The Albia Pre-School and Day Care has had a couple of rocky years, but new director Klint Sinclair is working to get the non-profit center back on the right track.
Sinclair, 37, is a 2000 graduate of Albia Community High School. He has an associate degree in broadcasting from Iowa Central Community College and a BA in social science and education from Ashford University.
His career has taken him from work in both print and broadcast media to business to education. He became interested in pre-school education as a Family Service Worker and Supervisor for Head Start, serving Ottumwa, Centerville and Moulton. He was director for Sunshine Pre-School in Oskaloosa, a Christian-based pre-school, then served on the Kings Kids Pre-School board in Albia. He also substitute taught a year with Lori Yarkosky in 2008 when she was director of Kings Kids.
Sinclair started May 28 and has been assembling a nine-member staff. The pre-school and day care is licensed for 54 children from infants (two weeks old) through 12 years of age. The non-profit corporation is overseen by a seven-member board, paying rent to the City of Albia for its building. The facility is funded through its pay structure and grants.
Sinclair said that 30 children are currently enrolled in either the day care or pre-school.
Renae Hindman, who has a master’s degree in education, is the pre-school’s new teacher. Tanya Seddon, who has 25 years of experience in pre-school and day care, is working with toddlers. Sinclair said his staff is “beefing up” the curriculum. “We want to make sure we are meeting social and emotional needs of our children,” he said. He said he is also working to create a better system of communication between parents and the pre-school and day care. “We want to be really open in communicating between the center and home,” he said.
The center is open from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a before and after school program and children are able to walk to Lincoln Center to catch a ride to their schools if they are school age. “We really benefit from the school’s busing policy,” he said.
Sinclair has been playing catch-up ever since he started with the center on a provisional license. “We should have our regular licensure back in September,” he said. “I’m also working to get a full board in place. It’s extremely important that we have board oversight for everything we do.”
A very nice piece of playground equipment, purchased with a grant from the Monroe County Iowa Foundation, has been assembled and Sinclair is working with local contractors and volunteers to finish the base of the playground. He is also in the process of replacing swing sets for younger children that do not comply with state regulations.
He said the center is always looking for volunteers and for donors, both in terms of monetary contributions and gently used play things. “We’ve had really great cooperation and leadership from the city council, particularly Brian Bell,” said Sinclair. “The bottom line is that we all want the same thing for our children, a safe, nurturing atmosphere that young parents can afford.”