Incredible Years (IY) Preschool wasn’t even 4 years old last fall but it already had a long waiting list. Now, because of an upcoming expansion, the list will be cut down to size this fall, Director Shari Schneider said.
Sunflower Diversified Services owns and operates IY, located at 1312 Patton Road. The preschool is open to all children.
Open enrollment for both summer and fall programs begins Monday, April 15 for any child age 2-and-a-half to 5. The preschool is currently licensed for 20 to a class and that number will remain the same. However, more classroom days will be offered, Schneider said.
“The 3-and 4-year-olds will be in separate classes,” Schneider explained. “This will result in less overlap and more classroom time.”
The Summer Fun Program will run from June 10 through July 19. The fall term runs from Aug. 19 through Dec. 20. In the fall, older children will attend four half-days a week, and the 3 year olds will be in the classroom three mornings a week.In addition, Schneider stressed that beginning in the fall term, the tuition will be based on income.
“Thanks to the generous annual donations to Sunflower’s Invest in Kids Club, this sliding-fee scale will benefit more families,” the director said. “Our preschool will continue to be affordable for everyone.”
Schneider credits the preschool’s popularity to the professional staff.
“The teachers and therapists here are well trained to educate and support children at all ability levels,” Schneider explained. “We notice developmental needs that affect how a child learns. All children do not start preschool at the same level.
“And all children develop at their own pace, with varying skills,” she elaborated. “We are really good at noticing the differences and promoting the skills necessary to make progress socially, cognitively and creatively.”
Cathy Estes, Sunflower consultant director of Children’s Services, was one of the original organizers that brought IY to life. She and the staff are gratified the preschool has become so popular.
“We have had wonderful feedback from parents and the school system,” Estes said. “Some have even referred to us as the ‘Little Harvard.’ Parents are delighted to have a stepping stone for their child before age 3. We also have a great relationship with Helping Hands Preschool, which refers families to us.”
Estes also noted she is excited about paring down the waiting list.
“We had this huge waiting list and wanted to do what we could to shorten it. We accept toddlers earlier than most preschools and they don’t have to be potty trained,” Estes said, explaining one reason for the long list.
The IY pre-kindergarten program “is exceptional,” Estes continued. “The children are so eager to learn, and, to effectively prepare for kindergarten, they need to be here four days a week. Our kiddos also have individual learning opportunities at their developmental levels.”
For more information, call 620-792-4087.