What is SEEDS?

SEEDS is an educational model based on the idea that school readiness is more than just memorizing letters and learning their sounds.  It’s about the interactions that develop between  children and adults.

When those relationships are nurtured and supported during the earliest years of a child’s life, the seeds of learning are sown and school readiness ensured. 

In addition to the relationship-based training, coaches, parents, teachers, and childcare providers receive explicit instruction about monitoring the progress of the children in their care. The data collection methods taught in SEEDS ensures that teachers are able to tailor their interactions with the children based on the child's developmental stages. 



As a first grade teacher and early childhood family education teacher for children (from birth to 5) and their parents, Kate has spent countless hours observing adult/child interactions.


She also directed an Adolescent Parent High School Program where she realized that young parents who understood the 5 basic concepts of  Sensitivity, Encouragement,Education, Development through Doing, and the power of positive Self Image could be successful in their relationships with their children.

Kate Horst


What is SEEDS and what does it stand for?

SEEDS of Learning uses the mnemonic "SEEDS" as a map to help adults intentionally demonstrate the following behaviors in their daily interactions with children:


»  Sensitivity - Look, listen, and ask questions to become aware of individual needs, thoughts, abilities and feelings.

»  Encouragement - Use intentional affirmations and positive non-verbal communication to create a shared positive learning environment.

» Education - Embed the “Big 5” literacy skills in daily routines


» Development through Doing - Help children explore their world through hands-on learning


» Self-Image Support - Balance the SEEDS quality interactions to support a child’s feeling of being respected and capable.

Who are the SEEDS models for?

The SEEDS of Learning frameworks are for parents, caregivers, and teachers of children birth to age 8.


There are five SEEDS of Learning frameworks:

»  Caregivers of Infants and Toddlers

»  Family-based Childcare Providers

»  Preschool programs serving children ages 3 to 5

»  Parents

»  Coaches


SEEDS is offered in English and Spanish; some elements of the training are available in Somali and Vietnamese.

How much does it cost to take SEEDS of School Readiness trainings?

Cost will vary based on the program and needs. For information on this please contact Kate Horst at khorst10@msn.com or 651-270-7565.

Where can I attend SEEDS of Learning trainings?

SEEDS trainings are currently offered in Minnesota and California and can be arranged by contacting Kate Horst at khorst10@msn.com or 651-270-7565.

Do I get credits for taking SEEDS?

Yes.  Credits are available through Metropolitan State University Experiential Learning Assessment Program

Does SEEDS of School Readiness really work for teachers, parents and children?

YES! — In Santa Cruz County, Calif., many preschool classrooms throughout the county are taught by teachers who have received SEEDS training. Results show that children benefit when teachers enhance their skills to promote early literacy and when they use child assessment data to tailor their instruction with children.  Children in these SEEDS-trained classrooms increased their skills on 3 key predictors of later reading success (picture naming, rhyming, and alliteration), doubling the number of children on target for later reading success.


Theory & Research

Beginning Literacy with Language

David Dickinson and Patton Tabors, 2001


Dickenson and Patton's research shows the relationship between critical, early interactions and children's kindergarten language and literacy skills

Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print

Marilyn Jager Adams, 1990


This book considers how to integrate the phonics and whole language approaches

Classroom Assessment for Learning

Jan Chappuis and Rick Stiggins, 2002


This research shows that student learning can be improved when incorporating student-involved classroom assessment

Eager to Learn

Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy, National Research Council, Barbara T. Bowman and M. Suzanne Donovan, 2000


This book synthesizes the newest research findings on how young children learn and presents a clear path toward improving this important stage of life for all children.

The Importance of Being Playful

Elena Bodrova & Deborah Leong, 2003 

Learning To Read And Write

Susan B. Neuman, Carol Copple, Sue Bredekamp, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), 2000

Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children

Todd R. Risley and Betty Hart, 1995 


In the preface to the 2002 edition of Meaningful Differences, Hart and Risley note that "the most important aspect to evaluate in child care settings for very young children is the amount of talk actually going on, moment by moment, between children and their caregivers." The authors argue that by giving children positive interactions and experiences with adults who take the time to teach vocabulary, oral language concepts, and emergent literacy concepts, children should have a better chance to succeed at school.

Transforming Literacy Practices in Preschool

Lea McGee, 2007

When preschool children receive high-quality literacy instruction, it benefits their emotional and cognitive development enormously. In this research-based, yet practical resource, McGee shares five guidelines that can help transform preschool programs into programs that offer high-quality literacy instruction.

© 2017 SEEDS of Learning LLC

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