Smart Start – the programme

Warwickshire is a great place to bring up children, with plenty of open spaces, diverse communities, good early years education and lots of opportunities for learning and future work. But we need to do better. Whilst the majority of our children are healthy and develop well, not all of them achieve a good level of development at the age of 5. In 2015/16 about 33% of these children were not ‘school ready’. This score has now reduced to 29% in 2016/17.

To improve this Warwickshire County Council set up a multi-agency partnership which reports to the Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Board.

The Smart Start Strategy Group brings together representatives from health, early years’ education, social care and the third sector and oversees a 3 year programme of innovative work to develop and deliver the strategy to improve the wellbeing and development of our 0-5s.

Smart start leaflet 08.03.2017 (PDF, 2.45 MB)

Our outcomes

Our commitment is to have:

  • More children achieve at least the expected level in all areas of learning
  • More children kept safe from harm
  • More children and families accessing good quality services
  • More children and families achieve good outcomes regardless of demographic or location
  • More parents/carers equipped to give their children the best start in life
  • More parents/carers achieve economic wellbeing
  • More parents/carers experience good health and wellbeing
  • More children experience good health and wellbeing.

The programme

Our three year programme of work consists of four key elements.

The foundation project

The foundation project provides the Smart Start programme with up-to-date information on community needs and assets. The project involves a range of engagement activities that effectively capture views and experiences from Warwickshire’s parents, carers, communities and front-line staff working with children aged 0-5 years and their families.

The development of our strategy and priorities

The findings from the foundation project and the 0-5 strategic needs assessment have helped us decide future priorities as defined within the Smart Start strategy.

Smart Start Strategy (PDF, 5.23 MB)
Smart Start Strategy Summary (PDF, 2.64 MB)

The delivery of the programme

This element of the Smart Start programme involves the development and selection of individual projects to deliver our priorities and the strategy. Organisations and communities were invited to bid for funding to deliver specific projects and initiatives which have the potential to make a real difference for our children and their families and can be sustained in the future.

  • For information on the 11 Smart Start projects
  • For information on the 79 community projects
  • The evaluation

    The final element will involve an evaluation of the success of the programme and its legacy.


    The delivery of the programme will be split into three phases.

    Phase 1 (2015-16)

  • Programme/ strategy development
  • Foundation project
  • First funding opportunity.
  • Phase 2 (2016- 17)

  • Community projects scheme
  • 2nd funding opportunity
  • Evaluation and learning.
  • Phase 3 (2017- 18)

  • Community projects scheme
  • 3rd funding opportunity
  • Evaluation and learning.
  • Smart Start – the programme was last updated on March 20, 2017.


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