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District continues investment in early childhood education

teacher watches child play dressupJust over a year ago, Tucson Unified's Infant & Early Learning Centers opened with several goals: Provide the community with top-notch, curriculum-based instruction; support our employees and partners with discounted rates; and put closed schools to good use.

A year later, the Infant & Early Learning Centers are going strong. Combined, the centers have about 350 children ages infant to 4 years old. Last August, the total for both centers was about 180. About 100 employees have taken the opportunity to enroll their children in the centers, which were completely renovated last year to be optimal for early childhood education.

"We opened the centers because we saw a need for high-quality early education that begins before kindergarten," Dr. H.T. Sánchez, superintendent of Tucson Unified School District said. "Studies have shown that pre-kindergarten education is vital for children, and in fact, children who have a high-quality preschool education are more likely to read by third grade and succeed throughout their educational experiences."

The district spends more than $5 million a year to provide all-day kindergarten, and nearly 100 of the children who attended our Brichta and Schumaker centers enrolled in Tucson Unified kindergarten programs this school year.

As the centers reached their one-year birthday, some changes were made to make them more economically efficient. The district looked at tuition, staffing, and grade-level supply and demand, particularly during summer months.

For 2015-2016, the district expects to spend about $1.9 million, and revenue is expected to be $2.1 million. Startup and operating costs for 2014-2015 were $2.4 million, and the centers took in about $1.6 million.

The centers are accepting applications for enrollment at some age levels and are hiring instructors for all age levels. To learn more, please contact:

Brichta Infant & Early Learning Center
2110 W. Brichta Drive
(520) 225-1100

Schumaker Infant & Early Learning Center
501 N. Maguire
(520) 731-5200