Early Childhood Block Grant

The early days, months, and years of a child’s development shape their future.

United Way is the backbone organization of the local Early Childhood Block Grant from the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund. To help move the needle on healthy childhood development, strong families and early learning, United Way has formed a collaborative with community partners to provide direct services to at-risk children and families. Through this grant, United Way helps ensure children enter school ready to learn, reduces the need for future specialized education, provides professional development for classroom teachers and promotes enhanced parenting skills.

A young boy plays with toy trucks and cars. The activity helps him build skills he'll need to be ready for school.


To be “school ready” refers to the social, emotional and cognitive abilities that allow children to successfully participate and learn at school. Early Childhood Block Grant funds are used for high-quality early childhood programs that serve children and families at risk. The goal of the grant is to make the following impacts:

  • Increase the number of children who enter kindergarten school ready with age-appropriate skills
  • Reduce the need for future specialized educational services by conducting regular developmental screenings and connecting families to early intervention services
  • Improve classroom quality through professional development and coaching opportunities
  • Promote supportive parenting skills and positive nurturing parent-child relationships which are predictive of positive developmental outcomes and age-appropriate social skills


In 2022, United Way of the Plains secured an Early Childhood Block Grant worth $743,930. These funds support the following programs from collaborative partners that serve at-risk children and families in the Wichita metropolitan area:

Kansas Children's Service League logo.
Home Visits

Promotes safe, stable, and nurturing parent-child relationships through parenting education and developmental screenings.

Family Engagement and Referrals

Offers parent and guardian support though peer groups, advisory councils and community cafés.

Greater Wichita YMCA logo.
Infant & Toddler Early Care & Education

Scholarships for preschool children to attend the Greater Wichita YMCA Early Learning Centers.

A young girl plays with building blocks. The activity helps her build skills he'll need to be ready for school.
Rainbows United logo.
Social-Emotional Consultations

Individual support for children with social-emotional needs, including instruction for teachers to enhance classroom environments.

Developmental Screenings

Offers screenings and referrals for developmental, hearing, vision, speech/language, and social-emotional needs.


children served through the Early Childhood Block Grant in 2022.
increase in children who were on track in social emotional skills after intervention.
of classrooms were observed to meet quality standards in 2022.


Our focus is on healtheducationfinancial stability and basic needs—the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Click below to learn more about what we’re doing, the programs we invest in and our lasting impact in each area.