Strategic Plan

Strategy 7.2

Improve the quality of early childhood care and education programs, services, and physical environments through equitable, community-based approaches.

7.2.1   Identify and align core quality standards that reflect culturally responsive best practices for early learning across settings, such as Head Start Performance Standards, National Association for the Education of Young Children Accreditation, National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation, and Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

7.2.2   Expand Links to Quality statewide to promote continuous quality improvement and support peer learning communities within child care environments.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

7.2.3   Update and disseminate the Kansas Early Learning Standards, with the updates to include the use of technology in early childhood care and education settings and the benefits of multiple languages in early settings.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

7.2.4   Disseminate the Kansas Prekindergarten Guide and the Kansas Full-Day Kindergarten Guide to teachers and administrators, and provide professional development to programs to implement the guidelines.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

7.2.5   Support expansion of early childhood care and education consultants, including inservice training, child care health consultants (physical, oral health, nutrition, physical activity), and early childhood mental health.
State agency led tactic.Statewide and community-level partnerships.

Progress Update

The Workforce Development Advisory Group is researching and analyzing various national and regional core competencies to identify the appropriate standards for the Kansas early childhood workforce, which will align with initiatives such as Links to Quality..

Links to Quality continues to provide important supports and consulting services to the pilot child care provider group and is planning expanded efforts to meet provider needs. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for such targeted outreach and support, and through relief funding, Kansas is expanding the Child Care Health Consultant network who can connect providers to quality services and supports.

As part of the community Centered Adaptive Technical Assistance work, grant writing TA & coaching provided to a community partner in Wyandotte County resulting in $200,000 foundation grant to support community wide early childhood programming.

The statewide ASQ online system initiative was designed and implemented to remove financial, training and workflow barriers for providers wanting to add developmental screening to their work with young families and to allow for more equitable access to screening across the state. Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2) virtual trainings were created to bridge the gap during the onset of the pandemic. Through this program, 308 providers across the state have been trained since March 2021.

Through the PDG Quality Subgrants, approximately 24 grantees were awarded funds to specifically improve the quality of early care for children and families in Kansas. These subgrants focused on addressing quality enhancement across programs with an emphasis on child mental health and social emotional learning by funding services like coaching, training, and peer support, as well as tangible resource provision for both families and providers,

Community Health Council of Wyandotte County was able to send 20 community health workers to participate in Lemonade for Life, an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) training and awareness program, funded by Adaptive TA support.