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.   

Early Childhood Screenings

Fall screenings will be held at Central Primary School, usually in October. Screenings are free and open to children ages 2 years, 9 months to 5 years (not yet in Kindergarten), who reside in Central School District 51. This screening is not meant for children who are currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Blended classroom. Instead, this screening is intended for children who may have possible developmental delays in the following areas:

  • Cognitive Development-- reasoning, thinking, problem solving

  • Daily Living--self-help skills such as eating, dressing and toileting

  • Motor Development--use and control of large and small muscles

  • Personal/Social Skills--interacting with others

  • Communication--ability to express thoughts and understand the words of others

At the screening, your child will work with our Early Childhood Screening Team to complete a snapshot of skills in those areas. The results of this screening and family information provided by you are used to determine placement. If a developmental delay is suspected in one or more areas, the school team will schedule a transdisciplinary play based assessment to identify whether or not your child qualifies for early childhood special education services.

Currently, our early childhood special education classroom is not available due to a teacher vacancy. However, if it is determined that your child requires this educational environment, Central School District will work to find an alternate educational placement so that appropriate services and support can be provided. Also, our tuition-based early childhood blended classroom is full for the 2023-24 school year.

Please contact the Central District 51 Special Education Office with any questions at 309-444-3943, ext. 2411.

Current 2023-2024 Screening Dates

  • Fall Screening -October 19, 2023.

  • Spring Screening-March 14, 2024. Click HERE to sign up!

  • Students must reside within Central School District 51.


Early Childhood Hours and Fees

  • Early Childhood follows the Central District 51 Calendar with the exception of the start and end date.

    • Early Childhood begins on August 21, 2023 and ends on May 17, 2024.

    • Monday through Friday 

    • AM Session is 8:30 to 11:00 am

    • PM Session is 12:00 to 2:30 pm

    • Transportation is provided.

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

  • Blended Early Childhood Students: $15 per day approximately $2,460.00 per year. Payment information will be sent out in September.

  • Employees of the school district are allowed to enroll their children in the early childhood blended program regardless of Central 51 district residency.