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Northland preschool tailored to special needs children breaks ground on expansion

Posted at 8:17 AM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 09:17:16-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Northland preschool serving special needs children broke ground on a $3.7 million expansion and renovation Tuesday.

The Northland Early Childhood Center will add three classrooms, a therapy gym and an all-inclusive, adaptable playground to its property at 8630 North Oak Trafficway. The changes will allow the center to serve approximately 100 new students. 

The school started in 1981 when parents in the Northland realized there wasn't an option for preschool that focused on education and therapy for students with developmental disabilities. When it first opened, the center enrolled six students. Now there are more than 200 students and a waiting list of about 40 children with both special and typical needs. 

Administrators said the inclusive setting helps students of varying abilities reach their full potential. Students range in age from birth to 5 years old. Teachers said working with children in the early, developmental years has a crucial impact on their development.

The program director said the expansion will help provide services for the Northland, which continues to see a spike in residential development. 

The center, which is a non-profit organization, continues to fundraise to pay for the expansion. It needs about $800,000 to fully fund the project. If you'd like to make a donation, click here.