A free, home-based early learning solution designed to overcome learning barriers

App of the Week

Waterford UPSTART provides 4-year-old children access to the highest form of academic support in their early education at no cost to participating students or families. Their kindergarten readiness platform is accessible from any web-enabled device and is designed to engage parents of these children as much as the child to ensure the best possible academic outcomes, specifically for those that are most at risk. They provide Internet access and devices should families need them for their child to access the curriculum, providing a fun and engaging experience for children to play, sing along, and acquire the needed skills to enter kindergarten academically ready. Children are asked to utilize the program 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Additionally, Waterford UPSTART invests in the entire family, as they believe that the parent is truly a child’s first teacher. Through phone calls, emails, and text messages, their team works with parents to understand what their child is learning, as well as how they can best support and extend that learning and ensure that their child stays on track.


Format/platforms used:

The curriculum is web-based. Children, parents, and educators can access Waterford UPSTART through their computer, tablet, or phone.


Primary website’s URL:



Problem solved:

Waterford UPSTART addresses the access and equity gap in early education. Nearly half of our country’s 4-year-olds face barriers keeping them from getting a high-quality pre-K experience. These barriers include cost to families, the lack of any high-quality early education options, the lack of funding district administrators need to provide options to every child in their community, and more.

Waterford UPSTART is designed to provide these education leaders and families with an option when there are not any. On average, a child that completes Waterford UPSTART will enter kindergarten at nearly a 1st-grade reading level and will maintain those gains for years to come.