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Zaca Preschool program in Buellton will continue


Thanks to the help and community partnership from staff members, parents, and political and community leaders, the Zaca Preschool Program in Buellton will continue to remain active.

“A 501c3 will be created, and staff members and the director will stay with the program. Parents and City Council members have also indicated a willingness to take part in potential fund-raising efforts,” said the Santa Barbara County Education Office in a released statement.

“We recognize that a preschool program of this high caliber is a valuable asset to the children and families involved, and also to the elementary school the program feeds, as evidenced by the praise of kindergarten teachers for the preparation and abilities of the students who arrive from Zaca,” said County Superintendent Bill Cirone.

Cirone said that several families has moved closer to the school just so their children could attend Zaca’s full-inclusion program.

The SBCEO will continue providing support to ensure that everything is in place for the next school year.



The days could be numbered for a Santa Barbara County preschool that’s been around for decades. The school is known for teaching students with special needs.

The preschool has been there for more than 20 years. Now it’s looking like it could potentially be closing down – parents saying that if the preschool does close, it would be devastating.

They say their children have benefited from being able to interact with the special needs students in Zaca Preschool’s Full Inclusion Program.

The Santa Barbara County Education Office says come August 2017 , the county will no longer be operating the 55 student preschool because of funding issues but say they’re completely dedicated to helping Zaca find another operator.

“Expenses have gone up and just the income doesn’t cover the expenses anymore for us,” Kathy Gulje with the Santa Barbara County Education Office said.

“You know everyone puts their all in to make it cost effective and a successful program,” parent Joanna Crookston said.

The County says they’ve had six people reach out to them about taking the preschool over.

Parents were encouraging people to show up at the Buellton City Council meeting that started at 6 pm, to voice their concerns.

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