Work will begin soon on the new pre-school in the Bay-Waveland area.
The groundwork is set for a major project near Waveland Elementary School. Several organizations and local businesses are funding a $1.2 million dollar, 5,000 square foot day care center.
The center will accomodate children from birth to kindergarten age.
Bay-Waveland School Superintendent Kim Stasny was there for the ground breaking ceremony for the new school. It's a project she believes is long overdue.
"There are over 300 children on the waiting list for day care. Parents just don't have the access to daycare that other areas do," Stasny said.
Hancock County has dozens of at-home day care centers but school leaders fear they lack the educational training children need.
"We want to bend our trees when they are small and work with our curriculum that's already existing in the district," said Dr. Sherry Ponder, President of the Bay-Waveland School Board.
Shannon Ladner taught a four year old program before becoming a kindergarten teacher at Waveland Elementary. She says while the school will focus on education, it will prepare children for much more.
"In Pre-K, children need to develop their whole self and not just academically but also socially. It exposes them to so much more than they are getting right now," Ladner said.
The Bay-Waveland Day Care Center is scheduled to open for the 2008-2009 school year. It will house more than 80 children.
For more information, you can call the Bay-Waveland School District Central Office at 467-6621.