GROWING TOGETHER PRESCHOOL INC
599 Lima Dr
Lexington KY 40511
Contact Information
Nonprofit GROWING TOGETHER PRESCHOOL INC
Address 599 Lima Dr
Lexington, KY 40511
Phone (859) 255-4056
Fax 859 280-2254
Contact Name Cerise Bouchard
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 1984
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Donations by check can be mailed to:
Growing Together Preschool, Inc.
599 Lima Drive
Lexington, KY 40515
 
In kind needs are located on our website:
 
http://growingtogetherpreschool.org/make-difference/
Financial Summary
 
 
Statements
Mission Statement To provide affordable, learning and developmentally focused child care services to families of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The nature of the services are educational and therapeutic, with an emphasis on inclusion. 
Background Statement

The Growing Together Preschool, Inc. is an expanded version of a previously existing preschool program of the Blue Grass Association for Retarded Citizens (BGARC). In September of 1982, Growing Together Preschool, Inc. spun off from its parent organization, BGARC, and incorporated itself. A new program was established offering a comprehensive array of services designed to meet the individual needs of children with and with disabilities and other special needs, from birth through four years of age. The original objective of the BGARC preschool program was to provide children with disabilities specialized educational services. By offering a program for children with and with disabilities and other special needs in the same environment, the preschool hopes to achieve an additional objective, which is to provide children with an opportunity to form friendships with individuals of all races, religions, and ability levels. In other words...to "grow together". Growing Together Preschool, Inc.(GTP) is a private, non-profit agency. The program is an inclusive, developmental preschool integrating the lives and experiences of both typical and special needs children, birth through four years of age. At GTP each child receives quality child care from trained professionals. GTP provides a well rounded day tailored to meet each child’s needs. This includes early intervention services forinfants and toddlers, a comprehensive developmental program for preschoolers, and an academic readiness program for Pre-K. Children receive educational services with instruction strategies promoting a positive approach to learning. All inclusive classrooms encourage children to develop friendships while learning to accept and value differences in each other. Teacher directed and child selected activities give ample opportunity to explore and experiment, meeting the child’s need for challenge and success. GTP provides affordable year-round educational and therapeutic child care services. Our program fulfills the need for all families who seek a quality preschool for their child. Our full day and 12 month
developmental program meets the needs of working parents. For families with a special needs child, we provide a range of affordable services (educational assessments, case management, Individualized Education Plan, Individualized Family Service Plan, child care, therapy, and trained staff for medical needs) at one location.





 

Impact Statement
GTP sucessfully completed a year long program self-assessment resulting in renewal of our NAEYC accreditation; GTP retained 61% of its full-time employees; and served 165 children, 45 at risk/special needs. 
 
GTP received grants to implement Sensory Smart classrooms and Farm to Preschool initiatives. We provided early intervention therapeutic services to 45 children based on their diagnosis or results of screenings and assessments. We partnered with agencies to provide mental health support services. And, we successfully implemented upgrades to our building and classrooms. 
 
GTP goals include updating building security; upgrading the outdoor playground facilities; acquire additional technology assistance for children and employees to enhance educational service.  And, the creation of additional classrooms to expand services.
Needs Statement
Classroom technology: $5,000
Reconfiguration of space to create additional classrooms: $25,000 
Flooring: $55,000
Exterior Lighting: $8,000 
Playground: $100,000 
Volunteers can be used for maintenance projects, reading to children and working one on one or in small groups with children on specific goals. 
CEO/Executive Director Statement Growing Together Preschool is an incredibly special organization and it is a privilege for me to be a part of it. GTP pioneered the concept of inclusion in the bluegrass in the early 1980's. The pioneering group of parents who started the organization knew that their children with disabilities and other special needs would benefit from the relatively new concept of inclusion. Not only were they right about the benefits for their children, but the benefits for all children are so profound that inclusion is now considered best practice. In the beginning, the public school system did not want to provide education directly to our students with disabilities and other special needs. So, they contracted those services to us. Later, they began their own public preschool system. But, GTP continues to innovate, implement a model program, meet the diverse individual needs of every child and family in the program and achieve success at high levels. Daily, I am amazed at the dedication and care the teachers put into their practice. No child will go without the care and attention they need to be successful, no matter how far above and beyond the teachers must go to achieve it. What makes GTP so special is the people. The people who care and the people who will go to any length to make success happen for each and every child.
Board Chair Statement

When I first joined the Board of Growing Together Preschool, Inc. in the late 1980s, it was the ONLY preschool program in Central Kentucky integrating the early development and learning of typical and special needs children. Many of the original founders of the program were also involved with the Bluegrass Association for Mental Retardation. They felt  the model of nurturing and instructing these two populations in separate facilities served neither well and that a fully integrated setting would result in better outcomes for the special needs population while allowing the typical children to recognize that all persons had worth and dignity and deserved respect. This was long before “mainstreaming” began in the public school system.

Since that time, other programs have adopted this model and it is incorporated in all Kentucky public school systems.  Although we were the pioneer, we are no longer unique in the respect of integrating these early childhood experiences.  This has challenged us to redefine our mission in light of the needs of the communities we serve.  Increasingly our focus has broadened to include the population considered “at risk” due to low income, single parent or non-typical caregivers.  Many of these families were severely impacted by the recession and resultant downsizing/ work hour reductions. Others lacked the education and job skills to be competitive in a shrinking job market. One of their biggest concerns was balancing the demands of time at work or at school with the cost of early childcare.

Our challenge as an organization is to meet our operating expenses while having sufficient funding to subsidize childcare costs to allow working low income families or those continuing education to improve earnings to benefit from quality early childhood education. Since we are a preschool and not only accept but welcome those with physical or developmental challenges, our staff to child ratios are very high. The costs for each non-typical child are often 3 to 4 times that for a typical child. Little of that cost is covered by insurance or third-party resources.

People often ask me about my long involvement with Growing Together Preschool.  I do not have a special needs child. In fact, I don’t have children at all.  By profession, I am an insurance and investment advisor. As such, I know this to be true: the earlier an investment is made, the greater the eventual result. Investment in quality preschool is an investment whose returns have been well and often documented. Not only does it give the child a sense of worth and dignity and a head start for all future schooling, it gives the community the benefits of a contributing citizen.  Compare the cost of this early education to the community’s cost for public assistance, high school drop-out rates, drug or alcohol treatment, and incarceration. This is why I am passionate about Growing Together Preschool. It’s a foolish farmer who plows, fertilizes and irrigates and then buys low quality seed.  These children are the seed corn of our community and our future. All the applications of later “fertilizer” will never have the impact of a quality preschool experience.

 

Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Preschools
Tertiary Organization Category Education / Special Education
Geographic Areas Served
Areas
Kentucky
Growing Together Preschool, Inc. is located in Lexington's West End and serves families from Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Montgomery, Scott and Woodford counties in Kentucky.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.
It is the overall goal of Growing Together Preschool, Inc. (GTP) to provide children of varying abilities and advantages with nurturing, safe care, therapeutic services and the foundation for school and  life readiness in an inclusive environment. GTP provides educational and therapeutic child care services for families needing quality preschool, infant and toddler care. Our programs include: educational screening, curriculum and assessments, health screening, case management, IEP, IFSP, child care and therapy. The high quality of our program is indicated by our accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). GTP is accountable to the Board of Directors, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Child and Adult Care Food Program, NAEYC, parents, and undergoes a yearly financial audit. GTP pioneered the first inclusive preschool program in 1982, was a founding member of the Preschool Interagency Preschool Council, and served as a field study site for Kentucky's core content for early childhood education, and, most recently, pioneered the first farm to preschool program in Kentucky. 
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

GTP provides a well-rounded program to meet the needs of the whole child and family. The information gathered from our evidenced based screenings and assessments help teachers determine the activities and experiences provided in the classroom and identified children with developmental concerns as early as possible. Teachers then work collaboratively with families to establish goals for the child. Physical health is supported through nutrition education, providing daily gross motor and fine motor activities and nutritional meals. Social and emotional development is supported through routine care, nurturing environments, understanding of temperaments and learning styles of children and developmental milestones. In order to ensure teachers are using best practices in the classroom, it is important to ensure they have access to and take advantage of up-to-date, relevant and evidenced based trainings and opportunities to further their education. GTP provides on-site quarterly in-service trainings, supports staff in additional opportunities for learning and financially supports staff in attaining credentials and college degrees in Early Childhood Education. We believe that these methods benefit our clients because they are evidenced based and measurable.

CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

Since it's inception in 1982, GTP has been recognized as an innovative program serving those typically neglected by other institutions and pioneering inclusion. No matter their challenges, graduates of GTP enter schools in the local community with a healthy and strong foundation for school success. We believe our success is due to our focus on maintaining and forming new collaborative partnerships and a constant focus on quality enhancement initiatives.  GTP has a volunteer Board of Directors that provides oversight on the financial audit, review of policy and procedures, fundraising, special projects and monitoring of the program. The Education and Outreach Coordinator has 25 year of experience in education, program management, reporting, staff coaching, training and development, performance standards, mental health services, compliance and curriculum oversight. The Executive Director has experience in business and nonprofit management, marketing, social marketing, program development and implementation, public health promotion, coalition building and providing support for mothers and families. 100% of lead teachers hold a credential or degree in Early Childhood Education. Evidence based quality indicators such as NAEYC, STARS for Kids Now, ITERS and ECERS rate program quality and the ability to impact children based on the education level of teaching staff and staff to child ratios. Quality and capacity are maintained by having 100% of lead teachers with a credential or degree in Early Childhood Education and low staff to child ratios. GTP collaborates with First Steps, Horn and Associates in Rehabilitation, Bluegrass Early Care Program, Down Syndrome Association of central Kentucky and the Autism Society of the Bluegrass for therapeutic services. We partner with the Human Development Institute, Child Care Council of KY, NAEYC and STARS for Kids Now to ensure program quality. We partner with Head Start, Early Head Start, KY Department of Education and Fayette County Public Schools to ensure the quality of our education program. And, we partner with Seedleaf, KY Department of Agriculture, KY Department of Public Health, LFUCG Health Department and CACFP to ensure the health of our students.

IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?

Growing Together Preschool, Inc. measures the growth and development of the child during the early childhood period with the end result of acquisition of foundational skills for school and life readiness. GTP's longest-term measurable change is that children graduating from the program will meet or exceed program expectations for kindergarten readiness. These expectations are based on data collected daily by teachers and measured by the Teaching Strategies GOLD Online Assessment. Teaching Strategies' Creative Curriculum and GOLD Online Assessment are validated by extensive research conducted by independent researchers. Multi-year efficacy studies, peer-reviewed journal articles and research foundation papers make up the vast body of research which proves that these tools can be trusted to help teachers deliver positive outcomes for all children. These goals are measured twice yearly for each child in the program. Outcome indicators measured and reported to United Way of the Bluegrass every six months are: children receiving initial health and developmental screenings, children receiving educational assessments and for whom goals are set, families participating in parent/teacher conferences, achievement of developmental milestones for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, children who are ready for kindergarten when they graduate from the program, participation in transition to kindergarten meeting, children maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index.

ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

Supporting the education and development of young children is an ongoing process.  With over 30 years of serving young children in the community, we have the amazing privilege of realizing success in our goals over and over. Our biggest lesson is in being flexible and constantly focused on quality improvement. Research on education, brain development and best practices change as rapidly as children grow. In order for us to continue to provide the highest quality, evidence based care and services, we must remain vigilant in keeping our practices up to date. Recent, drastic cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) have resulted in families in our low-income neighborhood to no longer being able to afford childcare and early education. The true cost of providing high quality early education and care is far greater than most families can afford. GTP has been able to offer a higher level of quality services due to funding from United Way of the Bluegrass.  However, these cuts to CCAP make providing these services to low income families an even greater challenge.  There is a huge need to establish a scholarship program for families who have lost the ability to afford education and care for their children.

Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Patricia Vanaman
Company Affiliation Northwestern Mutual Insurance
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Ms. Megan Dickson University of KentuckyVoting
Ms. Melanie Gabbard Allen, Kopet & AssociatesVoting
Mr. Lance Leigh Messer ConstructionVoting
Mr. Nathaniel Murray Blue & Co.Voting
Mr. William Pettit Vanmeter InsuranceVoting
Ms. Patricia Vanaman Northwestern Mutual InsVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 88%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Comments
CEO Comments

When I first joined the Board of Growing Together Preschool, Inc. in the late 1980s, it was the ONLY preschool program in Central Kentucky integrating the early development and learning of children with and without disabilities. Many of the original founders of the program were also involved with the Bluegrass Association for Mental Retardation. They felt  the model of nurturing and instructing these two populations in separate facilities served neither well and that a fully integrated setting would result in better outcomes for the special needs population while allowing the typical children to recognize that all persons had worth and dignity and deserved respect. This was long before “mainstreaming” began in the public school system.

 

Since that time, other programs have adopted this model and it is incorporated in all Kentucky public school systems.  Although we were the pioneer, we are no longer unique in the respect of integrating these early childhood experiences.  This has challenged us to redefine our mission in light of the needs of the communities we serve.  Increasingly our focus has broadened to include the population considered “at risk” due to low income, single parent or non-typical caregivers.  Many of these families were severely impacted by the recession and resultant downsizing/ work hour reductions. Others lacked the education and job skills to be competitive in a shrinking job market. One of their biggest concerns was balancing the demands of time at work or at school with the cost of early childcare.

Our challenge as an organization is to meet our operating expenses while having sufficient funding to subsidize childcare costs to allow working low income families or those continuing education to improve earnings to benefit from quality early childhood education. Since we are a preschool and not only accept but welcome those with physical or developmental challenges, our staff to child ratios are very low. The costs for each child with special needs are often 3 to 4 times that for a typical child. Little of that cost is covered by insurance or third-party resources.

 

People often ask me about my long involvement with Growing Together Preschool.  I do not have a child with special needs. In fact, I don’t have children at all.  By profession, I am an insurance and investment advisor. As such, I know this to be true: the earlier an investment is made, the greater the eventual result. Investment in quality preschool is an investment whose returns have been well and often documented. Not only does it give the child a sense of worth and dignity and a head start for all future schooling, it gives the community the benefits of a contributing citizen.  Compare the cost of this early education to the community’s cost for public assistance, high school drop-out rates, drug or alcohol treatment, and incarceration. This is why I am passionate about Growing Together Preschool. It’s a foolish farmer who plows, fertilizes and irrigates and then buys low quality seed.  These children are the seed corn of our community and our future. All the applications of later “fertilizer” will never have the impact of a quality preschool experience.

Patricia K. Vanaman

Board Chair

 

CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Cerise Bouchard
Term Start July 2013
Email Cerise@GrowingTogetherPreschool.org
Experience

Business Owner, Mother Nurture, LLC, 2006-2013

·     Conceived, planned and executed a successful start-up retail and professional services business.

·     Initiated and managed a full range of lactation support services with a support team of four credentialed professionals.

·     Developed and implemented a successful social media campaign resulting in over 1700 Facebook “likes.”

·     Built strong grassroots support in the community for the mission and organized successful community events.

·     Acted as spokesperson for the business and for breastfeeding awareness with multiple television appearances and print articles.

·     Designed and managed marketing plan and advertising budget.

·     Established the area’s first Milk Depot, with Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank (January 2012).

·     Supervised employees to include hiring, termination, staff meetings, and ongoing training.

President, Lactation Improvement Network of Kentucky, 2011-2013

·     Started nonprofit organization to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in Kentucky.

·     Completed necessary documentation for compliance with state law, to include bylaws, legal agreements and tax-exempt status.

·     Built strong, diverse Board of Directors.

Program Manager, Growing Together Preschool, 1999-2006

·     Credentialed as a Child Development Associate, Early Childhood Trainer and Director.

·     Manager of the One-Year-Old Program responsible for staff of 10, curriculum development, classroom planning and management, development of education goals, resource referrals, administration of developmental screenings, program planning and improvement, environmental assessment and improvement, and parent communication.

·     Served on KCTCS Early Childhood Education Curriculum Advisory Board, United Way Speakers Bureau and as a Creative Curriculum Field Test Representative

 

Staff
Full Time Staff 36
Part Time Staff 5
Volunteers 5
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 63%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 12
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 28
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 41
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Ms. Ellen Perry - June 2013
Senior Staff
Title Education and Outreach Coordinator
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Description

Growing Together Preschool, Inc. is an inclusive, developmental preschool integrating the lives and experiences of children with and without disabilities and other special needs who are birth through five years of age. At GTP each child receives quality child care from trained professionals. GTP provides a well rounded day tailored to meet each child’s needs (early intervention services for infants and toddlers, a comprehensive developmental program for preschoolers, academic readiness program for Pre-K). Children receive educational services with instruction strategies promoting a positive approach to learning. All inclusive classrooms encourage children to develop friendships while learning to accept and value differences in each other. Teacher directed, and child selected activities give ample opportunity to explore and experiment, meeting the child’s need for challenge and success. 

Budget 1273712
Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5), People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
Head Start
Early Head Start
National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative (ECELC) Project
Partners for Youth
Seedleaf 
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)2012
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? Yes
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Projected Revenue $1,224,080.00
Projected Expenses $1,224,080.00
Endowment Value $9,549.02
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Revenue$1,279,580$1,070,646$1,039,077
Total Expenses$1,244,496$1,078,876$1,047,797
Revenue Less Expenses$35,084($8,230)($8,720)
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
------
Government Contributions$155,649$63,426$32,901
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$155,649$63,426$32,901
Individual Contributions$62,921$19,410$9,367
$74,720$92,102$127,687
$971,934$883,886$862,072
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0--
Membership Dues$0$0--
Special Events$14,356$11,150$6,319
Revenue In-Kind$0$0--
Other$0$672$731
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$1,091,138$929,450$876,269
Administration Expense$149,595$141,748$170,447
Fundraising Expense$3,763$7,678$1,081
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.030.990.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%86%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%4%1%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$463,969$434,768$459,918
Current Assets$58,431$24,741$32,589
Long-Term Liabilities$242,634$249,914$272,426
Current Liabilities$24,357$28,511$17,832
Total Net Assets$196,978$156,343$169,660
Form 990s
2015 Form 990
2014 Form 990
2013 2013 990
2012 990
2011 990
2010 990
2009 990
2008 Form 990
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Registration Yes
Comments
CEO Comments
In 2015 we secured a grant from the King's Daughters and Sons Foundation to replace the carpeting throughout the school. However, there is still a great need for many building repair projects such as sealing the building masonry, replacing the sidewalk and parking lot, sealing the windows, replacing the hard surface flooring throughout the school and playground renovation.
 
We also enhanced our partnership with Community Action Council’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs to provide more services to children from low-income families or with other risk factors. This partnership ensures renovation of two of our three playgrounds and provides additional classroom materials which raise the quality of care for all children in the program.  
 
During this three-year grant period, United Way funding was lower across the board, which has led us to seek additional funding partners and opportunities to maintain our current operations and additional program enhancements. Our partnership with Head Start and Early Head Start filled this funding gap. However, additional funding partners are required to meet other operational goals such as staff salary increases and group health insurance.
Address 599 Lima Dr
Lexington, KY 40511
Primary Phone 859 255-4056
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Cerise Bouchard
Board Chair Ms. Patricia Vanaman
Board Chair Company Affiliation Northwestern Mutual Insurance