Once limited to the most rural communities, Waterford Upstart expands its reach across Indiana
Waterford.org is excited to announce the expansion of the Waterford Upstart program to eligible 4-year-olds across the state. In the past, state leaders and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration had partnered with the early education nonprofit Waterford.org to provide the Waterford Upstart program to the most rural Indiana families, but during the 2021 state legislative session, the program was expanded statewide.
Waterford Upstart is an at-home, early education program that prepares 4-year-old children for kindergarten during the year before they start school. Families are given the tools they need to be their child’s first and most influential teachers, including a computer and internet at no cost. The program provides positive parent-child interactions while delivering personalized, online instruction that is fun and engaging. Children spend 15 minutes on reading curriculum and 15 minutes on math and science curriculum five days a week. Families are also supported by a family coach and given tips to continue engaging their children offline, along with a computer and internet access if needed.
Families walk away from the program feeling empowered as their child’s first teacher, while the child walks into kindergarten ready to learn. On average, 92% of children who participate in Waterford Upstart are ready for kindergarten—compared to a 65% average nationwide and 48% for low-income children.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with FSSA and provide this early education solution for the state’s youngest learners. Reaching children early is the best way to help all students succeed, and our program removes many of the barriers families face when it comes to early learning. We believe this will bring much-needed equity to qualifying families across the state,” said Kim Fischer, national spokesperson for Waterford.org.
Families with children entering kindergarten in Fall 2022 can register now at waterfordupstart.org. Spots are limited and restrictions apply.