It was the first day of school Monday at Rainbows and Rhymes, which has reopened the doors as a full-day preschool and daycare.
Staff at the center, a ministry of First United Methodist Church, spent the last several months renovating the facility, hiring and training more workers and purchasing new equipment for the children.
“We can’t be more excited about what’s going on,” director Rachel Campbell said late last week.
The center, which serves 3-to-5-year-olds, was one of two local church-based early childhood programs to receive funding from the Montgomery County Community Foundation to increase the number of childcare seats in the county. Hand in Hand Creative Learning at First Christian Church will serve infants to 3-year-olds when it opens later this fall.
Rainbows and Rhymes used the money to add two new classrooms, expand the library and put in a laundry facility. New classroom equipment and instructional materials were also purchased.
The six-person staff is undergoing training to become nationally certified in early childhood education. A food service consultant was hired as the center begins preparing meals.
The center opened in July for a summer program serving about 15 children. Enrollment is underway to fill the 56 seats available this fall. For more information, call the center at 765-362-4817.
“We have room to accommodate people that may be interested in our program,” said board member Cynda Mellish, whose son was in the first class when the center opened in the early 1990s.
Rainbows and Rhymes accepts state vouchers for low-income families who need childcare for parents to work, get training or go to school.
Other local childcare ministries are also undergoing expansions. Fuzzy Bear Ministry Preschool & Daycare will offer full-day childcare for school-aged children and assist with e-learning. And a kindergarten class will be offered at Woodland Heights Christian Church’s Creation Station.