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Early Childhood

Early childhood experiences lay the foundation for a child’s future academic success. A child’s health and physical well-being, along with the development of cognitive, communication and social-emotional skills, all can be influenced by the community, educational environment, family and the individual child. Effective policies, targeted and appropriate levels of funding, and collaborative systems of support enhance a child’s ability to thrive in learning environments.

The Early Childhood Team at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) supports local agencies providing early learning opportunities and collaborates with internal and external partners to strengthen early childhood in Kansas. Early childhood spans birth to age 8 (third grade). Our goal is that each student enters kindergarten at age 5 socially, emotionally and academically prepared for success.

Strengthening Early Childhood in Kansas

In 2019, Kansas has the opportunity and new federal grant funding to engage in a collaborative effort to shape our state’s future direction for early childhood. A one-year planning grant authorized by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is supporting the development of a comprehensive needs assessment and strategic plan for early childhood in Kansas. The Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas State Department of Education and other early childhood partners are carrying out this important work. Visit kschildrenscabinet.org/early-childhood to learn more and get involved.

Kansas Parents as Teachers (KPAT)

This evidence-based affiliate model provides parents with the skills and knowledge they need to help make informed decisions regarding their child’s education. KSDE serves as the State Office to support local programs in implementing the KPAT model. The Kansas Parents as Teachers page has more information https://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=534.

Preschool Programming

High-quality early learning opportunities prepare students to enter kindergarten at age 5 socially, emotionally and academically prepared for success. KSDE administers several programs that provide funding to support preschool for Kansas students: the Preschool-Aged At-Risk (State Pre-K 4 Year Old At-Risk) program, the Kansas Preschool Pilot, and Early Childhood Special Education (Section 619 of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act). While these programs each have unique requirements, KSDE encourages local districts to offer services that support the needs of each student in inclusive environments. KSDE also hosts the State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC), which is responsible for advising and assisting the Kansas governor and legislature on matters that impact Kansas families with children ages birth to 5 who have, or are at risk for, developmental delays. For more information about Preschool Programs https://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=555.

Kansas Kindergarten Readiness Snapshot Tool

To advance kindergarten readiness in Kansas, all Kansas kindergarten classrooms are utilizing a new tool to better understand students’ development. The Ages & Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ-3) and the Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional, Second Edition (ASQ: SE-2) provide a snapshot of children’s developmental milestones. The Kindergarten Readiness page has more information.

Early Childhood Webinars

The KSDE Early Childhood Team offers monthly webinars for early learning administrators during the school year. There will be opportunities for questions and the webinars will be recorded for future reference or for those unable to attend. Participants will be asked to log in at http://ksde-tasn.adobeconnect.com/kansas-earlychildhood/ to view and download materials and engage with presenters.

If you have a topic you would like us to cover, we would love to hear from you! Please email earlylearning@ksde.org with your ideas and feedback.

All webinars begin at 11:00 A.M. CST:
August 16, 2019 (Adobe Connect)/ materials (pdf)
September 27, 2019
October 18, 2019
November 15, 2019
January 10, 2020
February 14, 2020
April 3, 2020
May 8, 2020

August 18, 2018 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
September 21, 2018 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
October 19, 2018 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
November 16, 2018 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
January 11, 2019 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
February 15, 2019 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
April 15, 2019 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
May 3, 2019 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)

Early Learning 0-8 Listserv

The KSDE Early Childhood Team regularly shares information on the Early Learning listserv, including reminders and updates for webinars. You can join the listserv by emailing Beccy Strohm: bstrohm@ksde.org.

 Early Childhood Home Page
    (General information, Webinars)


Early Childhood Director
Amanda Petersen
apetersen@ksde.org

Early Childhood / Kansas Parents as Teachers Consultant
Nis Wilbur
nwilbur@ksde.org

Early Childhood Special Education Consultant
Natalie McClane
nmcclane@ksde.org

Kindergarten Readiness Coordinator
Julie Ewing
jewing@ksde.org

Kansas Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Developmental Services
(SICC – State Interagency Coordinating Council)

Jordan Christian
jchristian@ksde.org

Problems with this webpage
Beccy Strohm
bstrohm@ksde.org
(785) 296-6602

Early Childhood Fact Sheets

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The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. (more information...)


To accommodate people with disabilities, on request, auxiliary aides and services will be provided and reasonable modifications to policies and programs will be made. To request accommodations regarding accessibility please contact the Office of General Counsel by email or at 785-296-3204.