School Readiness

Numerous studies have shown that ninety percent of child's brain development occurs before the age of five; however, traditionally a child doesn't start kindergarten - the first step in the educational system - until after he or she turns 5. By making early childhood education available to all children, we take advantage of a crucial period in their development.

Studies show that high-quality early childhood programs are the BEST way to support improved academic outcomes in K –12 education. Children who attend early childhood programs are far more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn, read at grade level by third grade, and graduate from high school and even college.

Decades of research proves that for every $1 invested in early childhood programs, the state saves $7.

The Kansas Early Learning Standards are statements describing the expectations for skills and knowledge that young children, ages birth through 5, should know and be able to do as a result of participating in high-quality early childhood programs. To view this document, click here.

Kansas Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems
Through a two-year strategic planning and collaborative building process, early childhood stakeholders from across the state have partnered to develop the Kansas Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (KECCS) Plan, a roadmap to guide the provision of services to young children and families. The KECCS Plan builds on the extensive work of early childhood professionals, the resulting Kansas School Readiness Initiative, and the early childhood priorities of former Governor Sebelius and Kansas Legislators.

Early Childhood Mental Health
Children’s success in school and in life is built on a foundation of healthy relationships, the ability to manage their emotions, explore their environments, and learn effectively. Creating this foundation is an active partnership between the family and the community, supported by services that promote positive social emotional development. In 2007, a group of over 50 individuals representing a diversity of perspectives from across the state, formed the Kansas Early Childhood Mental Health Advisory Council. One key role of the Council was the development of a statewide strategic plan to set direction and priorities for 2008 - 2010. The vision is for healthy social and emotional development of children birth through age 5, supported by a system of promotion, prevention and treatment within the context of the family and the larger community.