Even Start Program Description

Even Start is a comprehensive family literacy program designed to break the cycle of poverty and low-literacy skills by improving the educational opportunities of low-income families with young children.

This program integrates four components -- early childhood education, adult basic and literacy education, parenting education and parent-child together time -- in a unified whole to:

  • Help parents become full partners in their children’s education;
  • Help children reach their full potential as learners; and
  • Provide literacy training to parents.

The Even Start program is based on the premise that these components build on one another. Through Even Start, which uses collaborative partnerships among community agencies and programs already in existence, families most in need of educational support receive all four services in an intensive, unified program to achieve lasting change.

Family Eligibility

Eligible participants in an Even Start program are families with children ages 7 and younger, in which the parents are eligible for the federal and state Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program or are within compulsory school attendance age.

Funding and Applicant Eligibility

Even Start funding is used to support coordination of the program components and add support services that will enable families to participate. Current Even Start programs are local education agencies (LEA) that partner with another agency in offering the program. A partner is defined as a public agency other than an LEA, such as an institution of higher learning, a public or private nonprofit organization or a nonprofit community-based organization.

The Ohio Department of Education has applied to the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver of the Tydings Amendment for eligible programs to receive funding for FY 2013.

Last Modified: 4/22/2013 12:53:00 PM