The human brain develops more rapidly between birth and age five than during any other subsequent period. This is a time of enormous social-emotional, physical and cognitive growth. Needed skills are developed through the interactions a child has before entering school. Many families face significant, sometimes overwhelming, barriers to providing the kind of experiences to develop these critical skills. As a result, significant numbers of children enter school lacking the skills needed for success. Wilkes Community Partnership for Children, a local Smart Start agency, is committed to building and supporting programs designed to ensure that young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed.