New York State Even Start Family Literacy


Online Guide for Administrators


Performance Indicators - Questions and Answers



  1. If a person has high literacy levels in their native language but no literacy in English, can we serve them? (January 2002)

    Even Start is designed to serve families who have both low literacy and high poverty. A person with a high literacy level in their native language may not need the comprehensive services of an Even Start program or may not have high poverty. Each program must establish criteria to determine the families that are most in need of Even Start Family Literacy services. These criteria will determine if such families are served in Even Start.

  2. Has the income index been lowered to federal poverty? Most programs have been using WIC, free and reduced lunch or TANF as income guidelines. (January 2002)

    The income previously reported on the Even Start Program Information and Reporting System (ESPIRS) used the federal poverty level in reporting results to the Legislature. While individual programs may have used WIC or free/reduced lunch eligibility or TANF eligibility to determine levels of poverty, ESPIRS asked programs to report the actual income range to determine the poverty level of families. 

  3. What is the measure of low literacy level in the performance indicators? (January 2002)

    Adults who score below 8.9 on the TABE in Reading or Math, or at Level 3 or below on the NYSPLACE, or teen parents who are in need of academic intervention services (AIS) or at risk of dropping out of school or are in need of special education services all may be measures of low literacy.

  4. Why don't 100 percent of families have to have low poverty levels? (January 2002)

    Data for New York State indicates that 90 percent of the families currently served by Even Start Family Literacy are below the poverty level. This allows programs some flexibility to serve one or two families that might be just above the poverty level, but who have significant deficits in literacy, making them most in need of literacy services, to be served. 

  5. If a child is in third grade, but is 11 years old, do we still collect data (grade, attendance, etc.) on them? (January 2004)

    No. Section 1236 defines eligible participants for Even Start Family Literacy programs as being a parent or parents and their child or children are from birth through age 7. While there are some cases where children continue to be eligible participants under Even Start until age 9 (two years after they turn 7 or when the parent becomes ineligible due to educational advancement, whichever comes first), supplemental early childhood education should be funded under Title I, Part A and is not counted as Even Start eligible children.

  6. If the youngest child ages out in July, can the family continue to participate in Even Start? (January 2004)

    Yes. In cases in which a family becomes ineligible because the child attains the age of 8, the family may continue to be served for two years if the parent has not met their educational goals or until the parent(s) becomes ineligible due to educational advancement.

  7. How do we handle a parent with a child in utero? At what point can we enroll her and the child? (February 2005)

    In order to be enrolled in Even Start Family Literacy, the parent must meet the literacy and poverty guidelines and have a child age birth through 7. In this case, there is not yet a child and the family is not eligible until after the child's birth. 

    Programs may elect to "prepare or orient" the family to Even Start Family Literacy by engaging the parent in adult education instruction or pre-natal care and preparation for when the child arrives. The family, however, will not be officially enrolled.

  8. One family that is served has a child age 8 who was previously enrolled in Even Start Family Literacy. The child occasionally participates and receives supplemental instruction. Should this child be included in the data if they are reading at or above grade level and have good attendance? (February 2005)

    Children age 8 or older, may continue to participate in Even Start Family Literacy if they are eligible under Section 1236 and are involved in interactive literacy and early childhood education. It is a program's decision if the child continues to be enrolled. If enrolled, the relevant data must be collected.

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Hudson River Center for Program Development, Inc.