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Hampstead to add new preschool, county recognizes growth

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WECT) - In just one short year, Hampstead resident Nadia Gleason has seen a change in the area.

“We’ve seen a lot of growth here,” said Gleason. “We were the first community in this neighborhood and now there’s two more popping up down the street. On my drive to work, I see a ton of communities popping up. The growth has been ridiculous.”

Hampstead’s growth has put an unforeseen strain on families with small children.

“With it growing so much, there’s a wait list everywhere for childcare,” says Creative Minds owner Liz Peloquin.

But with that problem, comes a solution. Hampstead will soon welcome a new preschool — a 12,000 square foot building at Bay Ridge Road and U.S. 17.

“So many parents just need a place for their kids so they can go to work, and so they can feel safe with going to work knowing that somebody is going to be there to take care of their children and love their children,” said Peloquin.

It’s an expansion of Creative Minds, a highly sought after preschool in Pender County with over 200 students. After a year of social distancing during the pandemic, the child development services are more important now than ever before.

“The most important thing is the social-emotional learning,” said Peloquin. “How to play with others without hitting or biting or scratching and that. Just learning how to just be, listen to rules and follow them.”

While the new facility is part of the growth of Hampstead, it will help make life a little easier for parents like Gleason, especially with the new upcoming bypass close by.

“So we’re super excited about it, my kids love going to the school so they’re excited about it and we just can’t wait to see how everything plays out with it,” said Gleason.

It’s hopeful the facility will be ready within the next two years.

It will be part of a three-building project, which will be named Bay Ridge Commons. Other than the preschool, it will bring retail stores, dining options and possibly a medical facility to the area.

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