From the Executive Director:
Dear CKP Community!
We welcome Spring as it edges its way forward with increasing sunlight; sinks back on occasion with a pummeling of snow; and proceeds once more, confident with telltale signs of growth, large and small. At Coastal Kids Preschool, you might say the same patterns take place: After enduring the ebb and flow of Covid-19, staffing challenges, and the natural obstacles of a long winter, CKP’s light continues to shine and grow. At this time, we have 91 children enrolled, with 79 families on the waiting list.
As you may know, fully one third of our 78 full-time licensed slots are allocated for children with identified special needs. In addition to the quality care and education we provide, recently we were able to document that, over the past seven school years, out of 73 special needs children who required 1:1 support services, 64 progressed to where 1:1 assistance was reduced or minimized upon transitioning to kindergarten. That’s real change! Here’s one success story of many:
“Coastal Kids Preschool has made an incredible impact on our 3-year-old daughter. She is on the autism spectrum, so eye contact was nonexistent, and she could barely speak. Coastal Kids always welcomed her with open arms and open minds. We noticed changes in her immediately! This school’s highly trained staff and wonderful children gave my daughter such happiness and fulfillment. Over time our daughter learned to speak and share and have meaningful interactions with teachers and fellow students alike. Coastal Kids has helped give us the tools to unlock an overwhelmed little girl into a child who is more capable, happy, and loving. Words do not begin to express the gratitude we have for this dedicated program. Coastal Kids gave us back our little girl!” — current CKP parent
Childcare is essential – not only for students but for working parents in our community. Still, in the best of times, Coastal Kids’ program requires $300,000 in donations and grants each year. In fact, tuition revenue covers just 70% of the school’s operating costs – largely due to NAEYC and state-mandated staffing ratios, which are the touchstone of our quality care. So, I’m hard at work grant writing for Coastal Kids and working closely with our Development Committee, State and community resources to ensure sustainability. In the meantime, please keep an eye out for our Spring Appeal, which should reach you in May.
Please contact me with questions or suggestions – as always, my door is open.
Caer Hallundbaek EdD
The Blue and Gray Dolphins (ages 4-5) are busy learning about Spring changes, doing egg experiments, and getting ready for Pre-K graduation. Students have been writing their names, learning their letters and letter sounds, and having fun counting. The Dolphin classrooms recently celebrated Dr. Suess’s Birthday by creating colorful hot air balloon art projects that told of the places they would go! The classrooms are filled with sounds of stories being read, art projects being created, and laughter. Their teachers are most proud of the friendships they have built and the gains they have made learning numbers, letters, and shapes. Our Dolphin students are busy preparing for their Kindergarten adventure in the fall!
STARFISH AND PUFFINS
The Starfish and Puffins (ages 3-4) love sledding on our playground and making snow pies for teachers to eat! These classrooms have a particular focus on social emotional development working on building positive relationships. The teachers are especially proud of how much their students have learned this school year. They enjoy watching them recreate circle time lessons and science experiments during their free play time. The springtime themes and activities will include learning about our 5 senses, the water cycle, signs of spring, and having lots of fun dancing. When asked the students most love the shaving cream art projects!
PERIWINKLES AND MINNOWS
The Periwinkles (ages 1.5 – 2) and Minnows (ages 2-3) are learning all about rainbows, signs of Spring, and their 5 senses. Springtime is a wonderful time to explore the world through our 5 senses. Our youngest students are feeling different textures, looking at the world through color glasses and prisms, and smelling springtime flowers! The Periwinkles and Minnows are excited for the warmer weather and the opportunity to be outside longer without putting on all the winter gear. When asked the students are most excited to make mud outside! The teachers are proud of the bonds of friendship they have created this school year.
We are proud to hold accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and to be a Maine Roads to Quality (MRTQ) Level 4 program – the highest designation offered by the state’s early career and education professional development network.
Research has shown that quality education reduces crime and delinquency, teen pregnancy, and drop-out rates. Quality early education leads to greater college admission, employment, and higher wages asadults, as well as more stability in family life!