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LENA in Colorado

Making every interaction count and transforming children's futures

LENA (Language ENvironment Analysis) is a national nonprofit on a mission to transform children's futures through early talk technology and data-driven programs. LENA works with a wide range of partner organizations to boost early brain development and improve school readiness for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

LENA Grow offers evidence-based professional development for infant, toddler, and preschool teachers.
LENA Start builds school readiness and strengthens families with parent-group classes.
LENA SP offers reliable, detailed language environment data in research and clinical applications.

Colorado implemented LENA Grow through its Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care (EQIT) initiative in 2020. EQIT-trained coaches at regional Early Childhood Councils (ECCs) offer coaching supports to family childcare providers by using LENA data and coaching content. LENA partners with the EQIT program manager to train EQIT coaches across the state, develop alignments with the state QRIS, and analyze and report on data generated by the LENA system. LENA also partners with leadership and coaches at the individual ECCs to provide technical assistance for high-fidelity implementation of LENA Grow, effective use of LENA data, and provider engagement.

Teachers earn professional development hours that are required for teacher credentialing and Colorado Shines. LENA Grow 1 Essentials is approved for 4.5 hours and LENA Grow 2 Insights is approved for 3.5 Hours in the Colorado Professional Development Information System (PDIS).



Did you know?

LENA has crosswalks with Head Start, CLASS, The Pyramid Model, ZERO TO THREE, and more!

Explore our national crosswalks and partnerships!


 Staff Member
"It became clear that the fit of LENA Grow was perfect for us. Our values encourage us first to value infant/toddler early care educators. This model says ‘You caregivers, what you’re already doing in your day, you’re doing it – we just want to put words and numbers around it and give it back to you in a way that’s readable.'"
Lisa Matter
Program Manager with Colorado's Expanding Quality in Infant Toddler Care Initiative

Interested in bringing LENA to your community?

Whether you're with a library, school district, CCR&R, state agency, university-community partnership, public health initiative, or any other organization dedicated to improving early childhood outcomes, we invite you to learn more about bringing LENA to your community.

 Staff Member

Connect with Pamela Salgado,
Regional Partnerships Director, Colorado

 Staff Member
“This has been described by our coaches as like the sunshine and the light.”
Stacy Petty
Director, Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Council

Blog Posts

Read these and other stories about partner success stories and research findings in Colorado and beyond.


State of Colorado helps FCC providers build confidence, self-esteem, and relationships with children with LENA Grow

The professional development program has been built into Colorado’s statewide initiative to improve quality in infant and toddler care.

Read more ...


Learning to read (and write) starts earlier than you think!

Dr. Lucy Hart Paulson, co-author of LETRS for Early Childhood Educators, on how learning to talk and learning to read and write happen in parallel. Learning to read starts earlier than you think, and conversational turns are an important piece of the puzzle!

Read more ...

Jennifer Gillis blog post graphic

“Everyone has their niche, and my niche is little kids”: One teacher’s journey in cultivating her students’ voices

One veteran teacher’s LENA Grow journey: “It kind of goes back to my childhood. I struggled with learning. I never really had anyone who taught me that as long as I kept trying, I could.”

On-Demand Webinars


Integrating Professional Development for Family Child Care Providers into Statewide Systems

Family child care providers face unique challenges. Colorado is trying to combat these challenges with job-embedded professional development. Learn more about the initiative and its early results.

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What role may a child’s earliest interactions play in laying the foundation for learning to read? In this webinar, we take an expert deep dive into how conversational turns from ages birth to five fit into the ongoing discussions around the “science of reading.”

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Sustainable, scalable initiatives in early childhood: What’s next for funding and quality improvement?

It’s no easy task for early childhood leaders to strategically disburse funds from PDG B-5, CCDBG, CLSD, and ARPA grants into the hands of LEAs and CCR&Rs. In fact, the alphabet soup of early childhood education funding streams can be a bit hard to digest, so to speak. In this webinar, state leaders will tell the stories of how and why they invested in initiatives for statewide implementation, as well as their visions for further expansion and impact.

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