PO Box 335 Richland, IA 52585


Tips for Choosing a Quality Preschool Setting for Your ChildPreschool

When choosing a preschool for your child, there are a few basic things to consider. The first is deciding if you want a state licensed and registered organization.

Licensed Child Care Center and Preschool

  • Iowa law limits the number of children a center may provide services for without a license. When a center cares for seven or more children it must be licensed.
  • Under licensing a provider applies for a license and the facility is visited and evaluated by a professional staff person who determines if the minimum regulatory requirements are met or if there is an acceptable plan to meet all the standards before a license is issued. In issuing a license, the Department of Human Service is stating that the provider meets the necessary requirements.

Public and Accredited Nonpublic Schools:

  • An early care and education program operated by or under a contract of a public or an accredited nonpublic school system located on school premises has the option to be licensed by the Department of Human Services or meet the Early Childhood Guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education. If a public or an accredited nonpublic school system chooses to follow the Early Childhood Guidelines the person responsible for the program must hold an appropriate teaching license from the Board of Educational Examiners. Public and accredited nonpublic schools are monitored by professional staff to determine if the school systems meet the regulatory requirements to be an accredited educational program. In issuing the school accreditation status, the Department of Education is stating that the school meets the necessary requirements.
  • An early care and education program operated by or under a contract of a public or an accredited nonpublic school system not located on school premises must be licensed by the Department of Human Services.

Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards:

The Iowa Department of Education has developed a set of Quality Preschool Program Standards that can be implemented in Iowa’s Preschools. This is just one way to measure Preschool Quality.

Need Help Paying for Preschool?

  • The Mahaska/Wapello Early Childhood IOWA Board of Directors has allocated funds to be used for Preschool Scholarships to assist parents in paying for preschool costs. This money is provided in the form of a claim voucher paid directly to the preschool and is intended for families that do not qualify Head Start or Statewide Voluntary Four Year Old Preschool.
  • Read the guidelines and print out an application located on the Latest Announcements¬†page.
  • Once your application is filled out, mail it to:
    Pat McReynolds, MWECI Area Director
    POB 335
    Richland, Iowa 52585

Preschools in our Local Early Childhood Iowa Area:

Mahaska County

  • North Mahaska Community School District Preschool.
  • New Sharon Child Care and Preschool.
  • Oskaloosa Community School District Preschool (Webster).
  • SONshine Preschool.
  • Peek A Boo Point Child Development Center / QRS3.
  • Little Creations Preschool.
  • Mahaska County YMCA Early Learning Program (Webster) / QRS4.
  • Mahaska County YMCA Kids Korner / QRS4.
  • Mahaska County Head Start (Webster)

Wapello County

  • Ottumwa Y Discovery Lane / QRS4.
  • First Presbyterian Preschool.
  • Cardinal CSD & Head Start / QRS4.
  • Pickwick Early Childhood Center (Ottumwa CSD & Wapello County Head Start) / QRS4.
  • Ottumwa Christian School Preschool / QRS4.
  • Seton/Montessori Preschool / QRS2.
  • Indian Hills Community College Preschool.
  • American Home Finding Child Care Center (High School) QRS5.
  • Living Hope Preschool (Edlon) / QRS3.