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LENA Start: Encouraging Early Language Development with Baby Talk

Statement of Problem

Language development in early childhood is integral to future academic performance; however, children from low-income households have increased risk for early language delays, contributing to income-based academic inequities later in life. In fact, language development at the age of 36 months predicts school success in reading and math, so it is important to encourage families to nurture language development in the infant and toddler years. However, this can be difficult for caregivers given busy schedules and competing priorities. We know that in order to increase school readiness of low-income children, we must start by building parents’ capacity to support child language development at home.


Next Steps

With this project, we hope to build an evidence base to support the use of LENA Start among families, ultimately leading to more community agencies adopting and using this technology on their own. With successful implementation, LENA Start will continue to connect and empower communities to encourage and nurture language development in children, providing a better future for generations to come.

For study recruitment information for both community agencies and families, click here.

This project page was last updated in July 2023.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. LENA Start: Encouraging Early Language Development with Baby Talk [online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here]. 

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