Jackson County Pre-K

Quality child care continues to be a hot topic with more families having two working parents. A new program and facility in Jackson County could be a bright spot for many area youngsters.

Big building blocks will soon be followed by little building blocks.

Mary Olds, Early Head Start Director, says, "Our plans are for this to become a pre-k center where we will house early head start and pre-k students."

Jackson school district broke ground Thursday afternoon on a new 12,000 square foot facility. The building will have eight new classrooms. That's four times the current size. The facility will also serve almost 200 kids.

Many of those children will come from the pre-k program at nearby Golson Elementary. Golson has had overcrowding problems since voluntary pre-k was added to its enrollment last fall.

Buddy Dickson, Facilities Director, says, "Golson hasn't experienced any tremendous growth, but with the class size reduction amendment the space that we have over there, we approximately lost 18 percent of it."

The new pre-k center is expected to handle the area's needs for a few more years, but administrators are already looking ahead.

"It should be good for five years and then we'll look at it again and if we have to continue building then we will."

By then, these youngsters will be well on their way, hopefully with a head start in the right direction.

The project is expected to be completed by January 2007 and will cost nearly $2 million.