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 Early Childhood


 Rockford Public Schools Early Childhood Program
Mission Statement

The mission of the Rockford Public Schools Early Childhood Program is to empower all young children to become effective, enthusiastic, and socially competent learners by creating a bond among children, their families, the school and the community.
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The Rockford Public School's Early Childhood Program invites you to learn about the wide range of services provided for young children and their families. 
 Family Services
 Classes to learn parenting skills are available at three locations in Rockford. Parenting and grandparenting support groups are provided to assist in dealing with the challenges of parenting young children. Childcare is available for participating family members. Parent-child interaction groups are another program offering. These groups give parents ideas and activities to use in helping their children learn and grow. For information on play groups please call (815)967-8030.



 Developmental Screenings      

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Developmental screening for children is available to determine progress in learning and development and to determine if additional assessment is necessary. Developmental screening for infants, toddlers and children ages 3 to 5 years is available at a number of locations in the city. For more information on screening, please call (815)229-2103. 



 Birth to Three Years      
           EC website 11.jpg   Prevention Initiative Program services include in-home child development/case   management  services for parents and children. In-home case management services are available to families with children ages birth to three years old. These services help families identify both child and family goals as well as educational and community resources to aid them in meeting their identified goals. For more information please call (815)967-8030.

Three to Five Years Old 

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The Early Childhood Program provides developmentally appropriate prekindergarten classes for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Classes are located in public school buildings as well as child care centers throughout the city. Children eligible for pre-K programming are identified through developmental screening or educational case study evaluation. Pre-K programming includes "hands-on" activities, which promote children's learning in personal-social development, language and literacy, as well as cognitive and physical development. The daily routine in the pre-K classroom includes large and small group activities and self-selected activities. All activities are designed to foster learning and development to maximize children's success in school.


Families and children who speak languages other than English may receive program services through our bilingual prekindergarten classes. Determinations of bilingual eligibility are made during the screening process.

Special services are provided to children in placements based on least restrictive environments and the Individual Education Plan. Comprehensive services are available for children as determined through diagnostic educational case study evaluation. Speech, occupational, physical therapies and vision and hearing services for children identified with special needs may be available.

Children who have their fifth birthday on or before September 1 of each year are eligible for kindergarten. Rockford Early Childhood Program staff provides information and support in the transition from the Early Childhood Program to kindergarten.

Contact Us


Kimberly Nelson

Early Childhood Executive Director

 Summerdale Early Childhood Center

3320 Glenwood Ave.
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 489-7218





Jenny Karlson

Assistant Principal of Early Childhood Curriculum

 Summerdale Early Childhood Center

3320 Glenwood Ave.
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 489-7303




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501 7th St., Rockford, IL 61104