High quality inclusive preschool education since 1995
Coastal Kids Preschool opened in 1995 as a collaborative effort with Lincoln County Children’s Services, to address an urgent need to serve preschool children with special needs and to make preschool education accessible to every Lincoln County child, regardless of income. Research at that time showed that nearly half of the children entering kindergarten in School Union 74 (now AOS 93) came without the benefit of preschool; these included many children from low-income families whose incomes did not meet strict Head Start guidelines.
For its first three years, Coastal Kids was funded with a combination of grants and funds from Union 74 and Child Development Services; Union 74 intended to incorporate Coastal Kids as part of its public school program. Due to budget cuts, however, this did not happen – and so Coastal Kids has been an operationally independent, mission-driven nonprofit preschool since 1998.
Following some early moves as space needs and property availability changed, Coastal Kids put down roots at 12 Jackie’s Trail, Damariscotta, in 2006 – but the property required extensive renovations to meet state licensing and fire codes. A capital campaign funded the school’s state-of-the-art classroom addition – truly the heart of our current facility. The new building opened its doors in 2012.
Over 1,000 preschool students have attended Coastal Kids since its start in 1995. We continue to operate with the help of multiple partnerships over the years, including School Union 74 (now AOS 93), Child Development Services, Healthy Kids, the Center for Community Inclusion at the University of Maine, Genesis Community Loan Fund, Bath Savings Institution, USDA Rural Development, our local business sponsors, and many generous individuals – all committed to sustaining our mission of providing nurturing, engaging, inclusive, and developmentally appropriate education for preschool children of all incomes and abilities.