Princeton Nursery School (PNS) has the distinction of being the oldest licensed early childhood center in Princeton. Since its inception in 1929 PNS’ mission has been to provide high quality preschool programs and services that are affordable for all families. Now in 2015, more than 4,000 children and their parents have benefited from a wide-range of programs and services to advance the education and well-being of the family. PNS celebrates a diverse multicultural student body and a highly qualified teaching staff.

Studies show that young children who receive high-quality early education like that provided by PNS perform better academically. Nobel Laureate in Economics James Heckman reports, “Early childhood programs pay dividends for life. We see savings as early as kindergarten, reduced burdens on schools. We see savings in the teenage years. We see a direct link to higher adult productivity and self-sufficiency.”

In 2011 PNS earned accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. NAEYC Accreditation is the nation’s leading system for ensuring high-quality settings for all children from birth to kindergarten. To achieve NAEYC Accreditation, programs must meet 80 percent of the criteria they are assessed on in each of 10 standards. Even to be a candidate for accreditation, programs must meet a threshold of strict requirements for administrators and teachers. Families of more than one million children nationwide rely upon NAEYC Accreditation as the mark of a quality education.

In Mercer County childcare costs for working parents with modest incomes can consume 40 percent of their monthly income. For a parent at Princeton Nursery School tuition is based on family size and income, which is typically 12 to 15 percent of their monthly salary. The PNS board of trustees and staff diligently work to obtain funding from both governmental and private agencies. Additionally a dedicated group of individual donors support the work at PNS.

Many community partners also contribute to the numerous PNS programs and services. Expertise in everything from literacy, science, art, music, and physical and mental health are provided through partnerships with such agencies as Princeton Public Library, Princeton Arts Council, Princeton University, Music Together, Trinity Counseling Services, YMCA of Princeton, and PNC Bank.

On Friday, February 26, the PNS board and staff will host its annual event: “Hoe Down Goes …” La Dolce Vita Italiana. The event will be held at the Princeton Italian American Club, 8 Founders Lane, Princeton, at 6 p.m. At last year’s event the Hoe Down theme was country western with guests wearing cow boy boots and jeans as they danced the night away. This year will be equally as fun with great food, wine, and live musicians. Silent and live auctions will also be featured.

Tickets can be purchased at princetonnurseryschool.org or by calling 609-921-8606 . There is still time to sign on as an event sponsor. Sponsorship levels range from the $5,000 for the Leonardo De Vinci Sponsor to $250 for the Marco Polo Sponsor. A special invitation is being extended to PNS alumni to join in the fun. See ad, page 16.

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