In response to the needs of families in its community, and to better prepare all students for future success, Monomoy Regional School District will be expanding the early childhood education opportunities at both of its elementary schools.
In its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, developed and released last year, MRSD committed to supporting early childhood education with an initiative guiding the district to “explore partnering with a community organization to make use of available classroom spaces in our elementary schools with a focus on expanding preschool experiences, specifically for families for whom preschool may not have been otherwise accessible.”
Recent input from families has driven home the need for additional infant, toddler, and preschool options in our community. Monomoy has reviewed available space and opted to use some open classrooms to offer more early childhood opportunities to families at Chatham Elementary School and Harwich Elementary School.
“Research has clearly shown that high-quality early childhood programming yields lasting positive results for children and families,” says Dr. Scott Carpenter, Monomoy Superintendent. “We hope that creating additional affordable early childhood offerings will ease the strain on the young families in our district, including our own employees. Many communities are concerned about the declining numbers of young families in our region, and we are proud to collaborate with community partners on this one small step to help counteract that.”
At Chatham Elementary School, Monomoy will partner with the Community Development Institute Head Start program to offer additional preschool coverage in one available classroom. The CDI Head Start program will offer access to lower income families while providing high-quality early education program that includes education, nutrition, medical, dental, mental health, and family education services. The program will offer full-day preschool, following the school calendar, with free transportation provided to and from preschool. To apply for this program, call (508) 355-3136 or stop by their Main Office at CDI Head Start, 251 E. Stevens Street, Hyannis. Caregivers will need to provide proof of the preschooler’s age. Information regarding the family’s current income and prior 12 month’s income or proof of participation in the Temporary and Needy Families (TANF) program or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs is also required. Families should apply prior to August 2, 2019. Classes are scheduled to begin the week of September 3, 2019.
At Harwich Elementary School, Monomoy will partner with YMCA Cape Cod to offer infant/toddler and preschool options in two available classroom spaces. These programs will run full day, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and full year, including being open during school vacation weeks, during the summer, and many holidays. YMCA Cape Cod has extensive experience in early childhood education programming, and has established similar programs in the area, including those at Brewster’s Stony Brook Elementary School and Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich. YMCA Cape Cod accepts local and state vouchers and has scholarships available to ensure that no one is turned away from early childhood care because of inability to pay. The YMCA plans to host an Open House in August and open the Early Education Center in September, with specific dates to be announced soon. For more information, contact Stacie Peugh, President & CEO, YMCA Cape Cod, at [email protected] or (774) 251-5101.
“While the economic pressures on year-round residents in our region are likely to continue, including insufficient affordable housing, our district is proactively taking steps to ease the pressures related to childcare for families, in order to make Harwich and Chatham viable options for young families,” says Carpenter.
Monomoy currently offers an integrated preschool program at Chatham Elementary School, and an integrated preschool program as well as the Make Way For Kids preschool program at Harwich Elementary School. The new programming offered by the community partners will be in addition to the existing programs, and in some cases families may be able to participate in multiple programs.