Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health

Bright Start Program

Being pregnant can be a little overwhelming. There's so much to prepare for and know. And you want to be the best mom you can be. What if you had your own personal nurse to support you during your pregnancy and after your baby arrives? The Bright Start program is here to help you be the best mom you can be by making the best choices for you and your family from the very beginning—a bright start can make a big difference!

Bright Start’s Free Personal Nurse Program

Bright Start's free personal nurse program helps moms focus on their health during pregnancy, so they have healthier babies. When you sign up for Bright Start, we'll connect you to a friendly, caring registered nurse. She will work with you one-to-one, giving you all the support, advice and information you need during your pregnancy and up until your child turns 2.

Who can get Bright Start services?

You are eligible for a free personal nurse if you're a mom who meets income requirements and lives in South Dakota. Bright Start is expanding to provide services throughout the state. As nurses join the program, families in local communities will hear more about how they can connect with a personal nurse to support them through pregnancy and until their child's 2nd birthday.

Who currently provides services through the Bright Start program? Where are they located?

The Bright Start program is expanding to provide services statewide. After issuing a request for proposals, the Office of Child and Family Services will now partner with Black Hills Special Services Co-op, Children’s Home Society of South Dakota, and the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care to deliver Bright Start services. As nurses join the program, families in local communities will hear more about how they can connect with a personal nurse to support them through pregnancy and parenting until their child turns two. Learn how to sign up below.

How Your Nurse Can Help

Your personal nurse can help you:

  • Access prenatal care and nutrition guidance for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby

  • Learn about child development

  • Feel more confident as a mom by practicing breastfeeding, home safety, safe sleep positions for baby, and much more

  • Help you set goals and determine the parenting strategies that work best for your family

  • Connect to healthcare, family planning, pediatric care, childcare, early childhood programs, job training, continuing education, and other resources in your community

  • Laugh when you're feeling stressed!

Family and Friends are Welcome

Your baby's father, family members, and friends are all welcome to join you for meetings with your nurse. Of course, your nurse's main focus will be on you as the mom – but building a support system will help you create a positive environment for your baby. Because when you're healthy, confident, and have resources, it's good for your whole family.

Hear from Moms on Bright Start

Here's what moms say about Bright Start's personal nurse program.

  • "I've learned so much on Bright Start. It helps me sort through the advice I get from friends and family to help decide what I want to do."

  • "I like that someone who knows what she's talking about... is there to answer questions."

  • "My nurse really listens and is open to any conversation."

  • "The information I get from Bright Start is just right for her age—potty training, temper tantrums, how she learns. The nurse is very understanding and helpful."

  • "My nurse makes sure we get the information that fits what I want to learn."

  • "I like being on Bright Start because they try and help me be better than I thought I would be."

How to Sign Up

The quickest way to sign up or learn more is to call the Bright Start office near you today.

Bright Start also accepts referrals from:

  • Healthcare providers

  • Clinics & hospitals

  • Schools & community agencies

  • Individuals (you can even refer yourself)

The Bright Start program implements the Nurse-Family Partnership model and is supported by the South Dakota Department of Health.

For more information:


2020 Statewide Home Visiting Needs Assessment Report

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