Pacelli shifting to all day preschool

Published 5:57 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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Move hopes to meet a need in the community


Parents in Austin are going to have another option for childcare when Pacelli Catholic Schools makes the move to all-day preschool.

According to Marie Viker, Early Childhood Director for Pacelli, the move was made to meet a need in Austin.

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“It’s about community needs,” Viker said. “Parents want more childcare. They don’t want half days, they want full days.”

Currently, Pacelli’s three levels of preschool — Tiny Shamrocks, Kindergarten Prep and Montessori — all meet for half days, but administration saw that there was plenty of reason to shift to all day preschool.

Not only do parents look for all-day preschool, the school itself is also looking to boost its enrollment.

“We’re a little low,” Viker said, explaining that, “Parents want to wait until the last minute. We still have some time yet.”

Part of that optimism comes from how popular the school’s summer program has been.

“Our summer program has boomed,” Viker said. “There were a lot more kids than we thought.”

There’s also a learning benefit from this. Viker said that through preschool classes, students get more socialization and learn to follow directions.

“They learn how to handle a toy that’s been taken away [by another student],” Viker said.

All day preschool will start on Aug. 30. An open house will be held 6-7:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 that will allow families to get a good look at the school and what it offers.

“We want to get more families to realize we’re a good, safe place to send their kids and get to know us,” Viker said. “Get them to join the family.”

Families don’t need to be Catholic to send their kids to Pacelli’s all day preschool and scholarships are available. For those who are interested in sending their children to Pacelli, they should call Andrea Severtson, director of enrollment and events coordinator.