The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

First Educare School in Texas to be located near university, VIDA

First Educare School in Texas to be located near university, VIDA - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

File Photo: Construction workers begin to clear the way for the new VIDA Community project on March 22, 2021. The project will take up 600 acres of previously undeveloped land Northwest of A&M-San Antonio. Photo by Amber Esparza

Texas A&M University-San Antonio is partnering with Pre-K 4 SA and other organizations to develop the first Educare school in Texas.

Planners hope to alleviate what they describe as a “childcare desert” in South Bexar County. The partnership aims to open the 40,000-square-foot center for  Infants, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners near A&M-San Antonio by Fall 2023. 

“Establishing Educare San Antonio in partnership with Pre-K SA and other community groups will scale the work from birth to kindergarten to ensure each child has the opportunity to fully develop their intellectual, social, emotional and physical abilities,” said Melissa M. Jozwiak, chair of A&M-San Antonio’s Department of Educator and Leadership Preparation.

The partnership aims to open the 40,000-square-foot center for  Infants, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners near A&M-San Antonio by Fall 2023. 

 

As of 2021, the United States had 25 Educare schools, according to the executive summary.

The Educare building was proposed by a group of community stakeholders in Fall 2020. 

According to an executive summary by A&M-San Antonio, “Educare San Antonio: Enhancing Early Childhood Education for Long-term Success Strengthening the Early Childhood Ecosystem Essential for Economic, Community and Familial Well-being.” 

It will be constructed on Zarzamora Street, adjacent to campus and SouthStar Communities’ VIDA project. 

Of low-income families in San Antonio, 94% do not have access to high-quality childcare, according to the executive summary, which describes a “childcare desert” as an area where children under the age of 5 outnumber licensed childcare slots by 3 to 1. 

Educare will offer community services, counseling, mental health, behavioral and special education services. The school will also support over 200 educators at local and state childcare facilities to improve the education of about 2,000 children, according to the executive summary

Enrollment in Educare is open to all Bexar County families with children from six weeks old to kindergarten age. Almost all students will be eligible for assistance through state, local or federal funding. 

The goal is to increase access to high-quality early childhood centers that provide certified teachers, professional specialists and family services. 

Funding from the Bexar County American Rescue Plan Funds Priorities will cover construction costs. 

“The capital cost of contributing the building is $20 million with an annual operating cost of $6.2 million to provide Educare in South Bexar County,” Jozwiak said.

About the Author

Stephanie Rodriguez
Stephanie Rodriguez is a communication senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. In her spare time, she likes to read local news stories or watch documentaries. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in broadcast communication.

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