BEDFORD — The Primrose School, scheduled to open in May 2014, will offer day care and preschool for ages 6 weeks to 6 years, and before- and after-school programs for students up to age 12.
The school was granted final approval by the town planning board Monday to build a 12,700-square-foot preschool and day care at Bedford Hills near the intersection of Old Bedford Road and Route 101. The facility will include a 14,500-square-foot outdoor playground to accommodate about 182 students.
The Primrose Schools is a franchised school headquartered in Acworth, Ga., and was founded in 1982. The programs at Primrose Schools are education-based, offering learning through social, emotional, cognitive, creative and physical skills, and character development, according to the company website, primroseschools.com.
Although local schools may offer similar programs, some preschool directors in town say Primrose will not affect their enrollments.
"They provide day care, and I believe we do need more day care spots, but that age group won't impact us," said Linda Degler, executive director of New Morning School. "We offer private preschool, and parents can choose a flexible schedule to fit their needs."
New Morning School, at 23 Back River Road, offers preschool and kindergarten programs for 3- to 5-year-olds. The school also offers before- and after-school programs that are held at elementary, middle and some intermediate schools in Bedford, Amherst, Auburn, Candia, Chichester, Dunbarton, Goffstown, Hooksett, Manchester, Milford, Pembroke and Weare. Degler said these programs are convenient for many working parents because students remain at their own schools.
New Morning School opened in 1974 and in March 2011 it was re-established under new ownership. The school is licensed for 48 students and provides developmentally and age-appropriate education and play, said Degler.
The preschool and kindergarten programs provide socialization, proper school behavior and decision-making and academic skills to prepare them for elementary school.
"If a 3-year-old comes through our program and learns how to read, they may read with kindergartners so we don't hold them back," she said.
Sue Tyrie, of Bedford Village Morning School, has owned the preschool and kindergarten for 36 of its 41 years in town.
"We have our faithful followers," said Tyrie. "One more school in Bedford isn't going to make a difference in our enrollment. We're more of a preschool and kindergarten, and that's what separates us."
Bedford Village Morning School, at 19 Ministerial Road, offers programs for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds based on early learning and socialization, and teaches self-control, responsibility, building self-esteem and respect for others.
Primrose will be built across Route 101 from Bright Horizons at Bedford, at 54 Constitution Drive.
Bright Horizons at Bedford is among a family of schools operated by Bright Horizons, based out of Watertown, Mass.
The school, which formerly operated as Harmony Learning Center, is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bright Horizons took over the facility in 2005 and has a 150-student capacity.
Bridget Perry, a spokeswoman for Bright Horizons, said the school has a long-standing reputation in town, and offers a great program. Bright Horizons at Bedford is geared for ages 6 weeks to pre-kindergarten and offers a curriculum that introduces math, science, language, culture, environment, art and healthy living.
"There's always a high demand for infant and toddler care, and it's always good when working parents have options," she said about Primrose Schools opening nearby.
Bright Horizons also has a Back-up Care program for students up to age 12 during summer and school vacations, Perry said.