Pasco couple plan all-day preschool

PASCO — Tri-City families will have another option for child care this fall when a new day care facility opens in west Pasco.

Jigsaw Kids is the inspiration of Scott Thomason, a former buyer for Bechtel, and his wife Claudia, a former preschool teacher. Thomason said he expects the facility to open as early as October.

Thomason said he decided to open the business after observing Claudia’s success in running a small day care out of their home. She takes care of six kids, including their 21⁄2-year-old son, Brandon, and 11-month-old daughter, Sarah.

“I thought, ‘You know, you could have a lot of fun doing something like that,’ ” he said.

So he said he began looking for a good location and brainstormed ideas to make Jigsaw Kids different from other day care centers.

Typical day care has three- to five-hour programs, Thomason said.

“And that could be a problem with dual working parents,” he said.

The 11,600-square-foot building off Burden boulevard will include nine classrooms and have an all-day preschool curriculum, Thomason said.

The center will provide care for children as young as a month old up to 5 years old. For its first three months, he said only 75 children will be accepted to ensure everything is “running smoothly,” Thomason said.

But by October 2010, he said he expects the center will have a capacity of 230 children.

The number may be steep, but Thomason said the center will have sufficient staff to keep the student-teacher ratio low.

Nine teachers and 18 teacher aides will be on the staff, along with additional employees. The curriculum also will include cultural awareness and lessons on diversity.

“It’s important to speak a second language in this day and age and expose (children) to as much as possible,” said Scott.The building — which will include a full-sized commercial kitchen and laundry room — is expected to be completed by mid-October.

For more information, call Thomason at 509-378-1365 or go to www.jigsawkids.net.