Even Start (ES) is a literacy based education program, for families deemed most-in-need, designed to improve the academic achievement of young children and their parents, especially in the area of reading.
The ES model has four components. They are:
early childhood education;
adult literacy (adult basic and secondary-level education, instruction for English language learners, and career and technical training);
parenting education; and
interactive parent and child learning together (PACT) time
In addition to the four components, ES personnel are required to visit the home of every participating family a minimum of one hour every month. Scheduling is determined at the local level.
Adults, and teen parents, who meet the criteria for most-in-need families are eligible. Participating children must be between the age of birth through age 7. A family may continue to participate after a child has reached the age of 8 for one of two reasons:
The child has younger siblings within the household participating in the program. However, upon reaching the age of 8 years, a child will go into a monitoring phase. Services may still be rendered to the older child but at a reduced intensity or to address specific needs.
Participating families will still be served an additional 2 years to allow the adults to continue or complete their educational goals.