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Free preschool has 30 slots open

West County School District residents who want their children to enter the district’s free preschool should sign up to have the child screened for eligibility.

There are 30 slots in the preschool, open to students whose screening shows they meet eligibility requirements. Screenings will provide information about the child’s development, speech, hearing, vision and other health-related issues.

Screening is free to all district children who will be 4 years old by Aug. 1. Only children who go through the screening process will be considered for placement in the preschool.

Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 31 and April 1-4 at the West County Early Childhood Center/Preschool building in Frankclay. Parents should call teacher Beth Henson or assistant teacher Kris Marler at 562-2984 to make an appointment.

“The screening usually lasts about an hour, depending on the child’s cooperation,” Marler said.

Parents must bring the following information to the appointment in order for the child to be screened: Up-to-date immunization records, the child’s state birth certificate, the child’s Social Security card and proof of residence.

Hospital birth certificates will not be accepted. To receive an official state birth certificate for your child, contact the St. Francois County Health Department at 573-431-1947 or the Missouri Division of Health at 573-751-6387.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at


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