NANT 13 Pre-Conference Session 1- Building Competence Through The Ei SMART Approach: Smart Care In And Beyond Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

You won’t want to miss this workshop. Having the opportunity to learn from internationally recognized and deeply experienced presenters is an invaluable experience. Invest one morning of your career to learn an approach that will inform the way you deliver care and partner with parents from that day forward.




Pre-Conference Session 1: Building Competence Through the Ei SMART Approach: Smart Care In and Beyond Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Despite advances in neonatal care, neurodevelopmental outcome remains a challenge and improvements in the delivery of early intervention are needed. Ei SMART is a novel, evidence based, integrated approach which spans the continuum of neonatal care to optimise developmental outcomes. The Ei SMART framework innovatively approaches early intervention (Ei) through supporting an infant’s sensory (S), motor (M), attention and regulation (A), and relational (R) development, with healthcare professionals and parents working together (T). Co-production is embedded within the development of this approach.

The implementation of the Ei SMART approach supports infants in all interactions and interventions from birth, throughout neonatal care and beyond. Ei SMART expands the multidisciplinary team’s (MDT) thinking to focus on the relative contributions of, and the important inter-relationships between Sensory, Motor, Attention & Regulation and Relationships. Successful early intervention should be implemented together with the family and the key foundational threads to consider are:

  • Sensory experiences and environment
  • Motor-based supports to foster development
  • Promoting infant Attention & Regulation as foundation for cognitive, socio-emotional, speech and language development
  • Reciprocal Relationships

This half-day workshop is co-developed by our team, OT, PT, SLT, Nursing and medical practitioners, including parents with lived experience of NNU.

Benefits of implementing the Ei SMART framework during daily care of babies in NNU will be highlighted. Ei SMART is especially helpful in bridging the gap between the hospital and the community settings and facilitates working closely with parents as active members of the team around the infant.

Betty Hutchon, DSc, MRCOT
*Mari Viviers, PhD, MCommPath, RCSLT
*Confirmation pending travel arrangements. Potential substitute TBD.


1. Define the 6 core principles of Ei SMART and how to begin to competently apply them to promote and support early infant and child development.

2. Recognize the interrelated threads of Ei SMART – SENSORY, MOTOR, ATTENTION & REGULATION, and RELATIONSHIPS, TOGETHER, and how the threads come together in an infant’s neurodevelopment.

3. Explain why the Ei SMART approach influences every parent-infant relationship and every interaction and intervention defined Together (T) by parents, therapists, and health careers, as well as gaining a foundational knowledge and emerging competence about how to leverage the Ei SMART approach in daily practice to support the neurodevelopment of infants in Neonatal Units.

Date: Thursday, April 13, 2023
Event: NANT 13
Venue: El Conquistador – Tucson, AZ
Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

In-person only. Not available for replay. Packages 2 and 4 include this session.

Register today to be part of this incredible pre-conference presentation!

To learn more about the presenters, click on Speaker’s Page under each speaker’s name here.