This fall, local families will have another option when choosing a location for their child to attend preschool.
Child Care Network is adding a new preschool site at Cortland Elementary School.
Kate Garrity, executive director of Child Care Network, said preschool classrooms based in public school buildings are popular with families, and there was an interest in having one at Cortland.
“Conversations were started with Cortland a few months ago as we look to the possibility of Redding no longer having room for a preschool,” she said.
Seymour-Redding Elementary School has continued to see steady enrollment growth in kindergarten through fifth grade classes, which has forced the preschool program to have to take up residence in a trailer staged outside on school property.
“(Cortland) Principal Lori Lister was very interested, and we soon began hearing from Cortland staff members and other parents that they would be interested in enrolling their children if a preschool were to open at Cortland,” Garrity said.
A total of six children already are signed up for Cortland’s new preschool, and Garrity expects to be able to serve between 18 and 20 students there total. Children must be 4 years old by Aug. 1 to be eligible to enroll.
“Preschool gives children the start they need in order to enter and complete kindergarten successfully,” Garrity said. “We are told each year by principals and kindergarten teachers that they can tell which of their students have gone through our program.”
Child Care Network already operates the Kids Klub before- and after-school child care service at Cortland and will be able to use the same room for the new preschool, Garrity said.
Just like Child Care Network’s other preschools, the Cortland preschool will be funded through a combination of tuition payments from families that can afford it and state-funded On My Way Pre-K vouchers for low-income families.
Private pay tuition is $140 a week per student and includes snacks, lunch, supplies and extended care if needed for working parents. Low-income families that qualify for On My Way Pre-K grant funding pay $8 a week.
Besides Redding and soon-to-be Cortland, there are Child Care Network preschools at Emerson Elementary School, Margaret R. Brown Elementary School and Brownstown Elementary School.
The schools provide custodial support by cleaning the preschool classrooms, but everything else, including enrollment, teachers and staff, is provided by Child Care Network.
Enrollment for all of the preschool sites opened April 1, and classrooms are filling up quickly, Garrity said.
“Child Care Network has a great relationship with both the Seymour and Brownstown school corporations,” she said. “The schools work to make our students be part of the school by inviting them to assemblies, participating in field days and other activities. We appreciate the school corporations being so supportive of our programs being housed within their buildings.”
Parents can call the Child Care Network office at 812-524-2585 for information.
“We will send them the link for how to enroll in our online system and how to apply for the On My Way Pre-K funding if they are interested,” Garrity said. “It is exciting to see our programs grow and expand to fit the needs of Jackson County.”
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For information about Child Care Network’s new preschool at Cortland Elementary School, call 812-524-2585.