By Lisa Hennen, Early Childhood Coordinator
Quality preschool helps prepare young children for Minnesota’s all day, every day kindergarten. Preschool provides a chance for students to become comfortable in a classroom environment, develop their social – emotional skills among same age peers, and engage in learning through play-based experiences and activities.
Traditionally most preschool programs have been half-day programs; however, with Kimball being a rural community, it can be difficult for working parents to access half-day preschool programs. For this reason, Kimball’s Preschool program has offered an Enrichment Program, which is 4 Star Parent Aware Rated and provides high-quality education and care to children when they are not attending preschool. Each year, enrollment in the Enrichment program has steadily increased; with more than 60 percent of families, this year, combining a Preschool class and the Enrichment Program to create a full day option for their child.
In addition to the increasing demand for full-day options, the preschool program has reviewed research on early learning program planning, and has implemented changes to align with the State of Minnesota’s voluntary pre-kindergarten guidelines. One of our program’s goals has been to offer a more consistent preschool experience for all 4 – 5 year olds, minimizing transitions for students needing all-day experiences, and maximizing time for learning opportunities.
This upcoming year, families will be able to register for two full days of preschool, at the same rate as the preschool and enrichment program combined last year. Families needing additional education and care will still be able to enroll in our Enrichment program for additional days. As always, the Kimball Preschool program tuition is based on a sliding fee scale and has early learning scholarships available. We want everyone to have an equal opportunity to engage in early learning experiences.
Registration for Preschool will begin Thursday, Feb. 7, with Preschool Registration Night (6-7:30 p.m. at the Elementary School). Parents can download a registration form prior to registration night, to review class options, at http://www.kimball.k12.mn.us/play-learn-preschool, or contact the early childhood office with any questions: (320) 398-7700 ext. 2802, or firstname.lastname@example.org.