Building the Programs

The Family and Child Education (FACE) program was initiated in 1990, and currently has programs in 43 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) communities. It was designed as a family literacy program; an integrated model for an early childhood/parental involvement program for American Indian families. Evaluation indicates that FACE programs are succeeding in addressing achievement gaps for American Indian children primarily located on rural reservations, and in better preparing them for school.

The goals of the FACE program are: to support parents/primary caregivers in their role as their child’s first and most influential teacher; to increase family literacy; to strengthen family-school-community connections; to promote the early identification and services to children with special needs; to increase parent participation in their child’s learning; to support and celebrate the unique cultural and linguistic diversity of each American Indian community served by the program; and to promote lifelong learning. Program services integrate language and culture in two settings: home and school.

The FACE program, while funded by the BIE, is supported by the work of the following contractors, who work in partnership to provide high-quality training and technical assistance and evaluation. Those national partners are the National Center for Families Learning  (NCFL), the Parents As Teachers National Center (PAT), and Research and Training Associates (RTA).


As stated in Title 25 CFR Part 32.3, The Bureau of Indian Education’s (BIE) mission is to provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with a tribe’s needs for cultural and economic well-being, in keeping with the wide diversity of Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages as distinct cultural and governmental entities. Further, the BIE is to manifest consideration of the whole person by taking into account the spiritual, mental, physical, and cultural aspects of the individual within his or her family and tribal or village context.

The Family and Child Education (FACE) program is funded by the Department of the Interior via the Bureau of Indian Education. Learn more about the BIE by visiting their website.