The Children’s Museum of Tacoma plans to offer its first preschool classes this fall.
The museum announced the program Wednesday in an email to members. Children ages 3 to 5 are eligible, and the school will operate three mornings and two afternoons a week.
The nonprofit museum opened its facility on Pacific Avenue this year. Director Tanya Andrews said a preschool will satisfy a long-time item on the staff’s wish list.
“The new museum offers us opportunities that we didn’t have in our old home,” she said. It’s easier for parents to park, or drop kids off, at 1502 Pacific Ave., than it was at the Broadway site.
“The new museum has more classroom space and is flooded with natural light. The art room is better suited for separate activities, and the play areas are more varied.
The preschool will run between Sept. 11 and May 23. Morning sessions will be offered Tuesday through Thursday, and afternoon sessions on Tuesday and Thursday only. Andrews said she’s shooting for total enrollment of no more than 40 kids.
The school will cost between $250 and $375 a month. Parents can participate as they might in a cooperative school – volunteering time in exchange for a reduced enrollment cost, saving about $100 a month.
Each morning and afternoon session will have about four or five co-op slots, though that number could increase, Andrews said.
“We are a pay-as-you-will facility, so every family can feel like a visit is within reach,” she said. “We’d really like to see an economically blended preschool program.
“We need to be able to sustain it as a nonprofit business, but we’ll push the envelope” on reducing enrollment costs, Andrews said.
• To learn more about enrollment requirements, teachers and educational philosophy at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, go its website at www.playtacoma.org/preschool.