Enrolling your 3-5 year old in a preschool program is a personal choice, but it can be a great way to give them an educational head start. Some programs are provided through the public and private schools. Some are federally funded and others are private enterprises. Some preschools are offered in conjunction with a day care facility, either a day care center or a home day care provider. Some programs are state licensed and others are not.
Because of the variety of these programs, there isn’t a single, inclusive listing of the preschools in the local area. However, the following resources will help you find the preschools that are state licensed and/or are actively advertising their programs.
The Child Care Services Office at the Rapid City SD Department of Social Services provides a listing of all licensed preschools and day cares in the area. You can search their listings with their Child Care Provider Search. You can learn more about Child Care Services at their website www.dss.sd.gov/childcare or by calling 605-394-2525 (then press 6).
Early Childhood Connections is a local agency that maintains a database of licensed preschools and day cares. You can receive this listing by calling 605-342-6464. Early Childhood Connections also offers a number of other helpful services and resources. You can learn more at their web site – www.earlychildhoodconnections.com
The Yellow Pages are another resource. You can check out the listings in the phone book (look under Preschools or Schools) or do an online yellow pages search.
(These resources can also help you locate before and after school programs. For more information, go to our Before and After School page.)
Once you have a list of potential preschools, take the time to tour the facilities, talk to the teachers and observe the classes. The following article has some suggestions for helping you choose the best preschool for your child – www.pbs.org/parents/goingtoschool/choosing1.html