Tiger Talk: Early Childhood Education: what we're up to | Pineandlakes.com - Pineandlakes Echo Journal

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Tiger Talk: Early Childhood Education: what we're up to

Posted: January 28, 2014 - 5:53pm

As we ring in the new year, the Pine River-Backus Early Childhood program has exciting new programming to offer PR-B families.

This fall our school was awarded an Early Learning Pathways II Scholarship, which was allocated by the Minnesota Department of Education with money appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature. This money was awarded to eligible early childhood programs that are Four-Star Parent Aware rated programs.

PR-B School Readiness program is rated with the highest Four-Star rating. Parent Aware states that star-rated programs go above and beyond licensing requirements to support school readiness. By voluntarily becoming rated, a program shows it cares enough about early learning to use the best practices and proven approaches.

The purpose of the Early Learning Scholarships Program is to increase access to high-quality early childhood programs, such as PR-B School Readiness, for children with the highest need, prior to kindergarten, improving school readiness of all young children.

Here at PR-B the funding is being utilized to expand access to School Readiness programming in three ways. The first is to offer scholarships for tuition to eligible families to reduce the cost of attending School Readiness programming. 

The second way services are being enhanced is to offer two weeks of August summer school for 3- and 4-year-old students. This will offer students an opportunity to receive additional instruction from licensed, early childhood teachers and aid in the child’s transition to school.

Finally, beginning in January, PR-B Early Childhood began offering Tiger Cubs Preschool on Wheels. This new program is a home visiting program with two components. One is to collaborate with local daycare providers to offer preschool programming to children in daycare who may not be attending school readiness.

A licensed educator can come out to the daycare approximately twice a month to offer a circle time, story, craft activity and music. This program is not intended to replace the need for attending school readiness, but rather enhance and enrich what the child may be receiving through daycare.

The second component of the home visiting program is to offer families support through an individualized experience in their home. Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher! Tiger Cubs Preschool on Wheels is created to support parents in their role as teacher. We offer fun activities and information that support a child’s development and readiness for kindergarten.

For parents, we offer support and education because parenting can be a tough job!

Our goal is to provide every child in the PR-B School District access to a school readiness experience. As our understanding of child development grows, we are learning how critical and important this time during early childhood is for building a strong foundation for later learning.

Thank you to our community, service agencies, childcare providers and parents for your commitment in building a strong future for our youngest community members.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about scholarships, School Readiness programming, Tiger Cubs Preschool on Wheels home visiting program or preschool screening, call 218-587-8323. We look forward to hearing from you.

The next date for preschool screening is March 31. Please call 218-587-8323 to schedule an appointment.

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