More preschool spots open in Gypsum |

More preschool spots open in Gypsum

Katie Drucker
Eagle Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristen Anderson/Vail DailyHolden Behr, 3, paints with help from Shannon Henderson, right, at the Laugh and Learn pre-school in Gypsum.

GYPSUM, Colorado ” “Mommy do you know that tigers are carnivores?” Holden Behr, 3, asked his mother when she picked him up from Laugh and Learn pre-school last week.

“I thought, a 3-year-old knows what a carnivore is? You expect ‘Mommy I know my ABC’s or what a triangle is,'” says Krista Behr, Holden’s mom.

Holden is one of the eight students at Laugh and Learn pre-school which opened in May in Gypsum.

Maureen Henderson is the founder and director of the pre-school. An Eagle resident, Henderson has a degree in early-child development, a Colorado state teaching license and years of teaching experience. She hopes to eventually have 20 students enrolled in the school.

“Opening a nursery school has been a dream of mine since I started teaching,” says Henderson. “I saw that there was a need for this in the valley and I hope to fill this need.”

Rebecca Romeyn, child care referral specialist with Eagle County’s Kids First program, says there is indeed a big need for nursery schools downvalley. Mountain Tots pre-school in Eagle has a two-year waiting list. There are 60 kids on Sunshine Mountain Preschool’s waiting list, but the school only has space for 15 children, Romeyn says.

In all of Eagle and Gypsum, there are currently 192 spaces for pre-school children, not including home providers, according to Romeyn.

“I am excited that there is another option available because we moved from Edwards down to Eagle and there were lists everywhere,” Behr says.

Henderson prides herself on involving parents in the school. On Father’s Day they had ‘Donuts with Dad,’ and after each trimester there will be a production put on by the children for their parents.

“Parents are the first teachers,” Henderson says.

Henderson’s staff will consist of herself, two yet-to-be-hired full-time teachers and one part-time teacher, Ruth Anderson.

“Ruth will provide the grandma for our staff. The stabilizing wisdom,” says Henderson.

Anderson is excited to work at the Laugh and Learn Preschool.

“I like to see the children’s imaginations working and I like to encourage that, especially at this age,” Anderson says.

Laugh and Learn Preschool is open three days from 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and will follow the school-year calendar starting this fall. The preschool will cost $36 a day, which includes snacks.

“Maureen seems very excited, which is good for us,” Behr says. “She is energetic. She is enthusiastic.

“It makes us happy to drop Holden off because he is happy there and that is what is important.”

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