After having five children from the same family move through the Salt Creek Park District preschool, the mother of those preschoolers named the school "the best kept secret in Palatine."
Laura Banik has been the preschool director for 18 years and some parents still ask her, "Where is Salt Creek Park District?"
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With only 6,500 residents, the district tends to get overshadowed by larger park districts in the area. Residents of the Palatine area are familiar with Twin Lakes Recreation Area and Golf Course, but very few realize that Twin Lakes, along with Hat Trick Hockey are Salt Creek Park District's facilities.
Because of the district is so small, the preschool has lower enrollment and smaller classes than some other programs, making it attractive to families from nearby communities, Banik said. The difference in resident and nonresident fees is minimal.
The class size is 10-12 students per class and the center has an experienced staff, with the children of all of the teachers having gone though the program.
The school includes a large preschool room with skylights, outdoor playground area adapted for 3-5 year olds and a multipurpose room for large motor activities like sports.
The school offers a 2- or 3-day morning program for the 3 year olds, and a 2-, 3- or 4-day afternoon option for the 4 year olds. All classes are 2½ hour long.
To provide a break from the season, the school is hosting a "Tropical Open House" 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Rose Park. The room will be decorated in a tropical décor and the teachers will be wearing beach attire. Children can make an art project and listen to a beach story, while parents meet the teachers and learn about the curriculum and fall registration.
A 3-year-old who missed the fall cutoff date for preschool can start in February. For information, call Laura Banik at (847) 259-6890, ext. 113.