Headsprout Early Reading

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
  • This strategy can address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • Early literacy program consisting of eighty 20-minute episodes and interactive activities
  • Lessons teach phonological awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension skills
  • Provides teachers with supplemental activities to reinforce learning

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)


Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse

Target population

Preschool-aged children

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

First developed in 1999

Outcomes and impact

  • Positive effects on oral and print knowledge
  • Improved oral language by an average of 22 percentile points
  • Improved print knowledge by an average of 22 percentile points

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Headsprout Early Reading must be delivered with fidelity in order to achieve positive outcomes.
  • Teachers must be provided with ample professional development opportunities to master curriculum and should be evaluated regularly to ensure that model is delivered with fidelity.

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