30-student preschool opening in Yampa in early June
Yampa — A new preschool in Yampa operated by the South Routt School District will begin offering childcare and education to families early next month.
Soroco Preschool at Yampa is moving in to the South Routt Early Learning Center facilty at 26 W. Fifth Street in Yampa next to South Routt Elementary in a site previously occupied in part by a 15-student Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services preschool.
The district received a license to take over operation of the BOCES preschool and plans to expand the preschool program into the other half of the South Routt Early Learning Center building and potentially serve 30 students, according to Superintendent Darci Mohr.
“Everyone is really excited,” said Mohr, who has been working with the school board and community members since she arrived in the district last summer to expand preschool and childcare offerings locally.
Mohr said there had been efforts by a previous superintendent to rent out the second half of the early learning center to a childcare provider to create more slots for local children, but the plans never came to fruition.
While the idea of the district taking over the BOCES preschool and utilizing the building’s full potential has been in the works for a while, Mohr said it took an article in the Steamboat Pilot about the need for more childcare in South Routt to attract the right person to run the facility.
“[The article] brought a lot of attention to our needs here in South Routt and an interest in where we’re going with our childcare,” said Mohr, who was contacted by Tamara Bereznak, a veteran childcare provider who has lived in Oak Creek for 38 years.
“Tamara is a well-respected longtime resident of Oak Creek,” Mohr said.
Bereznak, who will be the new director of Soroco Preschool at Yampa, has been working at Grandkids Preschool in Steamboat for 11 years and is licensed as a large center preschool director.
The preschool’s two other employees are teachers Judy Cooper, who lives in Phippsburg and previously worked for the school district, and recent college graduate Brittney Romero, who was born and raised in South Routt.
“This is a top-notch team that we’ve got,” Mohr said.
The preschool will hold an open house for interested families from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, June 1 to Friday, June 5, and plans to open for childcare and educational activities the following Monday, June 8.
Summer will follow a looser curriculum than the more educationally focused preschool program during the regular school year, employees said.
The school will serve students from ages two-and-a-half to five years old, though it is licensed to provide childcare for students up to 12 years old, potentially before or after school, Mohr said.
The cost for each student is $35 per full day; some of the school’s costs are also being supplemented by the school district, Mohr said.
Bereznak and her team are spending this week spreading the news of the facility’s opening to local families and making final preparations at the facility.
“We just want to get the word out that we’re here,” Bereznak said. “We want to create a safe, nurturing environment for all South Routt children, and we want parents to feel very comfortable bringing their children here.”
For more information about the facility, call 970-638-1065.
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A local resident since 1969 who worked in social services and real estate, Catherine Lykken has decided, at age 85, not to renew her professional real estate license next year.