WURTLAND Interior construction is done and furnishings have been delivered for the new school-based day care center under development here.
However, the projected opening date for the center, called the Mini-Musketeer Academy, has been pushed back to August, Greenup County schools preschool coordinator Melissa Latimer said.
Earlier projections had called for opening early this year, and preparations will be substantially completed by April.
But that would be only a month from the end of the school year, and waiting until August will allow the district to complete the day-care licensing procedure and fine-tune curriculum, policy and procedures, Latimer said. “We want to make sure we’re doing everything exactly right and that’s why we put the brakes on,” she said.
The former fire station between Wurtland Middle School and Wurtland Elementary School has been renovated inside, including new tile floors and ceiling tiles, and fresh paint.
The outside will get a coat of paint when the weather warms up. The building is being fitted with a security system similar to that in schools, including cameras and a buzzer system for visitor entry.
The center includes a 960-square-foot main room, an office and restrooms with child-sized fixtures. The center will serve children breakfast and lunch that will be prepared in the middle school kitchen. The building has a kitchen that Latimer anticipates renovating in the future for on-site meal preparation.
A playground has been fenced in and will be furnished with equipment and a concrete pad for riding tricycles. Playground equipment has been chosen to develop specific gross motor skills, she said.
Classroom furnishings have been chosen to develop math, science and art skills. “We don’t just buy toys. We got play materials that are developmentally appropriate and will get children interested in learning. We will have STEM materials in six learning centers,” she said.
Greenup received a $45,000 state grant to get the center started. Families will pay a fee based on income, with low-income families possibly eligible for state Child Care Assistance Program aid.
The center will fill a gap in Greenup’s early childhood education program, which already offers universal free preschool at leat two days a week for all 4-year-olds and 3-year-olds with disabilities. Also some children are eligible for up to five days a week.
The district also will use the center for early childhood training and support for parents and training for local private day care centers.
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