Children attending eight Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start preschool sites 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, Kīhei Elementary School, Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary School in Lahaina, Luana Gardens in Kahului, University of Hawaiʻi 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 Kīhei 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.