Kansas State Department of Education

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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.

Early Childhood Updates

March 25, 2020 (PDF)


KSDE early learning grant applications now available

The Kansas State Department  of Education is pleased to share that grant applications to provide early learning opportunities during the 2020-2021 school year are now available.

Districts are eligible to apply for all three early learning funding opportunities: Kansas Parents as Teachers grants, Preschool-Aged At-Risk (State Pre-K 4 Year Old At-Risk) programs, and Kansas Preschool Pilot grants. Entities that are not school districts may submit applications for the Kansas Preschool Pilot in partnership with one or more school districts.

In districts that receive approval to operate Preschool-Aged At-Risk programs in 2020-2021, 4-year-old students who meet the at-risk criteria for Preschool-Aged At-Risk students and who are enrolled and attending on September 20, 2020 will automatically count as a 1/2 student (0.5 FTE) in calculating a district's enrollment and accompanying weightings.

Our goal at KSDE is to help you prioritize continuous learning with the children and families you serve. Rest assured that we will work with programs unable to meet the April 3 deadline for early learning grant applications.

For districts that already receive Preschool-Aged At-Risk funding and are not applying for Kansas Preschool Pilot,, we will use your 2019-2020 application as the basis to approve your 2020-2021 program. In other words, these districts do not need to submit a complete FY21 Preschool-Aged At-Risk program application. Instead, districts seeking a renewal of their current approved program for the 2020-2021 school year may submit in SurveyMonkey the signed copy of the 2020-2021 Preschool-Aged At-Risk assurances and contact information.

For programs that do not currently receive Preschool-Aged At-Risk funding and all Kansas Preschool Pilot applicants, the content of the application has not changed. However, we are pushing the final deadline to apply to 4:00 pm Friday, April 17. If you will not be able to meet this deadline (need board approval at a scheduled meeting, etc.) please contact Natalie McClane (nmcclane@ksde.org) so that we can work with you. If you are able to submit your application earlier, please do so. KSDE will be reviewing applications as they come in so that we can make recommendations for funding to the State Board at their May meeting.

For Kansas Parents as Teachers, KSDE will utilize the 2019-2020 Kansas Parents as Teachers (KPAT) grant applications and award levels as the baseline for the 2020-2021 school year Kansas Parents as Teachers grant applications and budget requests. In other words, current KPAT programs do not need to submit a complete FY21 KPAT grant application. Instead, programs seeking a renewal for the 2020-2021 school year at their current 2019-2020 funding level may submit in SurveyMonkey the signed copy of the 2020-2021 KPAT assurances and contact information. Our team understands that some programs intended to either expand services into new districts or apply for their inaugural year of KPAT services. If additional funding is available for 2020-2021, our team will consider those requests for new and expanded services.

Kansas Parents as Teachers SY2020-2021 Grant Requirements, Assurances, and Application
Template (Word) / Layout (PDF)/ Application Link (external link)

Preschool-Aged At-Risk SY2020-2021 Grant Requirements, Assurances, and Application
Template (Word)/ Layout (PDF)/ Application Link (external link)/ Assurances (PDF)

Kansas Preschool Pilot SY2020-2021 Grant Requirements, Assurances, and Application
Template (Word) / Layout (PDF) / Application Link (external link)

KSDE Early Childhood Grants FAQs SY2020-2021 - Updated March 6 2020.pdf

The KSDE Early Childhood team is ready to partner with you as you consider how these funding opportunities could best support your community, so please feel welcome to be in touch.

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 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
October 18, 2019  (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
November 15, 2019 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
January 10, 2020 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
February 14, 2020 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf) / additional 2020 Census materials (pdf)
April 10, 2020 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)
May 8, 2020 (Adobe Connect) / materials (pdf)

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

Early Childhood / Kansas Parents as Teachers Consultant
Nis Wilbur

Early Childhood Special Education Consultant
Julie R. Rand

Early Childhood /State Preschool Programs Consultant
Natalie McClane

Kindergarten Readiness Coordinator
Julie Ewing

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

Jordan Christian

Problems with this webpage
Beccy Strohm
(785) 296-6602

Early Childhood Fact Sheets

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