The Kansas Early Learning Standards are structured to align with the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (K-12). These early learning standards are structurally and conceptually different than previous versions. They focus on conceptual knowledge and are moving away from the more familiar skill-based learning. Incorporated into the 2013 standards are higher level thinking strategies such as analyzing, evaluation and interpretation. The eight domains have remained the same as in previous versions, with the individual items or standards now written to describe large concepts that incorporate foundational skills and knowledge. These Early Learning Standards are based upon research indicating that the acquisition of these skills and knowledge promotes school success by providing the foundation for later learning. The Kansas experts that completed the 2013 revision of the Standards believe that these Kansas Early Learning Standards provide insight into what children can do at different ages that lead to later learning in the academic and non-academic areas taught in the more formal school settings of elementary and secondary schools.
The Kansas Early Learning Standards are structured around domains of learning that include a whole child perspective. The connection between the foundational concepts and skills described in the Kansas Early Learning Standards, the School Readiness Framework and the kindergarten through 3rd grade College and Career Ready standards (multiple content areas) is shown below.