Even Start (also known as the Even Start Family Literacy Program and the William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy Program) was first authorized in 1988 in Title I, Part B, Subpart 3 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The initiative was reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Even Start was administered by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education made formula grants to State Education Agencies (SEAs) to support local Even Start projects that integrated early childhood education, adult literacy, parenting education, and interactive parent and child literacy activities. Even Start has not received federal funding since Fiscal Year 2010, so it is no longer implemented, except to the extent that states, tribal, and migrant grantees have continued Even Start practices with their own funds.
Implementing Even Start-Home Visiting (Birth to Age 5)
Implementation support is not currently available for the model as reviewed.
Last updated: April 2013
Even Start targeted low-income families with children from birth through age 7 and parents who were eligible for services under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. Teen parents and their children from birth through age 7 were also eligible. For the purposes of the HomVEE review, this profile is based on developer recommendations and studies of programs that target children from birth to age 5. Even Start projects were required to identify and recruit families most in need of services as indicated by a low level of income, a low level of adult literacy or of English-language proficiency of the eligible parent or parents, and other need-related indicators. Five percent of the annual appropriation was set aside for family literacy grants for migratory worker families, the outlying areas (including U.S. commonwealths, territories, and minor islands), and Indian tribes and tribal organizations. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education was required to fund one project in a women’s prison.
Even Start had three primary goals:
- To help parents improve their literacy or basic educational skills
- To help parents become full partners in educating their children
- To assist children in reaching their full potential as learners
Even Start projects provided four core components to parents and their children: (1) early childhood education, (2) adult literacy, (3) parenting education, and (4) interactive literacy activities.
Model Intensity and Length
Even Start intensity and length varied by project, but projects were required to provide services of sufficient intensity, in terms of hours and duration, to make sustainable changes in family and child outcomes.
While federally funded, Even Start was implemented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands.
The information contained on this page was last updated in April 2013. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the U. S. Department of Education on April 12, 2013. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.