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ANACORTES — After putting the future of its district-offered preschool on hold in April, the Anacortes School District announced Monday that the Skagit Valley Family YMCA will take over the program.

The YMCA had been the district’s choice in late March to operate the preschool program at Whitney Early Childhood Education Center, but opposition to the plan caused the district to delay its decision.

The district had planned to partner with the YMCA partly in light of a more than $1 million budget deficit. Going with the YMCA was expected to save the district about $30,000 a year.

After parent outcry and a petition garnering more than 600 signatures, the district pulled back on the plan and instead opened it up to other public proposals.

The YMCA was the only applicant to submit a proposal, Superintendent Mark Wenzel said.

“This is a program that’s completely aligned to the standards, and their request was very strong,” he said.

In addition, the YMCA will offer its “toddler program,” which serves children between the ages of 18 months and 2 1/2 years, Wenzel said.

That program, he said, will be especially good for the community.

“There’s a need for more childcare, so we’re really excited to be able to reinstate that program,” he said.

The YMCA will be accepting applications for the preschool program on July 1.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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