The Week of the Young Child occurs nationally from April 6-12 to recognize the needs
of young children and their families while advocating for and celebrating early learning
and early childhood education.
The Decorah Community is extremely fortunate to have six collaborative preschool
centers who provide high quality four-year-old preschool programming–at no cost
through Statewide Iowa Quality Preschool Program funding–and a Head Start Preschool
Program licensed by the Department of Human Services. These programs provide a
foundation for lifelong learning across all development areas, including literacy, math,
science, social emotional, and fine and gross motor development while also inspiring
creativity, imagination, perseverance, and kindness.
Shanna Putnam Dibble, Decorah Preschool Director, remarked, “Read on to learn more
about the many wonderful preschool programs in Decorah and join us to celebrate young
children and early childhood educators at our Week of the Young Child.”
For more information on any of these preschool centers, check out the preschool
websites, call the centers to schedule a tour, or contact Decorah Preschool Director
Dibble at
Head Start
Head Start embraces learning through play. They utilize the Creative Curriculum and
Positive Behaviors Supports (PBIS). Head Start is housed at West Side Early Childhood


Center. They offer free before and after care for families who qualify as well as the
potential for summer programming. Phone: 564-382-4451
Kinderhaus is a Waldorf-inspired, outdoor preschool and kindergarten for 3-6 year-olds
that provides a warm and nurturing environment for young children in the community to
learn. Kinderhaus strives to develop the whole child: emotionally, socially, artistically,
and cognitively. Their goal is simple: To create an oasis in which children find the
security and the opportunity to develop into creative, imaginative, cooperative, self-
motivated learners for the future. Phone: 563-379-7303
For 19 years, Northeast Iowa Montessori has been serving children as an independent
school, diversifying the educational choices of our vibrant community. Many families
choose NEIM for the Montessori curriculum, mixed-age classrooms, individualized
attention, and after-school childcare program. Montessori strives to create a peaceful
environment for nurturing resilient explorers, confident learners, and empathetic citizens.
Phone: 563-382-6491
Nisse Preschool
Nisse Preschool has a decades-long, rich history serving the families of Decorah. Since
their opening in 1968, they have maintained their mission to provide a safe and
developmentally appropriate learning environment, which fosters a child’s natural desire
to explore, discover, create, and become a lifelong learner. Nisse is located on College
Drive and offers programming for three- and four-year-olds. Phone: 563-382-4794
St. Benedict School
The preschool is a part of St. Benedict School, which has programming for students from
preschool through eighth grade and is accredited by the State of Iowa Department of
Education. The goal of St. Ben’s Preschool is to promote the development of each child’s
fullest potential as they develop emotionally, intellectually, physically, and
socially. Phone: 563-382-4668
Sunflower Child Development Center
Sunflower Child Development Center is excited to welcome the Preschool class of 2024-
2025 to their brand-new center. Along with Creative Curriculum units of study, they offer
Farm to School programming as well as the new Discovery Center set to open Fall 2024.
Children will have the opportunity to learn through play and interactions with others in a
safe and nurturing environment. Phone: 563-382-5717
West Side Early Childhood Center
West Side Early Childhood Center houses the Decorah Community School District’s
preschool classrooms. Preschool classes are taught by teachers who are certified in Early
Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education. Their curriculum is based on the
Creative Curriculum Model which focuses on all areas of development including social
emotional learning, physical, cognitive and language development. At West Side
educators believe that all children learn best through play and hands on experiences,
which is the basis of their instructional approach for teaching pre-academic skills. These

skills are infused into inquiry-based studies focused on student interests. The West Side
4-year-old program serves children in an integrated preschool setting. Classrooms include
some children with special needs and others who do not require special education
services, with all children benefiting from the many opportunities this environment has to
offer. Phone: 564-382-4451

Kinderhaus 2


Kinderhaus 1 1


Nisse 1


Sunflower 1

Sunflower Child Care Center

St. Bens 1

St. Benedict’s School

Head Start 1

Head Start

West Side 2 1

West Side Early Childhood Center

West Side 1 1

West Side Early Childhood Center