Kearsarge Schools extend pre-school program to Bradford

Published: 11/24/2022 11:00:23 am

Modified: 11/24/2022 11:00:13 AM

Kearsarge Regional School District is expanding its preschool program to Bradford next year to meet growing demand for early childhood education.

The district plans to purchase a modular building to be constructed on the Kearsarge Regional Elementary School campus in Bradford to house a new preschool program. The building will be erected off-site and delivered to Bradford in the spring with the aim of being operational in time for the 2023-2024 school year. Inside, the building will have two classrooms, a teacher’s workstation, a movement playroom, a speaking room, a staff area and bathrooms. Outside there will be a fenced playground. The district is using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Assistance (ESSER) funds to purchase the premises.

The new building will effectively double Kearsarge’s preschool programme, which currently consists only of the James House Preschool in New London, which operates on the SAU65 site. The new expanded program will include both campuses and will be renamed Kearsarge Regional Preschool (KRPS) in New London and Bradford.

“The pre-school offers children all the prerequisites to be socially and academically prepared for kindergarten and offers them the best chance of success on their educational path,” says Superintendent Winfried Feneberg.

The expansion is an attempt to meet the growing need for early childhood education in New Hampshire, where staffing shortages leave many preschools and daycares severely understaffed and long student waiting lists.

“We have been discussing for several years expanding preschool services to the southern level of our district to provide early learning opportunities to more of our preschool community members,” said Nikki Robertson, Associate Director of Student Support Services for Preschool and KRES in Bradford. “With the only location in New London, it was a challenge for families in Bradford, Warner and Newbury to enroll in a part-day program that was far from their community.”

Next year, Bradford’s two new pre-school classes will each offer a morning program for 3-year-olds and an afternoon program for 4-year-olds, led by two teachers and two para-professionals. The Bradford site is expected to have 12 to 15 vacancies for students of all ages. Children living in Bradford, Newbury, South Sutton and Warner are eligible to attend the Bradford site, while children living in New London, Springfield, North Sutton or Wilmot will continue to attend the New London site.

Any child in the Kearsarge Regional School District who turns 3 or 4 years old by September 30, 2023 is eligible to apply to the Kearsarge Regional Preschool Program. Tuition is $115 per month for 3-year-olds attending two days a week and $165 per month for 3-year-olds attending four days a week and $245 per month for 4-year-olds attending participating four days a week.

Applications will be accepted from January 1st and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.