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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.

2021-2022 Events Calendar for Early Childhood Programs

This 2021-2022 Events Calendar for Early Childhood Programs – Updated August 27, 2021 is intended to help early childhood program staff know when events and deadlines are coming due. It includes items related to state-funded early childhood programs including Early Childhood Special Education, Kansas Parents as Teachers, Preschool-Aged At-Risk, and Kansas Preschool Pilot. Dates are subject to change.

The KSDE School Finance Team also provides useful calendars on their Online Budget Packet webpage: Payment Dates for State and Federal Aid 2021-2022 and Timelines for KSDE reports, KIDS & MIS Collections for 2021-2022.

Strengthening Early Childhood in Kansas

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.

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 visit 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 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
Julie R. Rand
jrand@ksde.org

Early Childhood /State Preschool Programs Consultant
Natalie McClane
nmcclane@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 or for more information please contact the Office of General Counsel at ogc@ksde.org or by 785-296-3201.