The first two YCMA-operated preschools in Simi Valley are scheduled to open in September with half of the available space initially reserved for children of Simi Valley Unified School District employees.
The Simi Valley Family YMCA will lease classroom space at Simi Valley High School for $336 a month. The school board has agreed to pay about $2,000 in expenses to bring a portable classroom building to Royal High School, the other preschool site.
In return for the district's financial help, the YMCA will reserve half of the 30 spaces at each site for children of school district employees until Aug. 15. Thereafter the spaces will be open to the general public from waiting lists. In addition, high school students enrolled in the early childhood development program will be observing and assisting with the program that will begin Sept. 1.
"This is a perfect opportunity for students to see theory and application in action," said Bob Isenberg, the school district director of special projects and assessment. "The high school teachers have pushed for this and wanted this. I think it will have an impact on the school and the students."
YMCA officials said they developed the preschools' curriculum in conjunction with school district officials.
"It's a child development program with all the curriculum rigors," said Jim King, executive director of the Simi Valley Family YMCA.
The program is open to children ages 2 1/2 to 5 who are toilet-trained. Fulltime care up to 10 hours a day, five days a week, will run $365 a month. Half-time care up to five hours, five days a week, will be $220 a month. Both preschool centers will be open weekdays from 6:30 a.m to 6:30 p.m.
The YMCA also operates child-care programs for kindergarten through sixth-grade students at nine other Simi Valley school sites.
The YMCA may be contacted at (805) 583-5338