Local parents who are interested in learning more about educational opportunities for their young children can get that information in one place on Saturday, March 23.
For the first time ever, a Fayette County Preschool Open House will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at Crossroads Christian Church — 175 Halliday Way — in Washington Court House. Early childhood professionals and other staff from area preschools will offer information about their programs, including eligibility requirements, days and hours of operation, rates, ratios, curriculum and more. This family-friendly event will also include free food, cookies, drinks, face painting, raffles, games and balloons. This event is free, and no pre-registration is required.
The open house is a project of the preschool subcommittee of Children Offered Resources Early (CORE). CORE is a group of professionals and parents that meets six times a year to discuss issues and plan programs for families of children from prenatal to age 5, and is a subcommittee of Fayette County Family and Children First.
According to data provided by Groundwork Ohio — a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization — only 40 percent of children come to kindergarten ready to learn, but high-quality programs that reach 0-5 year-olds can improve school readiness and lifelong success.
Sharon Gibbs, Help Me Grow program director, said the need for a preschool committee was identified during meetings for CORE. By hosting the open house in the spring, area educators are hoping to provide parents with information about the necessary documents and other requirements to enroll in school, such as immunizations so that children are able to start at the beginning of the school year.
“The road to preschool can be confusing for many parents,” Gibbs said. “We were finding that many children who are eligible for preschool aren’t getting in at the start of the school year because unlike primary education, parents aren’t sure when they are supposed to enroll their children.”
“Fayette County is host to several quality preschool programs ready to serve our community’s littlest learners and prepare them for kindergarten,” Elizabeth Liston, preschool committee member said. “But sometimes the path to get there can be confusing and overwhelming for parents. We are very excited because this is the first time that every preschool in Fayette County will be under one roof at the same time so that parents can get information about all of their possible choices.”
Other committee members echoed her excitement.
“I love doing this for our community,” said Megan Anderson of Fayette County Board of DD. Sylvia Call, also with Fayette Board of DD, said, “I think this is such a wonderful way to reach out to families!”
All Fayette County preschools will be represented. Participants include Cherry Hill Primary (Washington City Schools), Grace Preschool & Childcare, Fayette County Early Learning Center, Fayette Christian Preschool, Fayette Progressive Preschool, Miami Trace Preschool, YMCA Kid’s World of Learning, and Itinerant Services. There will also be information about services for children ages prenatal through age 3, including Help Me Grow, Early Intervention and Early Head Start.
The information in this article was provided by Melissa Smith Help Me Grow Home Visitor and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Public Information Officer with Fayette County Public Health.