DCSD to Create Preschool Center/ Expand Early Childhood Options
According to a press release, the Dubuque Community School District has announced plans to establish a preschool center in Dubuque’s industrial center. It will provide access to the district’s high-quality preschool programming and offer streamlined access to wraparound childcare services.
Plans call for the district to begin offering preschool programming in the new center in fall of 2024, pending the School Boards approval. DCSD will also retain preschool classrooms in each of its elementary schools.
The project plans to be developed on the site of the former Medline facility at 7900 Chavenelle Road. The project is a partnership between the Dubuque Community Schools, Dubuque Initiatives, and the Dubuque Community Y. The Y will offer wraparound childcare on site, allowing for a seamless transition for preschool students moving from or into wraparound care before and after school. The building was purchased in December by Dubuque Initiatives.
“Development of this center is truly an example of community partnership at work. Partners came around the table with a goal of addressing Dubuque’s childcare needs and aligning them with strong early childhood education. The result will be a combination of services that gives families a new kind of flexibility with preschool and wraparound care seamlessly integrated in one state-of-the-art location.”
- Amy Hawkins, Superintendent
The District would renovate an 18,000-square-foot portion of the facility into a preschool center with space for up to 10 preschool classrooms. This will also include student common areas, sensory areas, meal preparation and services spaces, student support spaces and administrative offices. The new facility will also have a preschool playground outdoors.
“One of the goals of the Dubuque Community Y is to establish partnerships whenever possible to serve the needs of the community in the best and most efficient way possible. We look forward to this collaborative opportunity with Dubuque Initiatives and the District to serve more children and families.”
-Tony Calabrese, President and CEO of the Dubuque Community Y
Initial design for the preschool portion of the space was funded through the Iowa Department of Education BELIEF Grant (Blended Early Learning in Educational Foundations). It gives school districts and communities options for support to start evidence-based, customized early childhood and preschool programs that blend childcare and quality learning experiences for children under five.
“Dubuque Initiative's goal is to create a world-class facility for childcare and early learning that is uniquely designed to support the growth of the regional workforce. We look forward to working with the District and Dubuque Community Y to expand preschool and childcare options for our workforce families.”
-Kevin Lynch, president of Dubuque Initiatives.