Peggy Kemp, PhD

Executive Director | Division for Early Childhood


As Executive Director of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC), Peggy Kemp is a recognized leader and tireless advocate devoted to quality services to families of young children with disabilities and the professionals who serve them. She guides DEC’s strategic direction and oversees daily operations.

Before joining DEC, Peggy Kemp served as a guiding force in the Kansas early childhood system for more than 15 years. She has worked in the field of early childhood since 1984 and specifically in the field of early intervention since 1997. Peggy comes to DEC with a variety of experiences at the local, state and national level. Peggy was involved in a variety of early childhood initiatives in Kansas. Examples include serving as a member of the state leadership team for the Kansas State Systemic Improvement plan (SSIP), a member of the original Kansas Early Learning Standards development team, lead team member for the Primary Service Provider Initiative and co-author of the Kansas Early Years online training modules. Peggy most recently served as statewide technical assistance provider for the Kansas early intervention programs through her position at the University of Kansas, Kansas Inservice Training System (KITS). Prior to her time at KITS, Peggy served as Kansas Part C Coordinator, local Part C program director, early intervention teacher and early childhood teacher. Peggy spent the early years of her career within the military childcare system serving in various capacities including teacher, education specialist, assistant director and center director.

Peggy is no stranger to DEC. Prior to accepting the position of ED, Peggy served as an active member of the Kansas subdivision, KDEC, serving on the board since 2001. Peggy served two presidential rotations. Most recently Peggy served as Partner Liaison and Children’s Action Network Coordinator. Peggy has served DEC at the national level through volunteer opportunities to include co-chair of the DEC Conference held in Kansas City in 2010. She has been an active member of the DEC policy council since its inception.

Peggy holds a dual undergraduate degree in elementary and early childhood education with an MS in early childhood special education. Peggy completed her PhD at the University of Kansas working under Drs. Ann & Rudd Turnbull. This experience strengthened her commitment to families and policy. Peggy’s commitment to families is both personal and professional. Her life experiences as a family member of persons with disabilities fuels her passion to support policies that enhance the lives of families. Peggy’s experience has helped her to understand the impact of high quality supports to professionals. Families benefit from competent, informed, connected, and diverse professionals and policy makers. In addition, experience as a family member has taught her the importance of relationship-based services at all levels of our service system, to include, our professional membership organizations. Peggy lives in Kansas with her husband Tim. Peggy and Tim have six children, one daughter-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren. Peggy loves to travel with her family.

Peggy’s earlier experiences have prepared her for her role at DEC. She has experience as a direct service provider as well as a local, state and national leader. She has had the good fortune to hear and learn from the stories of professionals and families. She begins her tenure as Executive Director with great enthusiasm, respect for the DEC members and the work they do in the everyday moments, and most importantly, a passion for enhancing the lives of families through support to the professionals that serve them!

Peggy Kemp
Contact Information
Emailpeggy@dec-sped.org
Phone785.383.4188
Mailing Address40627 K-99 Highway, Wamego, KS 66547