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Early Childhood

DPI Goal: A Strong Early Childhood Community in Wisconsin

All children deserve a quality childhood so they become joyful, lifelong learners, active contributors to healthy communities, and productive members of society. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) works in partnership with the early childhood community -- including parents and professionals in the public and private sector -- to create strong communities in which all families are supported in their roles and responsibilities.

The DPI early childhood staff provides leadership, partnership, policy development, incentives, and technical assistance to the early childhood community for children birth to age eight throughout Wisconsin.

The early childhood community includes parents, teachers, administrators, support staff, CESAs, and public libraries, governmental and non-governmental agencies, consumer and professional associations, relevant philanthropic organizations, legislators and others in the early childhood community.

The Goals of the DPI Early Childhood Staff Are To

  • Keep the early childhood community informed about early childhood initiatives
  • Establish communications systems which allow thoughtful discussion from and among members of the early childhood community
  • Establish an internal communication system to model collaboration, networking, and public relations for DPI staff and teams


Collaborative Leadership Forum--Preserving Early Childhood (PEC). A Unique Partnership with the Jolyn Beeman Memorial Lecture Series, Explore Children’s Learning with Nature, and Intersecting Interests Professional Development Conference, February 28 (Preconference) and March 1 & 2, 2017, Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton St, Madison. See details at: 2017 PEC save the date and registration


Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten

New! Learn what parents can do to prepare their child for Kindergarten. This link contains lots of tools and tips from early childhood experts.

Wisconsin 4K Websites

Enrollment in Wisconsin four-year-old Kindergarten (4K) programs has more than doubled since 2001, and Wisconsin continues to lead the nation in implementing the community approach to 4K. Review extensive DPI resources on 4K and those of the Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners.

Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards

New! Revised Wisconsin model early learning standards were developed by DPI and other state departments.

The standards are designed for all programs that serve children from birth to first grade. Children who meet the developmental expectations outlined in the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards will be prepared to master Wisconsin's State Standards. The Guiding Practices offers a more complete description of the standards.

Since the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards and the Wisconsin State Standards both address the kindergarten level, it is suggested that local school districts use both documents to guide curriculum, instruction and assessment decisions. The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards publication and a letter on the DPI website provide more details on this alignment.

Our Network of Collaboration

More Ways that Early Childhood Programs and People Work Together for Children

Wisconsin's early childhood programs collaborate in many ways across the state.


  • Many efforts are coordinated through the Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners (WECCP), a network of state, regional, and community groups and individuals working together to improve the lives of young children and families.
  • Regional networks support those working to blend programs and funding streams or create new approaches that support young children and families.
  • The EC community also works to create inclusive educational environments for young children with disabilities, in partnership with the federal Office of Special Education Programs.
  • Screening and assessment brings health care and mental health into the partnership.
  • The importance of early childhood as an economic investment, brings business and philanthropy to our early childhood table of collaborators.
  • Listen to a conversation between Amanda Reeve of the Department of Children and Families and Jill Haglund of the Department of Public Instruction about the extensive collaborations between  DCF and DPI that have been supported by the Race to the Top Early Childhood Challenge grant. These efforts have expanded and improved the availability of high quality care and education for Wisconsin's young children in a variety of settings, including 4-year-old kindergarten, childcare providers, home visiting, and others.
  • Wisconsin Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS) Project: This project is an important collaborative effort to share data between three State of Wisconsin departments (the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Health Services). The goal of this data-sharing effort is to integrate information about the youngest children in Wisconsin.  To learn more, please take a look at Wisconsin Early Childhood Integrated Data System.

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For questions about this information, contact Jill Haglund (608) 267-9625