There’s a new preschool program available for Maui county residents. Its aim is to create a truly inclusive system of early childhood learning by bringing children with special needs together with children who have typical learning developments.

Dean Wong, Executive Director of Imua Family Services, joins us with more on the program.

Imua Family Services is a non-profit organization based on Maui, Molokai and Lana`i. They assist Maui County families who are facing challenges pertaining to their child’s development, behavior or disability. They are engaged in family-centered, community based, therapeutic services for infants, toddlers and preschool children, birth to age six and their families. Since 1947, they have been fulfilling their mission to provide comprehensive early childhood development services to children and their families with the support and resources needed to achieve their full potential in life. Imua Family Services programs include: Infant Child Development Program services for children birth to age three, Early Childhood Development Program to children three through five years old, Newborn Hearing Screening and Inclusion Preschool Program.

Imua Family Services are launching their first full school year of their inclusive preschool.  Fall registration is open and you can find an application at

According to Wong, inclusive learning is a win-win situation.   He says studies have shown that children with special needs/delay will imitate those behaviors of typically developing children.  Likewise, compassion and empathy are taught at an early stage with our typically developing children.