LENA for State Agencies

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How state agencies are partnering with LENA


Ensuring that every child in the U.S. arrives at kindergarten prepared for success is no easy task. LENA, a national nonprofit, has arrived at a straightforward, proven, cost-effective, equitable approach: increasing the amount of interactive talk children experience.

Helping parents, teachers, and other caregivers focus on increasing the number of conversational turns they have with the infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in their care accelerates brain development, improves socioemotional development, and is linked to to higher IQ scores in middle school.

How do we do it? We use our one-of-a-kind "talk pedometer" technology to reveal insights about children's language environments that were unimaginable in decades past, working with partner organizations to bring highly personalized versions of our programs to communities around the world. LENA Grow provides practice-based professional development for teachers, and LENA Start offers group classes for parents.

LENA can be an ally in state-level efforts to improve quality early learning experiences for children, whether at home or in a child care setting.

  • Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association

    OCCRRA serves the state of Ohio as their workforce registry and learning management system for early care and learning, school-age, and child serving programs and professionals. OCCRRA has adopted LENA Grow as a professional development and technical assistance program available in all 12 service delivery areas across the state. LENA’s team works with coaches across the state to bring LENA coaching to center-based and family child care providers to improve quality and equity in early learning settings. LENA and OCCRRA will work together to report on the state of early talk in Ohio, identify best practices for local implementation, and successfully scale our work together.

  • Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral Network (Signal Centers)

    The Tennessee Child Care Resource & Referral Network is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc., to support quality care and development of children. TN CCR&R is incorporating LENA Grow into their Infant-Toddler and Preschool Specializations to provide a training and coaching experience that will enhance and improve the quality of child care in the state of Tennessee. Read more!

  • Georgia Dept. of Early Care and Learning

    Georgia adopted LENA Grow in 2017, providing grants — called Lifting Infants and Toddlers Through Language-rich Environments (LITTLE) grants — to child care centers and family child care homes across the state. To date, over 6,000 children have been impacted by the program. Program partners receive a variety of supports, including LENA coaching, to develop language and literacy skills in children. LENA’s team works with the Infant-Toddler Specialist network across the state as they support coaches within center-based programs and family child care homes. Analysis of CLASS® scores reveals significant increases in the domains of Responsive Caregiving and Emotional and Behavioral Support and Engaged Support for Learning.

  • Maryland State Dept. of Education

    Maryland implemented LENA Grow in 2019, providing a grant to the nonprofit organization Maryland Family Network (MFN) to roll out interactive-talk-focused professional development for early childhood teachers at Early Head Start locations across the state. In 2021, this work was expanded to include Early Head Start classrooms at Garrett County CAC, the Y of Central Maryland, and Easterseals Maryland. LENA works with the MSDE staff to ensure their goals and targets are being met and to plan for scale. LENA also works with each partner agency’s administration and center-based staff to provide training and support to implement coaching with providers. LENA Grow has also been approved statewide as a Professional Development Institute for credit toward the Maryland Child Care Credential Program.

  • Louisiana Dept. of Education

    Louisiana adopted LENA Start in 2021, piloting the program in two of the state's 26 Ready Start Networks. By leveraging these local organizations, led by parish school boards, LDOE will be able to leverage data and best practices to better support families across the state, while the Ready Start Networks gain access through the state’s contract to a new resource and support for the families they serve. After reaching 100 families through the program, the LENA Start contract was successfully transitioned to the Iberville Early Childhood Network to continue reaching families in their parish. Additional work continues across the state of Louisiana to incorporate LENA Grow into early childhood quality initiatives in three Ready Start Networks and one Child Care Resource & Referral agency.

  • Colorado Department of Early Childhood

    Colorado implemented LENA Grow through its Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care (EQIT) initiative in 2020. EQIT-trained coaches at regional Early Childhood Councils (ECCs) offer coaching supports to family childcare providers by using LENA data and coaching content. LENA partners with the EQIT program manager to train EQIT coaches across the state, develop alignments with the state QRIS, and analyze and report on data generated by the LENA system. LENA also partners with leadership and coaches at the individual ECCs to provide technical assistance for high-fidelity implementation of LENA Grow, effective use of LENA data, and provider engagement.

    Learn more about this program by clicking below to watch an on-demand webinar called "Integrating Professional Development for Family Child Care Providers into Statewide Systems."

Stream the webinar

Taking a quality initiative statewide

When your state’s governor announces an early childhood initiative called Bold Beginnings, what do you do? You come up with bold solutions!

In a new case study, we explore how the Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association (OCCRRA) took one of those solutions, LENA Grow, statewide.

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