MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista School District held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Early Learning Center on Thursday, Oct 6. MVSD Early Learning Center Director Stacey Plane is excited about the center opening fully opening to the public this month.
"This is certainly a realized dream for so many of us,” Plane said. “I am super excited to be a part of it all."
Plane said the center was needed and the timing was right to get it opened. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Early Childhood Council.
“I have also been a part of different state and local organizations, and there has always been a need for this,” Plane said. “We have some great home visitors, we really do, and we have our Head Start program, but there has always been a need for something more.”
Visiting with Monte Vista School District Superintendent Scott Wiedeman and talking with some people in the Early Childhood Council, “we became aware of the timing. There are some grant programs out there to help fund some of the early childhood pieces, and we just all talked and really wanted to get together and do this for our community."
Plane said they started looking for a building in the fall of 2021.
"We had this admin center for the school district, and admin ended up moving into the Community Banks building here in Monte Vista,” Plane said. “Shortly after the move, Scott let us know that hey we have a building for you. We were super excited to hear that.”
Plane said they started working closely with their local health department and their preschool licensing team to see if the building was suitable.
“We had them check over the building and walk around with us,” Plane said. “They walked around and told us what requirements we would have to meet to make it a good building for what we wanted to do. What really excited us about the location, too, is that it's close to the Delta Center and close to the high school. We thought wow, we can tap into this, and it will work well. It's something we really struggle with in our Valley. So now there's a lab facility available so that early childhood students can volunteer and learn more about early childhood right here."
Plane has been in Early Childhood Education for 26 years and with the Monte Vista School District since 2012. Plane is the principal of Marsh Elementary School and the new director of the MVSD Early Learning Center.
"There are so many people that need childcare out there, so we know this is going to help the community,” Plane said. “Our projection for the center is we will have eight infants, and we are licensed for anywhere between 12 and 15 toddlers. We do have a small gap between 36 months and our cut-off for preschool is you have to be 3 by June 1. We are looking at it like, but what if you have a 3-year-old that's 3 by July. So, we are working really hard with the licensing on this. So, what I have done is I have added in a room, for the children from 36 months until they are old enough to start preschool."
Weideman was at the ribbon cutting and said, "This is just amazing, but I was just the yes man. I said yes, and we as a team have done all of this. We as a team have made all of this possible. Stacey is so wonderful, our crew, the schools, the board, we are a team and we have done this together. I was just the yes man, but I am really proud to be a part of it all."
Plane thanked the Early Childhood Council, and the governing board that is over the childcare center, and the Monte Vista School District Board of Education.
"They made all of this possible, and I really want to thank everyone for working with me, to bring this all together. We finally did it. This is wonderful," she said.
For more information on the MVSD Early Learning Center, contact the Monte Vista School District.