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Head Start reimagined

Photo Credit: Courtesy IELP

Hoping to start the new year off on the right foot, the Southern Colorado Community Action Agency (SOCOCAA) will be opening the new Ignacio Early Learning Program (IELP) in early 2019. This will be a new fee-based program that offers pre-school and toddler classes.          The new program is “a somewhat seamless transition for the kids,” Program Director Melanie Brunson stated. The early learning program will be moving into a new facility that is owned by the Ignacio School District. “There’s a partnership here, the school owns the building, but we’re renting the space and making it our own,” Head Start principal, Shar Shank explained. “They are going to be doing some remodeling and hopefully be open in January,” said Ignacio School District Superintendent, Rocco Fuschetto.

While the school is in this transition, “It’s going to be hard for families, but if they need help they can come to the staff and we can help,” SOCOCAA Executive Director, Eileen Wasserbach stated.

The school is going to be providing child care and early education services by a staff of six, year-round, for a total of 48 kids each day. “We do know that there will remain a lack of service in the community,” Wasserbach stated. “But we will accept all, if availability allows.”

The children will be taught by using a creative curriculum and the Teaching Strategies GOLD that will focus on children’s direction of study, their curiosity and cognitive learning. “Through these powerful teaching tools, we can help students,” Wasserbach said. “We will be state licensed as one of two child care providers in the region, families can rely on that.”

The daily tuition rates for preschool aged kids will be $36 and the toddler rates will run $38 per day. “We currently have slots available and families can find the application on the SOCOCAA website,” Brunson encouraged.

“I believe that early education has always been an integral part of education — hopefully it (IELP) expands to the same numbers as before and maybe even more” Fuschetto said.

Throughout the moving, rebranding and kickoff of this new program, staff members have been keeping up the moral and “we’re excited to get the doors open,” emphasized Brunson.



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