The Goddard School, an early childhood education center with nearly 500 locations nationwide, has opened in Springfield at 3411 Hedley Rd. Franchisee Barbara Burrows has operated a location in Edwardsville since 2009.

“I’m excited to bring the first Goddard School to Springfield,” Burrows said. “I enjoy working with children and thrive on being a part of their daily progress. The first five years of a child’s life are crucial – it’s when they begin to develop a solid foundation for learning.”

The preschool will serve up to 140 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old and employ more than 30 faculty members.

In an interview with SBJ in February 2018, Burrows explained that while the corporate office has to approve a particular area, the local franchisees try to incorporate their own theme for each school. Burrows said she has partnered with Island Bay Yacht Club for a Lake Springfield theme and will be incorporating the basics of sailing into the curriculum.

Joyner Construction Services was the general contractor for the 8,600 square foot building. Burrows originally considered purchasing an existing building but said she realized she could build brand new for the cost of renovations. Bank of Springfield provided financing for the project.