WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Goddard School in West Orange held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday to mark the opening of the 8,800-square-foot facility located at 303 Mt. Pleasant Ave., which will serve about 136 children ages six weeks to 6 years old and will employ about 26 faculty members.

On-site owner Nicole Harrison, who received her bachelor’s degree in health education and public health from Montclair State University, said that saw the developmental benefits her two youngest sons experienced while attending a Goddard School, Harrison said whe wanted other area families to have access to "the same high-quality early childhood education as her children."

"I am thrilled to bring a premium childcare experience to the people of West Orange and the surrounding communities," said Harrison. "I am a mom of four children and have first-hand experienced the value of the Goddard School program for my two youngest sons. That was an inspiration for me to bring the same program to the wonderful community of West Orange."

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The Goddard School offers a unique play-based F.L.EX. Learning Program (Fun Learning Experience) that is based on research that has found that children experience the deepest, most genuine learning when they are having fun. The focus at The Goddard School is on building each child's emotional, academic, social, creative and physical skills to provide a well-rounded experience and ensure each one becomes confident, joyful and fully prepared in school and in life.

"A large part of my vision for my school is community," Harrison said. "We plan to build a strong community with our families, our faculty and staff, and with the township of West Orange. We will find ways to work with local businesses and services to ensure that we are finding ways to contribute."

The newest preschool will be open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

For more information about The Goddard School in West Orange visit The Goddard School website.