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Build school readiness and strengthen families with parent-group classes.

Measurable outcomes delivered through a scalable, ready-to-launch community program.

LENA Start is an evidence-based community program designed to engage families and help them learn how to increase conversation with their children during the first few years of life. Interactive talk — specifically back-and-forth conversation — has been proven to be a key factor in healthy early brain development. Yet most families don’t know how much they’re talking to or with their children.

During LENA Start, families use LENA’s patented “talk pedometer” technology to measure their child’s language environment. Over the course of 10 weekly sessions, they explore this data in the form of personalized, actionable feedback reports, discussing research-based strategies with their peers to increase the quality and quantity of talk at home.

LENA Start helps communities reach parents and caregivers of young children through five integrated elements:

English/Spanish book icon

An engaging, bilingual curriculum

teaches parents brain-building talk skills by leveraging instructional videos, peer-group sharing, printed resources, and self reflection.
Explore the curriculum.

14 Talking Tips icon

The 14 Talking Tips

integrate easily into daily routines and help participants boost interactive talk throughout the day.
Download a copy.

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LENA technology

accurately measures the amount of talk in a child’s environment and creates easy-to-understand feedback reports for caregivers. 
Learn more.

The LENA Online™ portal

simplifies program administration and provides real-time insight into each family’s progress, supporting individualized coaching.

Training, data analysis, and ongoing support

are provided by dedicated LENA staff to help ensure successful implementations with high fidelity.

English/Spanish book icon

An engaging, bilingual curriculum teaches parents brain-building talk skills by leveraging instructional videos, peer-group sharing, printed resources, and self reflection. Explore the curriculum.

14 Talking Tips icon

The 14 Talking Tips integrate easily into daily routines and help  participants boost interactive talk throughout the day. Download a copy.

LENA technology icon

LENA technology accurately measures the amount of talk in a child’s environment and creates easy-to-understand feedback reports for caregivers. Learn more.

The LENA Online™ portal simplifies program administration and provides real-time insight into each family’s progress, supporting individualized coaching.

Training, data analysis, and ongoing support are provided by dedicated LENA staff to help ensure successful implementations with high fidelity.

Meet families where they are, virtually or in person.


LENA Start can be delivered virtually, in person, or through a combination of in-person and virtual sessions. The virtual classes offer a unique opportunity for families to connect safely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, providing an antidote to the increased stress, tension, and social isolation many are experiencing. Whether you choose to go fully virtual or utilize a hybrid approach, LENA’s Partner Success team will be available to help you determine which option is the perfect fit for your community.


“When I listened to the parents I serve, I realized that I needed to do more, especially in this time of crisis. Right now we have families at home, not knowing what to do, not knowing if they are giving their children the right tools to be successful in school.”

– Lyana Vázquez, Center Director of Best Memories Academy in Orlando, Florida

What kinds of organizations implement LENA Start?


Together, school districts, libraries, healthcare systems, and community- based nonprofits across the country have reached more than 4,500 children and families through LENA Start. Check out our interactive map of program partners and explore some of their unique impact stories:



Impact and outcomes


Thousands of families have attended LENA Start, and the results are clear: children who participate gain language skills nearly twice as fast their peers during the three-month program and maintain these gains afterwards, showing advanced literacy skills upon entering pre-K. Parents who graduate from LENA Start report feeling more connected to their children and their communities, and make measurable increases in how much they talk, read, and interact with their children. After completing LENA Start, caregivers reported paying more attention to children, feeling more hope for their future, and gaining confidence in their parenting abilities. Families also describe feeling less stress related to caregiving and more comfortable discussing parenting with their peers. In short, LENA Start is a catalyst for positive change through individual families and entire communities.

percentile gain in how much
adults are speaking to their children

percentile gain in
back-and-forth conversations between children and their caregivers

Children participating in LENA Start gain nearly two months of developmental skill every month and show elevated language skills one year after the program.


Interactions with children matter, now more than ever.

Our funding partners understand that families need our immediate support and have stepped in to offset the program fees for serving up to 100 families for the first two years of LENA Start. This contribution is an in-kind value of more than $30,000. We invite you to learn more about this funding opportunity and apply by clicking below:

Get started!