Early childhood education fairs set

Families with infants and children up to age 5 can attend Early Childhood Education fairs on Thursday and Tuesday to learn about providers, programs, resources and financial support on Maui.

The fairs, which are free and open to the public, will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday’s event is at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Tuesday’s event is at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.

More than 60 providers have been invited participate.

The program is being presented by Kamehameha Schools, People Attentive to Children, county Office of Early Learning, Tutu & Me and Maui Family Support Services.

According to a 2017 University of Hawaii report, there is only one available seat in early childhood programs for every 34 infants/toddlers and only one available seat for every three preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) on Maui. The gap is even wider on Molokai and Lanai.

“In Maui County, the demand is high for early childhood education services and our goal with these fairs is to provide as much information as possible in one location so families are empowered to make decisions about their children’s early learning needs,” said Venus Rosete-Medeiros, Kamehameha Schools regional director for Maui, Molokai and Lanai.