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.
Kansas has the opportunity to shape our state’s future direction for early childhood. In 2019 thousands of Kansans informed a comprehensive needs assessment of early care and education programs and services. This led to development of the All in for Kansas Kids strategic plan. Now early childhood partners are working together to put this plan into action. The federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five provides funding for these activities. Visit: https ://kschildrenscabinet.org/all-in/ to learn more and get involved.
The 2024-2025 Kansas Preschool Pilot grant application is now closed. The Kansas Board of Education will Award Grants at their February meeting.
Visit the KSDE Preschool Programming webpage to view grant materials and apply.
2023 Summer Budget Workshops - Early Childhood Funding information (PDF)
2024-2025Preschool Revenue Calculator and Budget Template (Updated Dec. 1, 2023) (Excel)
Preschool Revenue Calculator and Budget Template Users Guide (Updated Dec. 1, 2023) (PDF)
2023 KSDE TASN Summer Leadership Conference Slides - including Preschool Funding (PDF)
The Kansas Early Learning Standards (KELS) is a document that provides information and guidance to early childhood providers and teachers, including early primary grade teachers, on the developmental continuum of learning for children from birth through kindergarten. The KELS provide information regarding what young children should know and be able to do as a result of engagement with caring knowledgeable adults, evidence-based curriculum, and developmentally appropriate activities. It is a dynamic resource that providers and teachers can use as they plan activities for, choose and implement curriculum, and engage in conversations with young children and their families around early learning.
A collaborative group of Kansas early childhood partners has worked together to review and complete this fourth revision to the Kansas Early Learning Standards. The first document was completed in 2006 with a second revision done in 2009 and a third revision in 2013.
The updated Kansas Early Learning Standards have been approved by both the Kansas State Board of Education and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund.
Click here to view the Kansas Early Learning Standards (updated 2024)(PDF).
The KSDE Early Childhood team regularly shares updates in KSDEweekly, the weekly newsletter that is the one-stop source for KSDE news and information. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request to subscribe to KSDEweekly newsletters. Click here to view previous KSDEweekly updates related to early childhood.
However, please email Beccy Strohm (email@example.com) with updates to district points of contact for all early childhood programs.
The Parents as Teachers® (PAT) evidence-based affiliate model provides parents with the skills and knowledge they need to help make informed decisions regarding their child’s education. The program includes personal visits, group connections, health, vision, hearing and developmental screenings, and supports family connections with other community services. KSDE serves as the Parents as Teachers® State Office and supports local programs with implementing the Parents as Teachers affiliate model. The Kansas Parents as Teachers page has more information. Look to this linked page for the 2023-2024 Kansas Parents as Teachers grant application on March 1, 2023.
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 visit our Preschool Program link.
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 Home Page
(General information, Webinars)
Early Childhood Director
Kansas Parents as Teachers Consultant
Early Childhood Special Education Consultant
Early Childhood /State Preschool Programs Consultant
SICC (State Interagency Coordinating Council) Consultant
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KSDE Early Childhood Team Fact Sheet (PDF) updated 2019
Kindergarten Readiness Resources Fact Sheet (PDF) updated January 2024
2024 Kindergarten Readiness Snapshot-ASQ-Spring (PDF)
Kansas Early Learning Standards (screen-reader friendly) (updated 2024)(PDF)
2019 Kansas Family Engagement and Partnership Standards for Early Childhood(PDF)
Kansas Prekindergarten Guide (PDF)
Kansas Quality Network (External Link)
Kansas Full Day Kindergarten Guide (PDF)
Kindergarten in Kansas English (PDF)
Kindergarten in Kansas Spanish (PDF)
Kindergarten in Kansas Arabic (PDF)
Kindergarten in Kansas Burmese (PDF)
Kindergarten in Kansas Swahili (PDF)
Kindergarten in Kansas Vietnamese (PDF)
Click here to order free printed copies of Kindergarten in Kansas booklets, or contact Natalie Schweda at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, 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 or for more information please contact the Office of General Counsel at email@example.com or by 785-296-3201.