July 15, 2015
Maui, HI – Always moving forward. Imua Family Services announces the opening of its newest early childhood program: Imua Preschool. The inception of Imua Preschool has been over three years in the making. The concept was to create a state-of-the-art inclusion preschool that includes both typically developing children and children with developmental concerns and special needs in the same classroom; this new paradigm is called “inclusion”. Inclusive programs celebrate children’s similarities as well as their different abilities and cultures. In inclusive classrooms, children with special needs take part in the general education curriculum based on their ages and grades. They are not segregated into separate classrooms, but rather the curriculum and the room are adapted to meet all the children’s needs.
The forward thinking program was born into reality when Imua Family Services began planning its newly completed Early Childhood Center on Wakea Ave. The plans for the preschool were built into the design of the new center, where the preschool will have access to Imua’s large staff of early childhood professionals, including Speech Language Pathologists, Physical and Occupational Therapists, Special and General Education Teachers, and Early Childhood Educators.
The private preschool incorporates all recommended best practices to create a unique learning opportunity for preschool children. The initial enrollment will host 20 children for the school year beginning August 2015.
In 2013 the Imua Inclusion Preschool Business Plan was selected as a finalist in the Hogan/ American Savings Bank Nonprofit Business Plan Competition.
Dr. Bobbie-Jo Moniz Tadeo, Program Director and Early Childhood Specialist at Imua Family Services stated, “A substantial body of research establishes that preschool education can improve the learning and development of young children. Many studies have investigated the immediate effects of preschool education for children during their first five years of life. The foundations of brain architecture, and subsequent lifelong developmental potential, are laid down in a child’s early years through a process that is exquisitely sensitive to external influence. Early experiences in the home and other settings such as preschool help to shape the development and quality of the brain’s architecture. Thus in later years, it suggests skills learned in early childhood help to build on future skills needed in adulthood. Therefore investment in early learning and development is more efficient in both the development and costs factors relative later in the life cycle.”
“Our long term goal is to create something that is so profound, so transformative and inspirational that it becomes a model that we can replicate all across Maui. Imua Preschool will become a training and development center for children, parents, and teachers island wide.” Says Dean Wong, Imua’s Executive Director.