Schools receive new Pre-K slots
Three child care centers in Rutherford County recently received extra slots for their North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten programs.
The Little Red School, U & I Child Care Center and Choice Care Playschool each received nine new slots for students as a result of an executive order issued by Gov. Bev Perdue in October authorizing the expansion of the NC Pre-K program to serve up to 6,300 additional children by Jan. 1, 2013.
Genie McBride, principal and Head Start director at the Carver Center, says the funds have only been made available to the schools until June 2013.
"We won't have these slots after this year, unless the governor puts them in the budget. The funds are only guaranteed through June 30," McBride said. "However, the children who are enrolled in the program this year will have moved on to kindergarten by then, so it would not impact them."
The North Carolina Pre- Kindergarten Program is a state-funded program designed to prepare at-risk four-year olds in North Carolina for success in school. Gov. Perdue identified $20 million in projected unspent funds from the Department of Health and Human Services to pay for the enrollment slots.
"We still need children for each of these three schools. Any child who turns four before August 31 is eligible. We are looking for new applications," McBride said. "To apply they can call the Carver Center or stop by. We need the child's birth certificate, proof of residency and proof of income for the 2011 tax year. If we could find kids to fill these slots before we go home for Christmas that would be wonderful."
Choice Care Playschool, a five star rated facility, has six of its slots left to fill.
"There are two benefits to this Pre-K program. The first is that by the time they get to kindergarten, they have learned to sit, listen and follow directions so that they are ready to learn. The second benefit is that they learn the basic academics that they will build on once they get to kindergarten," said Beverly Earley, Pre-K teacher. "We are very excited about this new group of students. I am eager to get going with it."
Little Red School, a four-star rated facility, has six of their nine slots still available.
"We are very thrilled that we have been given these extra slots. We have opened up a new classroom, which will be for our new nine. We have three students enrolled so far, so we have six slots available. Parents wishing to enroll their students can pick up applcations here. It is an easy process," said Lori Delfosse, director. "The program is free to families that qualify. We have a licensed teacher in place and we have lots of plans coming up for our classroom."
Delfosse encourages parents to enroll their students because they will benefit from having licensed teachers.
"It is a kindergarten prep program. It gets them ready for school, helps them with social skills, physical develipment and language development. They learn so much from these teachers who have worked do hard to get their degrees. They are very eager to work and teach. The children really benefit from it and it is a good head start."
Brenda Logan, owner of U & I Child Care Center which is also four star rated, says that the center has five of their nine slots filled.
"We are hoping to open the new classroom on Thursday. We already have five kids, and we are still taking applications for the four slots that are left. It is a good program because they do have a licensed teacher with a four year degree who will get them ready before kindergarten," Logan said. "They will work on reading and writing and take them on field trips. The teachers will do a lot of extra stuff with the students that other daycare centers can't do because they don't have the classes specifically for four-year-olds. They will be ready for school because of this program."
For more information about how you can enroll your child in the Pre-Kindergarten program, you can call the Carver Center at 828-286-3901.