Central School District 51 Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Blended Program

We are excited to be expanding early childhood learning experiences by providing a  blended early childhood classroom setting for the first time in the school’s history.  

Traditionally speaking, our early childhood education program is designed to support the pre-academic, functional, and social emotional needs of students who qualify for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  However, with the addition of the blended classroom setting, we are able to offer a more traditional Pre-K experience that is designed to serve students who have been identified through our screening process as benefiting from an early childhood program to prepare them for kindergarten.  Additionally, those students who already qualify for an IEP will also have the opportunity to attend either the blended program or the traditional self-contained early childhood classroom based on their individualized needs.  

At Central School District 51, we take great care to encourage excellence everyday with compassion, commitment, and community.   

Enrollment Information

  • Students in the Early Childhood program must be at least 3 years old by their start date.

  • All children interested in enrolling in the Early Childhood Blended program must complete our screening process which is held twice a year.  All children, ages 3-5, are eligible for screening.  Our Spring Screening is the primary source for filling our Fall classes, with exception to this school year. The fall screening is to primarily "catch" those students who turned three since the Spring Screening or students new to the district.  At the screening your child will work with our Early Childhood Screening team to complete a snapshot of skills in the following areas: Cognitive Development, Daily Living, Motor Development, Person/Social Skills, Communication.  The results of this screening and family information provided by you are then used to determine placement. 

  • All children enrolled in the early childhood program MUST RESIDE WITHIN THE CENTRAL 51 SCHOOL DISTRICT.  However, employees of the school district are allowed to enroll their children in the early childhood blended program regardless of Central 51 district residency.

Current Screening Dates

  • 2022 Fall Screening Days: August 22nd and 23rd,between 9am and 1pm.

  • 2023 Spring Screening Days: March 21-22 between 9am and 1pm.

  • Click HERE to schedule a spring screening appointment or call the CPS main office at 309-444-3943, ext. 2411 before March 16, 2023.

  • Fill out the Permission Screening form and bring it to the screening.

  • Students must reside within Central School District 51.

Early Childhood Hours and Fees

  • Monday through Friday 

    • 2022-23 school year starts August 29th and ends May 19th 

    • AM Session is 8:30 to 11:00 am

    • PM Session is 12:00 to 2:30 pm

  • Early Childhood Special Education Students: $62.50 one time registration fee for the school year

  • Blended Early Childhood Students: $15 per day or approximately $2,400 per year. Payments can be made online, by cash or check, made out to Central District 51. Submit cash/check payments to the District Office.