At-home, online kindergarten readiness program that gives 4- and 5-year-old children early reading, math, and science lessons

How it works



Community needs high-quality, affordable program to reach and prepare children before they enter kindergarten



State, school or partner funds UPSTART program

Children enroll in UPSTART the year before they enter kindergarten at no cost to families

  • Computer and internet provided to qualifying homes without them

Children get high-quality curriculum at home

  • 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week
  • Lessons focus on reading, with additional math and science activities

UPSTART partners with families

  • Monitor student progress
  • Provide dual-language support and instruction

Children graduate UPSTART, on average, at kindergarten-advanced level



More children enter school kindergarten-ready

Saves long-term intervention costs

Involves families in their child’s education

Reach any community

UPSTART gives states, school districts or community partners a cost-effective, turnkey solution to help prepare children for kindergarten.

Rural areas with transportation challenges or few educational options
Families that cannot afford to send children to center-based preschool
Families that do not want to send very young children to school
Children who speak English as a second language or need extra practice

Success with all demographics

Data shows all UPSTART children make important cognitive gains – regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic locale and whether or not they had additional preschool.

Personalize instruction

Adaptive learning software gives each student a unique learning experience focused on his or her exact strengths, knowledge, and needs. A remedial program helps children who are struggling.

Engage students

The easy-to-use program makes it possible for children to work independently and gets them excited about learning with engaging books, songs, and activities.

Involve and support caregivers

Each family is partnered with a support team member who maintains frequent contact, providing data on their child’s usage and performance as well as motivational tips and support in English or Spanish.
What Parents and Caregivers Say


Felt UPSTART helped prepare their children for kindergarten


Would recommend UPSTART to family and friends


Felt their children enjoyed the software



Annual external evaluations consistently find that UPSTART children have significantly stronger learning rates on two well-known tests than children in a control group.


External evaluators also found that UPSTART participants still outperformed state averages on standardized tests from kindergarten through fourth grade.

Research Papers

i3 Grant Winner

Waterford was awarded an $11.5 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant by the U.S. Dept. of Education to expand UPSTART to rural children in Utah.

The i3 grant is highly competitive and designed to expand innovative educational practices proven to improve student achievement. Waterford was one of just 25 grant winners selected, and the only early childhood program to receive an i3 award in 2013.


Let's get started!

Join the thousands of schools using Waterford. Contact us to request more information or to arrange for a free demo.
  • Role
    • Curriculum director or specialist
    • District administrator
    • School administrator
    • IT administrator
    • Teacher PreK-2
    • Teacher 3-12
    • Parent
    • Other
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