Saturday, June 14, 2014

City of Redmond is seeking a partner to provide preschool programming at Farrel-McWhirter Park

Redmond, WA -  City of Redmond Parks and Recreation Department is seeking a partnering organization to provide preschool programming at Farrel-McWhirter Park for the 2014-2015 school years. The City issued a formal Request for Proposals on June 9 for the preschool program to serve children ages 3-5. The contracted partner organization will provide a comprehensive preschool program with a focus on preparing children for kindergarten, learning through play and developing social skills. The historic park provides a unique opportunity for preschoolers to learn and play in the farm, nature and forest setting. The Parks and Recreation Department has offered preschool at Farrel-McWhirter Park for more than 20 years. Read More>>
“We are strongly committed to serving families and preschoolers at Farrel-McWhirter,” said Craig Larsen, parks and recreation director. “We know parents value the current program and are looking for a partner who will continue the traditions of the farm and forest setting for the preschool program.”

Currently, the Parks and Recreation Department serves about 50 families, September through June in three preschool programs; Creative Play, Preschool Adventures and Pre-K Discoveries. The City decided on the partnership approach after careful evaluation of various options to continue the preschool program, following the announcement of the departures of two key preschool staff. Parents were notified by letter on June 11 about the proposed program changes for the fall.

“We expect to receive a number of excellent proposals by the June 30 deadline, so that we have the classes and teachers ready to go by the start of school in September. We want to continue providing quality preschool at Farrel-McWhirter, and we believe that partnering is a good option at this time. We’ll evaluate the contract program as we go forward to be sure that it exceeds the expectations of the preschoolers and their families,” Larsen said.

The City’s program partner would provide management of daily preschool operations, including supervision of the preschool teachers, curriculum development and communicating with parents, with oversight from the City.

A selection panel including staff and preschool parents will review the submitted proposals. The City will conduct interviews with the most qualified agencies, and plans to complete contract negotiations and have a new program in place this fall.

A parent information, questions and answer meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 19 at 6 pm at Farrel-McWhirter Park. For more information please contact Mark Hickok, recreation division manager at 425-556-2356 or mhhickok@redmond.gov.

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