The Castleford School District recently celebrated the opening of its new preschool program with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house event at the K-12 school.

The new preschool program opened in September and has 11 students, ages 4-5, enrolled. The preschool operates 7:40-11:30 a.m., Tuesday-Friday. The program includes free breakfast and lunch.

The goals of the preschool program are to help prepare young children for elementary school and provide much-needed childcare for working parents. There are no licensed childcare centers in the City of Castleford, meaning the only available options are miles away in Twin Falls and Filer.

The preschool program is the result of partnerships between the Castleford School District, the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) and the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, which supported the district with $45,000 in funding.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer preschool for the first time,” Castleford School District Superintendent Dena Allred said. “Early childhood education is one of the best ways to help young children prepare for elementary school and start learning. We’re thankful for the support from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.”