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.