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April 1st - Early Childhood Family Resource Fair

Gather information from 40+ local organizations supporting children birth to five and families!...More Details

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At TYKES Douglas County, we believe every child deserves to thrive by five and beyond. Our online resource hub gives parents the information, inspiration and interactions they need to raise healthy, resilient children ready to succeed in school and in life.

Because Every Child Deserves To Thrive By Five and Beyond

Building a community of parents

Together with parents, caregivers and early childhood professionals, we’re building a trusted online community fueled by help, hope and health for young families and their children.

Connecting parents, caregivers and professionals

We connect the dots between parents, caregivers and early childhood professionals so they can access and share the information, inspiration and interactions to raise healthy, resilient children in Douglas County and beyond.

Sharing resources to help every day

Our curated resources, stories and tips are arranged by developmental stages and interest areas parents and caregivers of all backgrounds need to help their families everyday. Our content and communications are created to engage parents and caregivers with fresh thinking, inspired interactions and new ways of supporting their children and families to thrive.

10 Values That Guide Our Work

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We are more impactful and innovative when we work together.

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Everyone deserves to be met with encouragement, empathy and grace.

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A family is made up of those we choose to include in our trusted inner circle.

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Learning begins at birth and continues through life.

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We strive to create an environment in which all feel welcomed, respected and valued.

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We are more productive, creative and fulfilled when we find, feel and share joy.

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Life Balance

We must care for ourselves before we can care for others.

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Lived Experience

We all have stories to tell and wisdom to share.

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Open, honest communication builds trust and healthy relationships.

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Adversity, while difficult, is an opportunity to build strength and understanding.

The Early Childhood Community Center

The Early Childhood Community Center (ECCC) is a cross-sector collaboration that builds on the existing child care and education environment in Douglas County to better meet the needs of our community, bringing early childhood supports and services together in one place. Currently housed in the Kennedy building, the ECCC increases coordination among parents, caregivers and child care professionals to support families seeking to create a comprehensive care and education plan to meet their child’s unique needs.

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Support TYKES

TYKES thrives with your support — whether you’re contributing content, supporting events or making a donation. Together, we can make sure that all children and families have the resources, connections and information they need to thrive.

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Get in touch with us

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Kim polson

Kim Polson

Executive Director, Community Children's Center

Kim brings us a wealth of experience in administering community programs. She collaborates closely with the hub team, using quantitative and qualitative data to inform decision-making and strategic direction for TYKES and all Community Children’s Center efforts. She also cultivates relationships to encourage hub engagement from community partners. Kim has been involved in nonprofit administration in Douglas County for over 11 years including the areas of project management, grant administration, and educational programming. Kim earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Kansas and her bachelor’s degree in English from Kansas State University. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, pets, and plenty of music.

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Erin Lawrence headshot

Erin Lawrence

Community Engagement Coordinator

Erin leads our efforts in content curation and creation, social media management, and online resource selection. She also coordinates volunteer recruitment and engagement for all Community Children’s Center initiatives. Previously, Erin served as a grant-funded Kindergarten Ambassador, helping ease the transition of our students into the Lawrence Public Schools. She is a self-employed Baby Sing and Sign instructor and spent a decade as a licensed early childhood special education teacher in Overland Park, DeSoto, and Lawrence. Fluent in sign language, Erin holds a master’s degree in early childhood education and a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology from the University of Kansas. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen and with her family, friends, and pets.

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Marie Taylor Headshot

Marie Taylor

Director, Early Childhood Professional Support Network

Marie develops resources and opportunities that support early childhood educators in creating high-quality programs. She also coordinates a peer support network. Previously leading early childhood education in the Lawrence Public Schools and in Kansas City, Marie is a licensed early childhood special education teacher and school administrator. In addition to being an experienced instructional coach, Marie is a certified Trauma Smart facilitator with extensive collaborative experience in racial equity efforts, indigenous shared-learning initiatives, and service to low-income families who speak a first language other than English. She holds master’s degrees in educational administration and early childhood special education, as well as a bachelor’s degree in human development, from the University of Kansas. Marie spends her spare time in the Rockies and on the water with her family.

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Will Averill

Will Averill

Director of Communications and Development

Will Averill has worked in and around local nonprofits for more than a decade, with the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, The Willow Domestic Violence Center, and Community Children's Center. Will is also a writer of several published plays for middle school audiences. He has a wonderful son, and an amazing life partner.

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Chelsea Harrington

Chelsea Harrington

Family Resource Center Coordinator

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