Great Beginnings Early Childhood Education Center

The Opportunity

Great Beginnings is an early childhood education center, a special needs preschool program, and a Parents as Teachers program hub in Lee's Summit, MO, serving 229 children. Before Great Beginnings opened, early childhood education in Lee’s Summit had been delivered at two buildings. The buildings, on either side of town, were both in disrepair, and a number of developmental therapy services were not offered at either location. A new building was created to replace the other two and incorporate new services to better serve the community and the students.

Innovations and Improvements

Build Positive Relationships

  • Great Beginnings staff use Conscious Discipline principles, a classroom management program, and a social-emotional curriculum.
  • Parents as Teachers staff conduct home visits to coach parents on becoming more “educational” at home.
  • Great Beginnings hosts frequent parent engagement programming and trainings.

Create Diverse Spaces and Activities

  • From the playground to the library to therapy areas, Great Beginnings features a wide variety of spaces.

Enhance Accessibility and Inclusion

  • The playground was designed to be universally accessible.
  • Transportation is provided for all children.


  • Great Beginnings utilizes Head Start and Title I funds to provide early education services.

The Impact

With 34,200 square feet, the new Great Beginnings facility doubled the amount of space previously available for early childhood education. There are 12 classrooms for the physically- and developmentally-delayed children in the early childhood program. The building provides diverse, enriching, and collaborative spaces for children and caregivers.

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