Add a Start participant and caregiver

Follow these steps to add a new child and caregiver to an existing LENA Start group.

You will need:

  • permission to view names in the group where you're adding the child
  • child's completed consent form, including caregiver information
  • about 5 minutes per child

1. Select the child's group in the context menu drop-down.

LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

2. From the main menu, click Admin and then choose Participants.

3. Click New Participant.

4. Enter child data.

Click each section below for specific instructions:

Participant information

Child’s First Name and Last Name are mandatory, but real names are not. You may use initials or an ID code instead, if required by your program. The information you enter here is displayed on the parent reports and in parent texts.

The child's gender and clothing size are also required.

Date of birth

Important! LENA processing and reports are highly dependent on the child's age in months.

Compare against the child's application/consent form, and carefully verify both Date of Birth and Age in Months.


The "primary caregiver" will receive the Parent Survey and Snapshot texts. These pre-post measures that must be completed by the same individual at each measurement point. 

You can edit which caregiver is primary later, but be sure it's correct before Session 1.

At least one caregiver must be entered. 

Caregiver's First Name and Last Name are mandatory, but real names are not. You may use initials or an ID code instead, if required by your program.

Relationship to participant - for example: mother, father, grandmother, aunt, guardian

Preferred Language - choose English or Spanish to set the language for texts and reports provided to this family

Texting Number ensures the caregiver receives reminders, can report Reading Minutes, and can complete Snapshot and view reports via text message links.

  • A welcome text will be sent to this number as soon as the record is saved.
  • If the child does not have a caregiver with a textable phone number, you can enter the caregiver's email address instead in order to send links to fill out Snapshots by computer. Otherwise, Snapshots can be filled out on paper.

Fill out with the information collected on the Application and Informed Consent form.


Organization will be pre-filled, but double check that it's correct.

Functional Group will be filled in if you began by selecting the group in the context menu. Double check that the correct group is listed here, or choose the group from the drop-down list.

Enrolled Date is the date from the consent form, or the date the child is entered in LENA Online.


External Reference ID is an optional field that can be used to enter an ID from a different database or record to facilitate matching up LENA exports with other related records.

Do not enter confidential information or names in this field, as the field will be displayed in place of the child's name for some user types.

5. Click Submit

Warning: Possible Duplicate Participant
LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

If a participant with the same name and date of birth already exists in the same suborganization, LENA flags it as a potential duplicate. In most cases, you should:

  1. Click Close to return to the participant entry screen.
  2. Click Back to exit without saving.
  3. With the organization in the context menu, search the enrolled, completed, and dropped participant lists for the existing child.

When you find the existing child, determine next steps - for example, check with your program manager about why the child is already in the system, move him to his new group, and/or change his enrollment status as needed.

6. Repeat with additional children.