The Nampa Early Childhood Learning Center (NECLC) is a developmental preschool serving about 180 students. Most of the children enrolled in the program are eligible for special education services. Now, with a Preschool the Idaho Way planning grant, NECLC will start expanding its capacity with plans to eventually serve all interested families in the Nampa School District. The immediate goal is to add a class of 3- and 4-year-olds for the upcoming school year.
In West Bonner County, Storybook Cottage LLC – the nonprofit arm of Priest River-based Children’s Learning World LLC – plans to partner with Lee Pesky Learning Center, Parents as Teachers, local libraries, school districts and businesses to offer free preschool for 4-year-olds in the area.
“We have had a lot of support, and the more the community sees that we offer a real quality program, we will be receiving even more support!” said Tana Vanderholm of Storybook Cottage.
Since 2015, a Kuna collaborative called Get Ready to Learn has focused on supporting and empowering parents, leveraging the community and working with local early learning programs to prepare more children for school. Now, with a planning grant from Idaho AEYC and guidance from the Preschool the Idaho Way toolkit, Get Ready to Learn and its community partners plan to identify the number of Kuna children not enrolled in preschool and learn more about the barriers families face.
While at a brainstorming session about early learning resources in the Nampa School District this afternoon, Idaho AEYC’s Preschool the Idaho Way Collaborative Director Erika Lewis sat down with Ben Kincheloe, principal of the Nampa Early Childhood Center. The developmental preschool currently serves about 180 students in six classrooms at a single location, but it has plans to expand its pre-K options to even more students. Here’s what Kincheloe had to say during a quick Q&A.