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‘A hidden gem’: UNLV will expand preschool with $10M donation

UNLV announced Thursday that it has received an anonymous $10 million gift for an expansion project that will double its preschool program’s capacity and alleviate the program’s two-year waitlist.

Construction will begin later this year at the UNLV/CSUN Preschool, located on campus at the Lynn Bennett Early Childhood Education Center.

It will allow the preschool — which serves children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old — to accommodate 350 to 400 children each year. It’s open to children of faculty and staff, students and the community.

“The preschool is a hidden gem in our community,” a spokesperson for the anonymous donor said in a news release. “When young children have a safe and nurturing environment that promotes their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development, they can embark on the rest of their education journeys with a solid foundation and promising future.”

The project will include 10 new classrooms; four new shaded play areas, including a space for infants; garden areas outside each classroom; and spaces for community events and training.

The current space also will be remodeled to include new flooring, insulation and classroom upgrades.

State officials say a lack of affordable and accessible child care is a major issue, and it’s also problematic for businesses experiencing employee shortages.

A state report issued in February found that nearly 75 percent of children ages 5 and younger don’t have access to licensed care.

The UNLV Foundation is continuing to raise money for the university’s preschool expansion, with a total goal of $18 million.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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