LEWISTON — The YWCA of Central Maine is now accepting enrollments for their half-day prekindergarten program for ages 4 and 5. The program consists of four mornings or afternoons at $80 each week. For children who need an additional day of care when the Lewiston school prekindergarten programs are closed on Fridays, the YWCA offers full-day care from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for an additional $20 each week.

“This program is in addition to our other full- and part-time full-day prekindergarten options,” said Jen Albert, child care director. “We knew many working parents who had children enrolled in the half-day prekindergarten programs in the Lewiston school system were looking for options for child care for the other half of the day and on Fridays. We piloted a successful half-day program last year with the Farwell School and knew we could meet this need within the community.”

The Lewiston school system will bus children to and from the YWCA and their designated prekindergarten in the school system. Breakfast and snacks will be provided daily at no additional charge. An outside play time is built into the daily schedule and playground equipment is specific to the interests and safety of the children.

Structured swim time is also built into the curriculum each week at no additional charge. Swim lessons are available during program hours at a discounted rate. Lessons are taught by certified instructors and a certified lifeguard is on deck at all times.

Toni Coolidge, lead teacher for the half-day prekindergarten program, graduated from Central Maine Community College with an associate degree in early childhood education and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral sciences at the University of Southern Maine.

Coolidge volunteered for many years as a cheering coach and is a coach for Girls on the Run of Western Maine. Coolidge spent four months interning at Sandcastle Preschool helping children with special needs. She has also served as an assistant teacher and summer camp counselor at the YWCA of Central Maine. Coolidge enjoys working with young children and has a special interest in working with children with special needs.

“During my internship and classroom work I learned many skills and techniques to adapt a classroom to fit all different developmental levels and abilities,” said Coolidge.

Enrichment programs are offered during program hours and non-program hours. The programs consist of art, pottery, theater, science discovery, foreign language, sign language, fitness and sports, financial literacy, nature exploration, music, diversity education and computers. Many of the programs will be offered at a minimal charge through collaboration with Fiddlehead Center.

To request more information or a registration packet for the half-day prekindergarten program, call Jen Albert, child care director, at 795-4050.

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