Children attending eight Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start preschoolsites are enjoying new play structures in a $506,000 renovation project completed last week.
The new play structures are open air with a lower profile and provide for better safety and supervision of children, compared to the old tower structures, some of which were put up as far back as 2005.
Six new play structures were installed beginning in August at Head Start sites at the Eddie Tam Complex in Makawao, Kihei Elementary School, Princess Nahienaena Elementary School in Lahaina, Luana Gardens in Kahului, UH-Maui College in Kahului and MEO Moloka‘i offices in Kaunakakai. Side-by-side sites at Eddie Tam and Luana Gardens share one play structure.
The project involved demolition of the old equipment and installation of the new structures. The last structure went up at Kihei Elementary School last week.
Federal Head Start and CARES Act money provided the funds for the project.
Head Start is a national preschool program that supports families and school readiness of low income families at no cost. MEO’s Head Start programs on Maui and Moloka‘i currently enroll about 160 children, 3 and 4 years old.
MEO’s program is licensed for an additional 60 children, but three sites have been closed temporarily while the agency seeks to fill three lead teacher positions. Since the pandemic, Head Start has lost lead teachers and candidates have been difficult to find due to the specific qualifications required by Head Start.
There are other assistant teacher and support position openings as well. For more information about job openings at MEO, call (808) 243-4310.
Installation of the six new play structures at Head Start sites began with the demolition of existing equipment. The tower style play structures are being replaced with open air, lower profile equipment. This photo shows the old structure at the start of demolition at the UH-Maui College site in September.
Six new play structures, serving eight Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start preschool sites, were installed as part of a renovation project. Shown is the new play structure at the Lahaina site at Princess Nahienaena Elementary School.
The Kihei Elementary School play structure was the last of six installations, which was completed during Fall Break last week.