Early Learning Collaboration

The Early Learning Collaboration component of WaKIDS aims to foster relationships with early learning providers to transition children to kindergarten. Kindergarten entry marks a shift in academic demands, less one-on-one time with teachers, new behavioral expectations, and more complex social environments. These changes can lead to challenges for children transitioning to kindergarten. (Review detailed expectations: RCW 28A.150.315)

School districts are collaborating with early learning providers in a variety of ways, including:

  • Participating in shared professional development
  • Sharing Pre-K transition reports
  • Reviewing WaKIDS data
  • Coordinating cross-program visits
  • Co-hosting kindergarten-readiness events for preschoolers and their families
  • Attending local early learning coalition meetings
  • Learning about policies and procedures that early learning programs use for transitioning their PreK families to local schools
  • Creating and participating in shared professional development
  • Working together to identify community PreK opportunities for children based on best fit for families and to coordinate enrollment

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about WaKIDS, review the complete list of WaKIDS Frequently Asked Questions.

When does Early Learning Collaboration occur?

There is no finite time frame for the Early Learning Collaboration component to occur. Many schools continually build connections with early learning providers throughout the school year. However, a particular emphasis on the Early Learning Collaboration occurs during the spring and summer.

Who can I contact in my ESD for support around WaKIDS?

Learn about the Early Learning District Liaisons for the Early Learning Collaboration component or find your ESD WaKIDS Coordinator.

Best Practices

The Early Learning Collaboration component of WaKIDS has traditionally focused on smoothing the transition between preschool and kindergarten. While this outcome will still be very important, it is critical that schools leverage their role in helping to support existing preschool, child care, and extended learning programs to meet the needs of children and families.

  1. Identify an early learning/extended learning contact in the district to serve as a point person between the community and district-based early learning and extended learning programs.
  2. Work with community partners to identify child care options for kindergarten students whose families don’t have the option to stay home with a child each day. Visit Child Care Aware of Washington to request a list of child care providers in your area. This best practice is intended for administration.
  3. Partner with community-based preschool and child care programs, and parent/guardian advisory committees to connect with and support families.
  4. With family permission, encourage child care providers to share information such as the Washington State Kindergarten Transition Summary Form and Teaching Strategies GOLD® Individual Child Reports for children transitioning to kindergarten. This tool is used by many early childhood PreK teachers to assist in the transition from their program to your classroom. Ask the families if they received this from their early learning provider, offer it as a tool when you meet with your early learning providers that send children to your school.