New state-of-the-art preschool coming to Miami Valley will serve at-risk youth

Miami Valley News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — A state-of-the-art preschool is coming to the Miami Valley. The Montgomery County Educational Service Center Early Childhood Program will support children who may otherwise fall behind due to trauma or neglect.

On any given day, Montgomery County has around 600 kids in its foster care system. The traumatic experience of being separated from a family home can impact learning, relationships, and behavior at school.

“The sooner you can help them, and the sooner you can create that environment where their brains can start to heal from the past hurt and trauma, then the more likely you are to succeed at it,” said Holly Pressley, the principal at MCESC early childhood program.

The organization conducted a soft launch of the program this spring. A pilot program will kick off in August and it will help bridge the gap between trauma and learning outcomes.

“We’re going to create a loving environment for the kids. We know kids want to feel safe, they want to feel loved and that will create an educational environment where they can start to learn,” Pressley said.

The program is supported by a $96,000 grant from CareSource. It will blend mental health, education, and childcare, giving our most vulnerable 3 to 5-year-old’s what they need to be ready to learn.

Pressley said, “If you can get to them by the time they’re five years old you’ve got a leg up for sure and the kids do for the rest of their lives.”

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