Proven Programs

Making a Difference for Children & Families

United Way for Greater Austin runs proven programs that boost opportunity for children and families in our community. Here are a few examples of our work in action.

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.

Learn more here, or contact Madison Mattise at

The Center Project

Every child 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.

To increase the high-quality care accessible for children from families with low income, United Way invites child development centers to join our network of centers that strive to provide high-quality care, are dedicated to serving children from families with low income, and are open to innovation and leadership in the early childhood sector.

To learn more, contact Cathy McHorse at

Pre-K Coaching Project

United Way is one of four organizations in Texas selected by the Texas Education Agency to coordinate and implement a Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) observation and coaching model with 50 teachers in Austin ISD, Manor ISD, Wayside Schools, and Open Door Preschools. Research tells us that improving teacher-student interactions using the CLASS model yields improved child outcomes and school readiness.

To learn more, contact Michelle Hutson-Crawford at

Emerging Young Men of Color (EYMC2)

65% of African-American children and 63% of Hispanic children are not school-ready when they enter Kindergarten. It’s important for children of color to have role models in education that look like them. United Way partners with Literacy First to recruit college-aged tutors of color eligible for work study. The tutors work with small groups of pre-K children to build their language and literacy skills. At the same time, the same tutors are paired with a professional mentor of color in the community.

To learn more, contact Nicole Cummings at

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

Bright by Text

We know that 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.

To learn more, contact Martina Santesteban at


ConnectATX is a community-wide tool that connects families to local resources. People can find support in the areas of food, housing & utilities, transportation, job training & education, health, parenting & family and more.

Use ConnectATX to find resources in the Greater Austin community here, or contact Amy Price at

Navigation Center

Since 1996, United Way for Greater Austin has helped people navigate the complex system of health and human services in Central Texas through our Navigation Center. The service provides simple, one-call access to our compassionate call specialists, who can connect families and individuals in need to more than 30,000 nonprofit and government resources in 10 counties.

2-1-1 provides information about housing, food, health, child care, education, employment, counseling, government resources, disaster information, and more.

Our Navigation Center responded to its four millionth call in Fall 2018.

To learn more, contact Amy Price at