Early Learning

Birth to 3 | Preschool | Kindergarten Ready

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.

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The Ferndale School District provides:

  • Links to community agencies for birth to three year-old services.
  • Childfind activities such as: screenings for developmental delays for children ages 3 to 5.
  • A developmental preschool program for all qualifying children ages 3 to 5.
  • Play & Learn, a weekly drop-in preschool opportunity
  • Links to community preschool opportunities and resources.
  • If your family is living in a temporary situation, you may contact the district where you are currently staying for a screening.

Three to Five Year-Old Children

Play & Learn Logo Play & Learn

 We play, sing, tell stories, share a snack, and have fun!

 This weekly activity is designed for children NOT enrolled in preschool and who reside in Ferndale School District boundaries. Play & Learn will meet every Monday at North Bellingham Learning Center and every Friday at Custer Elementary when Ferndale schools are open. Please contact the Early Learning Center at 383-9660 with any questions. Please join us! 

At North Bellingham Learning Center:

Who: Parents, grandparents, caregivers and their children ages 5 years and younger.

When: Monday mornings 10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (September through May)

Where: 5275 Northwest Dr., Building 26, at the Early Learning Center

First day of 2019 - 2020 is September 16th!

At Custer Elementary School:

Who: Parents, grandparents, caregivers and their children ages 5 years old and younger.

When: Friday mornings 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Where: Custer Elementary, 7660 Custer School Rd., Custer WA

First day of 2019 - 2020 is September 20th!

Download the 2019 - 2020 Play & Learn Schedule Here

Developmental Screening

  • Monthly screenings take place during the school year.
  • Parents contact the school district to make an appointment.
  • Because children develop at different stages, the screening provides initial information about whether children are developing at a typical rate or not.
  • Some differences may indicate a slight delay and others may be cause for further evaluation due to more significant needs.
  • The 45-minute screening is conducted by trained personnel. Areas of cause include speech and communication, coordination, cognitive (thinking), self help, and social interactions.
  • Screening is the first step to determining if a child’s delays may qualify them for enrollment in the district’s developmental preschool program.


  • With parent consent, if a child qualifies for further evaluation, the parent/guardian and child meet with the preschool evaluation team.
  • If the child qualifies for the services, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is created.
  • The child can now be enrolled in the developmental preschool program.

Overview of the Developmental Preschool Program

The 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.

  • For children with mild speech delay who qualify for speech and language needs only, therapy sessions are located at the child’s neighborhood elementary school.
  • Parents accompany children to the 30 minute sessions.

For questions and concerns regarding Three to Five Year-Olds:
Please call: Josie Komorowski, 383-9345; Josie.Komorowski@ferndalesd.org, Ferndale School District Early Learning Coordinator

To make a screening appointment: Rachel Bowlden, 383-9660; Rachel.Bowlden@ferndalesd.org, Ferndale School District Special Services Program Assistant

Birth to Three Year Old Children

  • The Infant Toddler Early Intervention Program (ITEIP) provides screenings, evaluations, and services for children from birth to age three in partnership with Ferndale School District.
  • Family support is emphasized.
  • If you have any developmental questions about a child in this age range, please contact Christi Louro at the Opportunity Council.
  • SEAS, Single Entry Access System, 360-715-7485
  • Angela Dennis, 360-380-6650 angelad@lummi-nsn.gov Lummi Birth – Three Program

Additional Opportunities

1. Lummi Head Start
2616 Kwina Rd. (360) 384-2260

  • Classes for 3-5 year olds
  • Enrollment is open until filled

2. West County Head Start
5275 Northwest Ave (360) 734-8396

  • Classes for 3-5 year olds
  • Enrollment is open until filled
  • Early Head Start for prenatal – 3 year olds

3. Eagleview Head Start
2613 Thornton Road (360) 383-9493

  • Classes for 3-5 year olds
  • Enrollment is open until filled
  • Early Head Start for prenatal – 3 year olds