Early Childhood Education
Investment in a strong early childhood program is a top priority for Ferndale Public Schools. Ferndale Schools is one of the first in Washington state in moving to full-time transitional kindergarten program. Children grow and develop at varying rates. The window of opportunity for growth and development is wide open during the early years from birth to five. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the wonders of childhood, and to address any concerns you may have. The Ferndale School District recognizes that these early years provide a unique opportunity to support families as their young children develop. We provide a variety of services to assist with this. We continue to learn from the experience of our teachers and students in ways that shape programmatic decisions to ensure that all entering kindergartners can experience early and continuing success. We continue to build excellent preschool opportunities for Ferndale students, and to provide the necessary program leadership for our preschool offerings. Over time, we envision that every student in the Ferndale community will enjoy access to a high-quality preschool experience that will enable them to come to kindergarten ready to learn. Scroll down the page for information on all of our early childhood programs.
Jump Start Kindergarten is a free full day five days per week transitional kindergarten for students who are scheduled to enter kindergarten in the upcoming fall. Classes run from September through June. Students enter the Jump Start program based on need and/or ability such as financial, social emotional, academics, and /or transportation needs. Students must be 4 years old prior to August 31 to be eligible for the current school year. Students cannot be enrolled in another early learning program. Classes are taught by highly qualified teachers and teacher assistants. Students will learn the routines of kindergarten, colors, shapes, alphabet, and numbers, sharing and following directions in a school setting. Most of all, kids will have fun while learning! Space is limited. To apply for Jump Start Kindergarten, contact Rachel Bowlden at 360-383-9660 or email@example.com or fill out the application below.
This program provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum for children three through five years old that have significant developmental delays. Our program provides a rich, activity-based preschool learning environment in order to meet the individual needs of all the enrolled children, Children learn and practice skills in all areas through large and small group participation, activity centers, and child-directed play. The goal is to build upon the strengths and capabilities of our students. We believe that children are more alike than they are different and they learn a great deal form watching and interacting with one another.
What is a Child Find Developmental Screening?
Screening is a free check of your child’s development that will include:
• Large muscle development (gross motor skills)
• Eye-hand coordination (fine motor skills)
• Communication skills
• Concepts (cognitive skills)
• Social/emotional skills
• Self-help skills
What is the purpose of a Child Find Screening?
The purpose of the screening is to identify any factors that may interfere with your child’s learning, growth and development. The screening is also provided to help parents identify their child’s strengths and weaknesses and provide home suggestions and/or further evaluation if needed in any area of concern.
What happens during a Child Find Screening?
During the screening your child may stack small blocks, cut with scissors, draw, count, name colors, jump and will have fun! Following the screening, a trained professional will talk with you about the results of the screening. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions about your child’s development. You may be given home suggestions, referred on for further testing or be scheduled to have skills rechecked at a later date. The screening process usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Who is eligible to be screened?
Any child, birth to age five, whose family or caregiver would like more information about their child’s development. All school districts within Washington State have Child Find screenings available. If your family is living in a temporary situation, you may contact the district where you are staying to attend a screening.
For more information and to schedule a screening, please contact: Rachel Bowlden at 360- 383-9660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below.
**Play and Learn is currently not running due to COVID-19 Pandemic**
Weekly facilitated playgroups for young children ages birth to five and their family, friend, neighbor, caregivers, and parents. The group has a trained facilitator who plans and sets up culturally and developmentally appropriate activities for children and their caregivers to participate in together. The class is 90 minutes we play, sing, read, share a snack and have fun! Come and see how to play and learn! For more information about play and learn contact Rachel Bowlden at 360-383-9660 or email@example.com. Please check back with more updates.
Kindergarten registration runs from the beginning of March through the end of April (although registrations are accepted all year). Children must be 5 before Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten. Check with your school office for early entrance opportunities. View the registration -link to registration website webpage for information.
WASHINGTON KINDERGARTEN INVENTORY OF DEVELOPING SKILLS (WaKIDS)
WaKIDS is a transition proces s that helps to ensure a successful start to the K-12 experience and connect the key adults in a child’s life. Please visit the WaKIDS website for more information.
Three Components of WaKIDS
1. Family connection welcomes families into the Washington K-12 system as partners in their child’s education.
2. Whole-child assessment gives kindergarten teachers information about the social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy and mathematics development of the children in their classrooms, so they may tailor their instruction to the individual needs of each child.
3. Early learning collaboration aligns practices of early learning professionals and kindergarten teachers to support smooth transitions for children.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN through GRADE 3 ALIGNMENT (P-3)
P-3 is a comprehensive reform strategy, focused on ensuring that all children develop the cognitive and social skills that establish strong foundations for future learning. Please visit the Northwest Educational Service District 189 website for more information.
Child Care Aware of Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child in Washington has access to high-quality childcare and early learning programs. Created by state statute in 1986 and incorporated in 1989, it is the only statewide childcare resource and referral program in Washington.
• West County Head Start: 360-734-8396
• Lummi Head Start: 360-384-2260
• Christ Lutheran Preschool: 360-384-1422
• Loving Tree Preschool:360-384-3302
• Pioneer Meadows Montessori-: 360-778-3681
• Gym Star Preschool: 360-384-3861
• AHA Learning Center/Childcare: 360-594-1445
• Ferndale Public Library Story time: 360-384-3647
• Ferndale Toddler Time: Every Tuesday at 10:00 to 11:30 at the American Legion Hall, 5534 2nd Avenue, Ferndale 98248. (This is not an exhaustive list and this is contact info only, not recommendations, as each family must determine the fit of a program for their child and family needs)
North Bellingham Early Learning Center
5275 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, WA 98226
(360) 383-9289 Fax:(360) 383-9152
Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
Located on the corner of Smith Rd and Northwest Dr