Riverside Early Learning Center begins its new after school day care program Sept. 3.
The program, which provides care for children 3 to 5 years old, is a collaboration with Fort Dodge Senior High's child development class, taught by Julie Schreiber.
"This is for second year students that are in child development and part of the program is they will learn about the social and emotional development of the children, as well as kind of cognitively where they are at this age level," Lis Ristau, Riverside ELC principal, said. "And then they will come over and do some field experience over here with our children."
The FDSH students will manage the day care. For them, it will be a learning opportunity.
"They will have an actual ability to have lesson plans for the children and actually run an after school program," Ristau said. "There will be supervision. I'll oversee it. But ultimately they plan it, they deliver it. We'll have gross motor activities, music activities, some literacy, some math activities and then a snack as well."
The students, though in charge, are supervised by Ristau and Riverside staff.
"They'll be supervised by myself. We will have it in the preschool rooms we're using, we're kind of rotating the classrooms month-to-month. If needed, besides myself, the preschool teachers are available to us," she said.
The day care has an enrollment of 25, but not many have signed up for it yet, Ristau said.
"We have five children, is all," she said. "We're looking at trying to get some more children maybe to take advantage of it. We realize this is our first year and realizing that, maybe hopefully we'll grow a little bit more."
The program has the potential to expand, Ristau said.
"Our thought would be, will there ever be a possibility the students could also do the (transitional kindergarten) and maybe extend it to 5 o'clock for families, and operate it that way," she said.
The FDSH students could see their opportunities expand, as well, according to Ristau.
"Another thing we're doing with Julie Schreiber, she is going to provide a child development third year program, which will actually place students side-by-side with our preschool teachers and actually do some student teaching under their guidance," she said.
Parents of Riverside's preschoolers would benefit most from the after school day care program, Ristau said.
"Sometimes, getting out at 1:30, it's hard to find day care and somebody has to come and pick them up," she said. "It's a little easier if it's later in the day, so hopefully it will be a win-win for all."
Ristau said she is looking forward to the start of the program.
"This is a dream we've had at Riverside, to offer an after school program," she said.
Riverside ELC's after-school day care begins Tuesday. Enrollment is $250 for Sept. 3 through May 20. There is a 5 percent discount if paid in full. The fee covers the costs of activities.
The program runs Monday through Friday, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Registration forms are available at Riverside Early Learning Center, 733 F St.