Success by 6

Early Childhood Education

Creating a future in which all children in our community enter Kindergarten healthy, happy and ready to succeed in school and life.

Now, more than ever, research has shown the earliest years of life can set the stage for lifelong physical and mental health, and academic success. Children thrive when they are cared for by responsive and sensitive adults, participate in regular, stimulating early learning experiences, and enjoy healthy food and active play.

We work with education organizations and community stakeholders to create opportunities for low-income infants, toddlers, and young children to receive high-quality education before they even enter Kindergarten. We also provide opportunities for their parents to receive the skills they need to better prepare their children for success in school and beyond.

Success By 6 Strategic Plan

In 2012, Success By 6 released the first early childhood community-wide strategic plan, formerly known as the School Readiness Action Plan (SRAP). A strong coalition of early childhood advocates, experts, parents, service providers, and business leaders worked to transform the early childhood system in Travis County through a strategic plan. Built through two decades of advocacy work by local early childhood champions, the plan was informed by the science of early childhood development and by the emergence of strong programs with demonstrated long-term and meaningful impact on children and families. We are currently on version 3.0 of this community-wide plan.

Plans & Updates

Bright by Text

We know parenting can be challenging. Bright By Text Can help! As part of the statewide Start Smart Texas campaign, United Way and Austin PBS – in partnership with United Ways of Texas and Texas PBS – have brought Bright by Text to Austin.

Bright by Text is a free texting service for caregivers of children from prenatal to age 8, promoting child development and access to local programs and events.

To sign up for Bright by Text, text SMARTATX to 274448, or sign up here for tips, resources, and information about local events.

Center Project

Every child in Austin deserves access to high-quality, accredited early care and education. The Center Project is building the quantity and quality of child care in our community.

The first five years of a child’s life are a developmentally critical period when 90 percent of all brain development occurs. What happens in these early years has a lasting impact from Kindergarten readiness to third-grade reading scores to high school graduation and beyond.

Our community-wide Success By 6 Strategic Plan identifies access to high-quality early care and education as a key strategy in ensuring all children in our community enter Kindergarten happy, healthy and prepared to succeed in school and life.

Early Language Coaching

Oral language has a significant impact on a child’s Kindergarten readiness and on their success in school overall. Children who are behind in receptive language skills are set on a path to start school behind and stay behind without additional early intervention. Through deploying Early Language Coaches, we ensure children are provided with engaging, age-appropriate material to nurture their skills.

Early Language Coaches are placed for approximately nine months in child care center classrooms serving children ages 3-5 in small group settings or one-on-one.

Family Connects & Home Visiting

Family Connects Texas is a nurse home visiting program offered to every family with a newborn in Travis County to give babies the best possible start in life.

United Way is partnering with Austin Public Health to provide the clinical staff and expertise for Family Connects Texas. At full scale, all families in Austin/Travis County will be offered a home visit from a Registered Nurse. Nurses provide a complete family assessment in the home, give immediate maternal and family support in areas such as breastfeeding or safe sleep, and are able to provide warm referrals to a comprehensive database of community resources.

To learn more, visit the Family Connects Texas website or contact Shalyn Bravens at

Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)

United Way for Greater Austin is the lead on the Travis County Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) grant from the State of Texas by and through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). MIECHV funds voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs that serve the most vulnerable populations in Travis County.

The Travis County MIECHV award supports the Success By 6 Coalition and the Family Support Network.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under MIECHV grant #24532533 awarded to United Way for Greater Austin. The total MIECHV grant is $1.1 Million which is matched by local dollars. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be.

Pre-K Partnerships with AISD

Expanding access to high-quality pre-K is critical to our mission to fight poverty. Children who participate in high-quality pre-K are more likely to enter Kindergarten ready to succeed in school and beyond. In partnership with Austin ISD we created Pre-K Partnerships: A Success by 6 / AISD Collaboration. We partner with child development centers in the Austin community to deliver high-quality Pre-K and provide partnership centers with resources that help them improve and sustain quality services for children.

For more information, email

News about Success By 6

Strengthening our community through 2-1-1 with Roni Kendall

Strengthening our community through 2-1-1 with Roni Kendall

National 2-1-1 Day, celebrated on February 11 (2/11), recognizes the compassionate Navigation Specialists who answer the call through the more than 200 2-1-1 helplines across the country. For more than 25 years, United Way for Greater Austin’s 2...

Read More
Making a collective impact one volunteer at a time

Making a collective impact one volunteer at a time

"Giving back makes me get up every day. It makes a difference," said Brad. A volunteer with United Way for Greater Austin for 24 years, Brad makes time to help people in our community any way he can: mentoring children in a reading program, rebuil...

Read More
A century of change, a legacy of impact

A century of change, a legacy of impact

2024 marks an important milestone for United Way for Greater Austin: 100 years serving the community. In the course of 100 years, things are bound to change, but no matter what happens – global pandemics, natural disasters, inequity across d...

Read More