Coastal Kids Preschool provides high quality, developmentally appropriate preschool, after school, and summer camp programs for students from 18 months to 7 years old. We encourage children’s creativity, kindness, and learning through an active and inclusive program of play and discovery. We are proud to be one of the only preschool programs in our region 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 care and education professional development network.
Research shows that early education is a key predictor of future success (Heckman, 2017). At Coastal Kids, we see our students learn and grow every day! Students learn to share toys on the playground. Students learn to grow and tend gardens. Students learn strategies for handling challenges. Through our ongoing partnerships with FARMS at the Y and MaineHealth’s 5210 Let’s Go!, our students learn to cook and enjoy healthy, locally sourced foods. Students learn to be curious, to show empathy and kindness to others, to be confident and creative, and to love learning.
Coastal Kids is the only NAEYC accredited, MRTQ Level 4 program in our region, and is the program best suited to serve children with moderate to severe disabilities within an inclusive, developmentally appropriate environment. We work directly with Child Development Services (CDS) and other providers to deliver specialized services such as speech and language, physical and occupational therapy, and one-on-one instruction. We help families navigate early educational testing, individualized education programs (IEPs), support services, and public school placements. Our skilled teaching staff also provides extended care hours to support working families.
Despite its 25-year history of strengths and successes, Coastal Kids Preschool faces significant challenges related to facilities and funding. We need infrastructure – updated facilities and outdoor equipment, a fully accessible and adaptive playground, better storage, more classrooms, and dedicated space for therapy sessions. We also need funding – specialized staffing, continuing education for our teachers, need-based tuition support for families who qualify, and resources that will allow our program to serve more children. Student tuition covers only 70% of our annual operating costs.
It is critical that policymakers, business leaders, and the public act to provide access to high quality, developmentally appropriate and inclusive preschool programming for all children, thereby readying them for their future personal and academic endeavors. Investing in early childhood education at Coastal Kids Preschool will bolster access to quality childcare and will have a positive, lasting impact on midcoast Maine’s children and working families.
Heckman, James J. “There’s more to gain by taking a comprehensive approach to early childhood development.” (2017) Retrieved from https://heckmanequation.org/www/assets/2017/01/ F_Heckman_CBAOnePager_120516.pdf.