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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 that can be delivered virtually or in person, families 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?


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:



Proven language, literacy, and community impacts


Thousands of families have attended LENA Start, and the results are clear: parents become more connected to their children and communities, and make measurable increases in how much they talk, read, and interact with their children. Children gain language skills nearly twice as fast their peers and maintain these gains, showing advanced literacy skills upon entering pre-K. Caregivers report feeling more hope for their child’s future, less stress related to caregiving, and increased confidence in their parenting abilities. In short, LENA Start is a catalyst for positive change through individual families and entire communities. Read more on the Effectiveness page.

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.


Now more than ever, children and families need our support!

Let’s explore how we can work together to provide immediate support and reduce caregiver stress. Here a few places to get started: For a more detailed overview of the program, watch our short introduction to LENA Start and read our five-step guide to launching a new LENA program. Then, schedule a time to talk with our partnerships team.

Funding available soon: We are excited to be wrapping up 2020 launch funding for LENA Start a few months early due to high demand. We expect to offer a limited amount of additional grants by the end of the year. Please click the link below to learn more and be added to the wait list:

Get started!