By Carol C. Neugent
The Peachwood Early Learning Preschool on West Grand will soon be opening its doors and replacing the sounds of the dental drill with the giggles of young children. Shelley Palmer and her husband, Dr. Scott Palmer, D.D.S., will own the business and Janice Peiffer will be the on-site director.
“Scott and I have talked about a preschool for the last ten years,” Shelley said. “When Scott moved (his practice) next door it seemed like the time was finally right.”
The 3,900 square feet building is in the process of being converted into classrooms, kitchen, and office space. The brightly colored walls pop in anticipation of excited toddlers and preschoolers who will soon be calling the space home. The downstairs will accommodate a teacher’s workroom and provide for general storage.
The preschool will be able to accept 56 children ranging from twelve months to school age. Each age group will have its own classroom, teachers, and curriculum. The curriculum is Little Treasures from Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and mirrors the curriculum taught in local schools.
Of the many unique features Shelley is excited about, she is particularly proud of the cutting-edge technology and multimedia approach that is being brought to the preschool.
The preschool will be able to connect parents and grandparents through the PB&J webcam system. Parents and grandparents will be able to see into their child’s classroom from any location. The preschool’s technology also provides for an elaborate security system.
An investment in tablets through the HATCH personalized early learning system will help provide each child with an individualized development program. Progress will be tracked for use by both teachers and parents.
An advocate of healthy eating and exercise, Shelley plans to have an in-house cook who will be able to provide nutritious meals and snacks to all the children.
“The meals will be homemade and healthy,” Shelley said.
Shelley worked closely with Wichita State University professor Ron Christy through the Center for Entrepreneurship to develop a viable business plan. The plan took about eight months to complete. Through the process it became evident that the preschool was a financial feasibility. Great news for the Palmers.
In her role as director, Peiffer said she is equally excited and ready to open the doors and start greeting children. She brings to the preschool 27 years of experience working with preschools throughout the metropolitan area. Peiffer has worked at both private and church-based facilities.
“She was my former babysitter,” Shelley said.
Peiffer plans to start working towards accreditation from day one.
“Accreditation takes about one year,” she said. Very few preschools are accredited and Shelley said she hopes that will further distinguish her facility.
Fire marshall approval is expected this week. As soon as that happens, the Palmers will be able to submit their application to the Health Department. From there the paperwork moves on to Topeka. If all goes as planned the preschool should open in October.
The preschool will add a combination of 25 new part-time and full-time jobs to the Haysville economy in addition to providing an additional child care option for parents.
People can follow the progress on Facebook and Twitter. More information is also available at peachwoodearlylearningcenter.com or by calling 522-6768. Early enrollment is already being accepted.