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May. 22, 2022 | Sunday
Local News
Tears shed as expanded nursery school opens



There were tears of joy and thanks Saturday as the expanded Niagara Nursery School officially opened and showed off its new facilities.

Candice Penny, executive director of the nursery school, said it was an honour to be celebrating the "momentous occasion" for the school, which will mark 50 years of operating in Niagara next March.

The expansion of the school, beside the NOTL Community Centre, took three years of planning and construction to complete and cost about $2 million.

Community donations and funding from the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and other levels of government helped make it a reality.

"This is a big moment for not only Niagara Nursery School, but for our community as a whole. And we are so happy to be able to be licensed for 69 children, doubling our previous capacity," Penny told a crowd that included staff and area political leaders.

Growing emotional, Penny also took time to thank the project's donors and supporters, and "countless individuals without which today would not be possible."

"I've said it many times before and I will keep saying, we are so lucky to live in a region that recognizes the importance of early childhood education, the importance of supporting children and families and those who work in early childhood education fields," she said.

"The joy on the faces of our little one says it all."

Matthew Maxwell, an early childhood educator in the school's toddler room, was thankful to have the new, dedicated facility for the children, and another space for different age groups.

"Before we had a mixed group room, and now we have a dedicated preschool toddler and infant room, as well as the school-age program," he said.

"We keep having new children come in each day and we're really excited to have our family growing and having more happening every week."

He said educators have been able to help decorate the rooms and add "their own personal touches."

"You can see all the rooms kind of made from our personalities put together," Maxwell said.