Farmersville preschool reopens after YMCA closure

FARMERSVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Opportunities are growing for children in one Tulare County town. A preschool has expanded, breathing new life into an educational facility.

Preschool children ages 3 to 5 years old are having fun singing and playing educational games at the Farmersville Child Development Center. Some of the children are new students, finding more opportunities at the facility that was once in danger of shutting down for good.

Hanadi Rousan, Project Coordinator for VDA, Inc., said, "Done a lot of de-cluttering. We went through class by class and just kind of arranged areas where we have defined centers."

The place used to be run by the YMCA but in April, Golden State YMCA announced it was closing down all of its preschool facilities because of a lack of funding. At the time, officials told Action News that enrollment numbers had dwindled significantly. In came VDA, Inc., which provides child development services and was expanding throughout the Central Valley. They were excited to take over the program, saying the need in the farming community is huge.

Rousan explained, "We started out with 19 enrolled and we grew to 103. And we're still enrolling." Officials here say the need is so great in Farmersville, that they have parents coming in daily to fill out applications. VDA says one reason behind the boom in enrollment -- when the facility was under the YMCA, parents had to go to Visalia to sign up their kids. Now they can enroll on site.

Teacher Sandra Castillo said, "I was worried. I was worried about what was going to happen to the families because there's a lot of families that need this service right here. But I was really happy that transition happened really quick."

VDA says it's not just expanding the number of classrooms available to children, it's also instilling a brand new curriculum and training staff about reaching certain educational assessments.

Rousan said, "We care about kids. Every child is really unique and special and deserves a chance."

A chance and now a new place to go to learn and prepare for elementary school.

VDA, Inc. says they were also able to hire 12 additional staff members to the site, and plan on hiring even more.

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