Waterford Upstart
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Academics' Choice Award™ Winner

Waterford Upstart

Ages: 4 - 8
Price: Free
Type: Website
By Waterford Institute


UPSTART is an at-home school readiness program that uses Waterford Institute's national-award-winning curriculum via adaptive software to provide preschool-age children in the state of Utah with individualized skills in pre-literacy, math and science.

UPSTART forms a partnership with parents and caregivers to ensure that all children obtain the education necessary to start them on a path to success in school. Children are required to use the program just 15 minutes a day, five days a week.

Waterford was founded with the mission of using technology and interactive learning to close early learning gaps because of a crucial research finding: children not caught up to their peers by grade 3 are four times less likely to graduate from high school.

Independent assessments of UPSTART have shown that children who complete it are more likely to enter school at or above the level of their peers compared to a control group. Data also shows all children - regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic locale, and whether or not they had additional preschool - make important cognitive gains with the program.

The Utah UPSTART pilot program - funded by the state's legislature after a competitive RFP process - has reached more than 7,000 children in Utah children and provided computers and Internet to homes without them.

The pilot has also proven that UPSTART is cost effective. On average, the cost per participant was one-fifth that of Head Start and center-based PreK.

Review Highlights:

Waterford Upstart is a shining example of how state and federal grant money can be put to incredibly good use. Waterford Upstart delivers research-based, adaptive curriculum to children and families in need, measures results, and delivers. The online program even makes the learning opportunity possible by providing Chromebooks and Internet access to rural communities to help prepare preschool-age children for success in kindergarten and beyond. Talk about investing in the future! Plus, they even encourage only 15 minutes of screen time per day! The published results speak for themselves. A+ for Upstart.

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