on childhood development are dramatic 😞. Change is needed and public support is critical.

“I’m struggling to pay the mortgage, the lights, to keep the water running and pay for the cleaning supplies I need just to stay open.”

#Childcare providers are facing increased expenses and decreased enrollment, making it challenging to break even.

Early education providers - check out this grant available to small businesses and women/minority owned providers. This ...
06/11/2020
Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development

Early education providers - check out this grant available to small businesses and women/minority owned providers. This is a quick turn around so act quickly!

Truist-LISC Small Business Release Grants - Available June 11th - June 17th
Thanks to a $5 million grant from Truist, and other partners, LISC will provide the emergency assistance that small businesses desperately need to stay afloat. Grants of up to $10,000 each to small business owners to help meet their most immediate needs. For more information, visit this site.https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/small-business-relief-grants/truist/

As Virginia continues to reopen, child care will be a critical piece to ensure the smooth transition back to work. Smart...
06/09/2020

As Virginia continues to reopen, child care will be a critical piece to ensure the smooth transition back to work. SmartBeginnings has a task force committed to ensuring the child care system is stable and supported during this time. Please take time to fill out the short survey below to help the Back to Work Virginia Task Force understand the needs of our workforce.

As Virginians return to work, child care is a critical workforce support. To better understand employer perspectives on the child care needs of employees, we need employers across the Commonwealth to complete this short survey. Responses will inform Back to Work Virginia: A Child Care Recovery and Renaissance Task Force whose recommendations for an improved child care system will support Virginia's families, businesses, and economy. You can access the survey here: https://bit.ly/2MM8ucZ.

Here’s a podcast for families ⬇️
06/09/2020
Talking Race With Young Children

Here’s a podcast for families ⬇️

Even babies notice differences like skin color, eye shape and hair texture. Here's how to handle conversations about race, racism, diversity and inclusion, even with very young children.

Need more information on Phase 2 guidance for child care? Sign up for this webinar and get the answers to your questions...
06/04/2020

Need more information on Phase 2 guidance for child care? Sign up for this webinar and get the answers to your questions.

We are hosting a webinar with state agency officials on Monday, June 8 at 1:00 pm to provide an update and answer questions regarding Phase Two child care guidance.Click the link to register - https://bit.ly/3cy7Vht

Check out Virginia Beach Public Library's list of books for all ages to help with discussion and understanding of curren...
06/04/2020

Check out Virginia Beach Public Library's list of books for all ages to help with discussion and understanding of current events.

Share with us any books you love on the topic of race, culture, diversity, and inclusion!

VBPL staff have created several 'Racism & Advocacy' book lists that can help with discussions and understanding of current events. There's a list for adults, teens and youth, and all titles are available though Overdrive or Hoopla.

https://vbpl.beanstack.org/lists_search?=%E2%9C%93&q=racism+%26+advocacy

Join SmartBeginnings on June 3
05/29/2020
Childcare Decisions 2020!

Join SmartBeginnings on June 3

Hear perspectives to help you make decisions about children 0-5 returning safely to child care or summer camp.

Child care has been critical for operations during COVID-19 and as we reopen they are a key piece to doing so. “Dyke see...
05/26/2020
As Virginia reopens, who will care for returning workers' kids?

Child care has been critical for operations during COVID-19 and as we reopen they are a key piece to doing so.

“Dyke sees the crisis as “an opportunity to figure out what we need to do differently” to ensure that all Virginians have access to quality child care.”

Parents going back to work as Virginia reopens may have trouble finding care for their children.

Did you see this news story on child care and the current operating guidelines? It features Virginia Beach centers, Bril...
05/25/2020
Brilliant Beginnings Learning Center I

Did you see this news story on child care and the current operating guidelines? It features Virginia Beach centers, Brilliant Beginnings Learning Center and YMCA. Child care has continued to operate during COVID-19 and is essential to support families heading back to work. Grateful to all our early care and education providers for their professionalism and service 🙏

Find out more about what BBLC is doing to keep babies safe while still having fun! 💜💚💜💚

Virginia Department of Education - VDOE is asking for public comments through June 17 in a preliminary draft of Virginia...
05/21/2020

Virginia Department of Education - VDOE is asking for public comments through June 17 in a preliminary draft of Virginia's new, unified set of birth-five early learning development standards.

Be sure to take a look & share your feedback!

Virginia Department of Education - VDOE is providing the opportunity for feedback on the preliminary draft of Virginia’s new, unified set of birth-five early learning development standards - https://bit.ly/3e7Em7D. These standards will eventually replace the Department of Social Services’ Milestones of Child Development and the VDOE’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning documents, with expected use beginning in 2021-2022. This is the first opportunity for review. Share your feedback here - https://bit.ly/2Zjr8jP.

05/19/2020
Minus 9 to 5

Join Minus 9 to 5 tonight for a virtual panel!

Pregnancy & the Pandemic virtual health panel.

GrowSmart is proud to be partners with Minus 9 to 5, Children's Harbor Hampton Roads, and Virginia Quality Eastern. Alon...
05/18/2020
EVMS gets critical supplies to daycare centers

GrowSmart is proud to be partners with Minus 9 to 5, Children's Harbor Hampton Roads, and Virginia Quality Eastern. Along with support from community donations, we’ve been able to provide the needed supplies to childcare programs in Virginia Beach and the entire Hampton Roads region.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — If you’ve been struggling to find toilet paper and cleaning supplies for your home, just imagine finding enough to run a daycare. On Friday morning, volunteers fro…

Love for VB 💙
05/18/2020

Love for VB 💙

You may have seen the beautiful Forget-Me-Not symbol that is now adorning the side of Mount Trashmore. The City created this design as a tribute to those we lost and those who were injured on May 31, 2019. Our Park & Landscape Services team was honored to be part of creating this remembrance, and we hope you all get a chance to stop by and see it over the next two weeks💙 #loveforvb

We know there are still a lot of questions for the Recovery Phase 1 operations. As more people go back to work, what doe...
05/14/2020

We know there are still a lot of questions for the Recovery Phase 1 operations. As more people go back to work, what does this look like for our essential child care businesses. DSS sent guidance for Phase 1 to all early care providers and we will be here to support you. See the information below as a beginning. As always we appreciate our front line ECE Heores! 🙏💕👶

As we enter Phase I of Governor Northam's phased approach to reopen the Commonwealth, we recognize child care operations will look different. As always, we are here to assist as you transition back to operation and to answer any questions you have!

Be sure to read the newly released guidance from Virginia Department of Social Services for guidelines on reopening your child care business. You can access the guidance here: https://bit.ly/2yPfFxM

This is an important read. We all want to get back to work but in order to do that we need an early care and education s...
05/13/2020
Early Learning Nation

This is an important read. We all want to get back to work but in order to do that we need an early care and education system that reflects the essential value of importance to our economic recovery, vitality and investment in our future. Support quality early education in your community!

"The American way of caring for and educating our youngest children should come at the top of the list of what gets rebuilt. But first, it should be reinvented." http://earlylearningnation.com/2020/05/before-coronavirus-the-u-s-child-care-landscape-was-already-in-crisis/

05/11/2020
First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam

Thank you First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam for being so supportive of early care & education!

Our team at The Virginia Department of Social Services has worked hard to make emergency care and education available to children of essential workers age 12 and under through June. Visit Child Care Aware of Virginia at https://vachildcare.com/ or call 866-KIDS-TLC to find availability near you!

Thank you to our early care and education professionals! Today - and everyday - we recognize your work & dedication to t...
05/08/2020

Thank you to our early care and education professionals! Today - and everyday - we recognize your work & dedication to the field. GrowSmart is proud of each one of our professionals and thank you for showing up, especially now. 🤍

05/06/2020
VBSchools

On this #NursesDay, we thank you! 💙

Today, we thank, honor and celebrate all of our school nurses for their selfless service, exceptional commitment and relentless courage in keeping our students and community safe. Thank you! #NationalNursesDay #NurseAppreciation

05/05/2020
Helping Those Who Help Us Childcare Made Available for Essential City Personnel

Childcare has been a critical component of the essential workforce during this time. Thank you Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, along with ALL our Virginia Beach childcare programs, for your continuing operations as we navigate the changes of normalcy.

GrowSmart is proud of our programs and will continue to support them as we reopen Virginia.

Be sure to complete your #2020Census! #VBCounts
05/04/2020

Be sure to complete your #2020Census!

#VBCounts

IMPORTANT, PLEASE SHARE: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must limit in-person contact as much as possible. The U.S. Census Bureau plans to send representatives throughout the community to visit the homes of people who have not yet submitted their Census forms tentatively starting in June. As of Wednesday, April 22, only 58.6% of Virginia Beach households had submitted their 2020 Census. Though they'll take precautions to protect themselves and residents, submitting your form now will mean one less door-to-door follow-up is required.

You can fill in and mail the Census form sent to your address, complete it online at https://my2020Census.gov or call 844-330-2020. For additional language options or more information, visit https://2020Census.gov.

If you've already completed your Census, THANK YOU! Please help spread the word among your family, friends, neighbors and community groups.

Be sure to take the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau! The #2020Census is for everyone living in the U.S., including babies born b...
05/02/2020

Be sure to take the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau! The #2020Census is for everyone living in the U.S., including babies born before April 1, 2020. When you count your baby in the #2020Census, programs that support families—like health care, child care, WIC, and home visiting—get more of the funding they need.

Respond now at my2020Census.gov

#CountAllKids #NationalBabyDay #VBCounts

GrowSmart is thankful to partner with Minus 9 to 5 and YMCA of South Hampton Roads during this challenging time. We are ...
04/30/2020

GrowSmart is thankful to partner with Minus 9 to 5 and YMCA of South Hampton Roads during this challenging time. We are especially grateful to childcare programs continuing to operate as they provide support to our essential personnel. The GrowSmart Team has been out and about delivering donated supplies to ensure programs have what they need for duly operations.

Programs are in need of Lysol spray, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer! Please visit the Hilltop YMCA or Mt. Trashmore Family YMCA to donate supplies.

It takes a village as they say! Our partners are working to get supplies delivered to child care centers. Looks like TP is still a much needed item. Thank you YMCA of South Hampton Roads and Children's Harbor for providing drop-off locations! Thank you to those who have donated these much needed items!

GrowSmart wishes Chief Cervera the very best on his retirement! We are thankful for his dedicated service to Virginia Be...
04/30/2020

GrowSmart wishes Chief Cervera the very best on his retirement! We are thankful for his dedicated service to Virginia Beach City Government. Chief Cervera has been a longtime supporter and advocate for GrowSmart. We are thankful for his endless support to our work, our community, and our city. 💙👮🏼‍♂️

In just a few short days, Chief Jim Cervera will be retiring after dedicating nearly 42 years of service to our City and the Virginia Beach Police Department. Over the years, he has made a significant impact on our organization and, most importantly, in our various communities. Chief Cervera’s unwavering leadership in the face of our City’s greatest and most challenging times will certainly be missed, but not forgotten.

Earlier this morning, in a tribute for all he has done to enhance the safety of our citizens and reputation of our department, officers, firefighters, paramedics, and civilian staff lined Princess Anne Road to render a salute and pay their respects as Chief Cervera arrived to work. Although a more personal gathering and celebration would have been preferred, having the opportunity to show our appreciation, while recognizing the importance of proper social distancing, was a fitting way to say farewell and wish Chief Cervera good luck and fortune as he begins the next chapter of his life’s journey.

04/28/2020
SmartBeginnings

Thank you to First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam, for her continued support of early childhood education in the Commonwealth.

First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam shared encouraging words and gratitude for child care providers statewide during our webinar last week Friday. Click the video below to listen to her remarks.

Happy Earth Day! 🌎🌳
04/22/2020

Happy Earth Day! 🌎🌳

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration and we're asking you to celebrate by taking action - no matter how big or small - to do something good for our planet. Here are 5 simple sustainable actions you can take at home:
🌎 Turn off lights when you leave a room.
🌎 Compost kitchen scraps for use in your garden — turning waste into fertilizer.
🌎 Use cloth towels instead of paper ones.
🌎 Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving showerhead.
🌎 Avoid using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws.
If we all take small steps, we can make a huge impact on the planet and protect it for future generations! For a full list of tips, plus tons of info on recycling, the history of Earth Day and more, visit VBgov.com/earthday. #earthday50VB ♻️ 🌻 💧

04/21/2020
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation

Learn more about a Virginia Beach City Government gem: Mount Trashmore Park.

Thank you Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation for sharing!

As Earth Week continues, today we're highlighting one of our city's greatest jewels! What was once a 640,000-ton landfill, Mount Trashmore became the first landfill park in the United States! Check out the video to learn more about our area's most visited park and find more Mount Trashmore-related news on our Virtual Earth Day site, VBgov.com/earthday. #EarthDay50VB #mounttrashmore

04/20/2020
FOX IN SOX | Dr. Seuss Raps over Dr. Dre Beats

Cure the rainy day blues with this rapping Dr. Seuss book! 📚📖

Wes Tank raps Dr. Seuss' classic children's book "Fox in Sox" over Dr. Dre's legendary hip hop beats for "What's the Difference" and "Let Me Ride" with much ...

Purple Up! for military children!. Wear your support to honor our military children give to our community and country. #...
04/17/2020

Purple Up! for military children!. Wear your support to honor our military children give to our community and country.

#PurpleUp #monthofthemilitarychild #militarychildren #militaryfamily

‼️Calling all childcare providers‼️Webinar series for childcare providers during COVID-19 with Children's Harbor Hampton...
04/13/2020

‼️Calling all childcare providers‼️

Webinar series for childcare providers during COVID-19 with Children's Harbor Hampton Roads, in partnership with Minus 9 to 5 and Early Education Business Consultants, LLC. Be sure to register for support navigating resources available to you!

“Navigating COVID-19 ECE Employment Concerns”
Webinar Series begins tomorrow- Tuesday 4/14
Follow link to register!

Virtually visit our beautiful national parks with National Park Service
04/13/2020

Virtually visit our beautiful national parks with National Park Service

Parked at Home? Stay connected with national parks across the country with online resources to help you #FindYourVirtualPark.

- Explore national parks from the comfort of anywhere in the world through online photo galleries, videos, webcams, podcasts, and sound recordings.

- Keep the next generation of park stewards engaged with educational activities that can be done at home or in your community.

- Test your knowledge or learn something new about national parks with games and challenges for all ages.

Learn more at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/find-your-virtual-park.htm

Check out this resources from our friends at LENA ⬇️
04/13/2020
LENA

Check out this resources from our friends at LENA ⬇️

The COVID-19 pandemic has left us all in situations far beyond normal. But caregivers have the power to shape a child’s experience of this time. By tuning in and responding to their feelings, we can make this scary time easier. #ParentinginaPandemic

THANK YOU❕ We applaud you for showing up everyday and keeping our communities safe.
04/07/2020

THANK YOU❕ We applaud you for showing up everyday and keeping our communities safe.

Today we celebrate #WorldHealthDay! We are reminded more than ever how important our nurses and healthcare providers are and we would like to take today to say THANK YOU. Thank you for all you do to keep us healthy and safe, you are greatly appreciated and are the heroes of #ourcommunity! #UWSHR

Today, wear blue for child abuse prevention. #chilabusepreventionmonth #wearblue #April #pinwheelsforprevention
04/03/2020

Today, wear blue for child abuse prevention.

#chilabusepreventionmonth #wearblue #April #pinwheelsforprevention

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4525 Main St, Ste 700
Virginia Beach, VA
23462

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The GrowSmart Story

Virginia Beach GrowSmart is the City of Virginia Beach’s early childhood education initiative. GrowSmart was created in 2009 when the former “Ready to Learn” team of the Virginia Beach Public Libraries formed a strong partnership with the Virginia Beach Health Department’s Healthy Families Virginia Beach program. Under the new name of GrowSmart, a team of practitioners, led by a full-time GrowSmart Coordinator, came together regularly to assess the state of early childhood in our city and region and to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated local early childhood system.

The GrowSmart office was strategically moved from the Department of Public Libraries to the Department of Economic Development in 2011. This important organizational shift represents our City’s understanding that early childhood education is an important economic issue. Workforce development begins in the years prior to kindergarten, when brain development occurs most rapidly. By helping our youngest children to grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school, we do what is right not just for our citizens, but for our future economic vitality.

Our Work ​​Virginia Beach GrowSmart exists to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness, and reading proficiency of young children, ages 0-8. If you are a parent or caregiver of a young child, please visit our “Parents” page for resources and information on raising healthy, happy, and school-ready children. In addition to providing resources for parents and families, GrowSmart offers programming to ensure the availability of high-quality early education and to promote reading proficiency by third grade.

Nearby government services


Comments

Barbara Lito, look what Grayson got 😍. Thank you!!!
Hello, my name is Sherry Jackson, and I've been teaching in Va Beach for 17 years. Next year I'm opening a private homeschool in my home for Kindergarten and 1st graders. If you're looking for a fun, exciting, and child-centered small group environment, PM me for more information.