Data-Driven Family Engagement Tools for Head Start and State Preschools

Learning Genie is an app for ECE educators and family service workers for Distant Learning and Family Engagement including tracking in-kind. During the COVID-19 crisis, Learning Genie offers free tools till the end of 2020 under a grant (or in-kind) to support all ECE agencies for Distance Learning and track school readiness outcomes.


Learning Genie also provides a useful application for portfolio-building. The portfolio tracking and tagging systems could be readily applied to DRDP 2015, Florida VPK, Head Start (HS), Early Head Start (EHS), Montessori, and other state or private-backed assessment tools.

Success Story

Pickaway County CAO

Pickaway’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs serve 274 children in a small rural county in central Ohio. They offer a home-based program for infants and toddlers and an infant/toddler classroom, as well as full-day and half-day center-based classrooms for preschoolers, across their five sites.

Pickaway County wanted to be able to communicate with all of their families in a time-effective manner, but struggled with consistently contacting families through phone and email. In addition, staff were using their personal devices to communicate with families, which not only compromised the staff members’ privacy, but also prevented administrators from being able to monitor communication between staff and parents.

Family Engagement Goals

Family Engagement Challenges

Donna, the Head Start Director, wanted a better way to share information with families and get them truly engaged in their child’s learning, in and out of the classroom. While they were sending home paper flyers and handouts, they had little way of knowing whether they were effectively engaging with the majority of their families.

Through Learning Genie, Pickaway’s admin and staff are able to communicate efficiently with families through secure two-way messaging and are able to share specific information and resources to better empower parents as their child’s primary educator.


Increasing at-home reading

Through the Learning Genie videobook feature, teachers sent links to books read at school and promoted reading at home. Families have read 58 books thus far, which demonstrates that families are becoming comfortable and excited about receiving these resources. 85.3% of the time spent reading was by mother figures.

Educating families

Teachers have been consistently sharing a variety of resources with parents, including pictures of their child’s classroom activities, video books, educational videos, and flyers on average at least once a week, which has helped them engage parents in their child’s daily learning.

2-way communication

Donna, the Director, and Sheri, the Family Services Coordinator, were surprised to see how quickly families and teachers took to the two-way communication. So far they have sent over 6,000 chats! Since improving communication was one of Pickaway’s primary goals, Learning Genie was able to effectively meet their needs.


Family Engagement Dashboard

Here is a screenshot of their agency’s family engagement dashboard, where administrators can see which engagement items are resonating well with families, and where to improve.

Families are grateful for the easy communication, and enjoy seeing the classroom activities shared by teachers. And we are grateful for a successful way to reach families. No more counting on papers sent home in book bags! We hope to become more proficient in sending learning activities to families next year. Communication is their number one concern. Learning Genie has been responsive to our needs!”

Donna Solovey - Early Childhood Director |