Early Childhood Education Program

Ballard’s Early Childhood Program is committed to providing affordable quality education for children ages two through five in an early childhood educational setting. Ballard assists families in closing the gap between school and home by focusing on trauma-informed care with some on-site services.

Philosophy Statement:

The Ballard Center strongly believes in preparing our students to lead happy, productive lives socially, emotionally, and academically. Children who have skills in the social, emotional, and academic domains will find success when attending K-12 school as well as building and sustaining positive relationships as they grow older. Therefore, our curriculum will focus on evidence-based practices that align with the Kansas Early Learning Standards. We will focus on pre-K readiness skills in literacy and math as well as immersing our students in quality read aloud literature and hands on activities to engage their minds to explore and be curious about the world around them. The classroom daily schedules will reflect our focus on integrated units as well as time for direct instruction in literacy and math skills for the preschool student.

Mission:

To provide a caring and nurturing learning environment so that each child will reach their potential and have the necessary skills to be successful in kindergarten.

In accordance with our philosophy statement and mission, our program focuses on:

  • Caring, dedicated teachers that create learning experiences focusing on the individual child and promote creative intellectual expression.
  • Creating an environment where each child is treated with dignity and respect and has the opportunity to grow and learn at his or her individual pace.
  • Supporting children by emphasizing the context of family, culture, community and society.

If you would like to volunteer with our Early Childhood Education Program, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form on the Volunteer page.

Serving children AND families:

With a Social and Emotional Coordinator on staff, we can help build a child’s foundation for using social-emotional skills and tools that are necessary in life. The curriculum used for Social and Emotional learning at Ballard is called “Second Step”. The Social and Emotional Coordinator also conducts home visits to assess the child and family needs. Home visits routinely include developmental screenings and assessments and the relay of information regarding services we offer.

Additional services provided by the Social and Emotional Coordinator include:

  • Connecting teachers with training on evidence-based strategies to promote positive social and emotional growth for both students and teachers.
  • Education for staff and families regarding the importance and benefits of healthy bonding among children, caregivers, and teachers.
  • Connecting families with community resources regarding child development.
  • Community presentations and trainings.
  • Providing individual children with supports in the classroom when needed.
  • Regularly teaching each class the “Second Step” curriculum to help promote strong social and emotional skills, calm down techniques, as well as self-regulation strategies.

Ballard also assists families by connecting them with resources and services needed to move toward mental and financial stability. Our staff has received trauma informed training and have held positions such as “Family Connection Coordinators,” so they equipped with the tools to help families navigate the system and crises everyday. This may be as simple as guiding them to the on-site food pantries or as complex as attending court hearings to support individuals going through difficult legal matters.

child sticking their tongue out at the camera
child on a playground with their hands in the air
child smiling at the camera