With a brand-new building and an academically focused curriculum, Primrose School is ready to take its place among Worthington's childcare centers.

With a brand-new building and an academically focused curriculum, Primrose School is ready to take its place among Worthington's childcare centers.

"We are very standards- and academics-based," said owner Tobie Simonds. "We think that is what differentiates us."

The new 12,000-square-foot school is at 6902 N. High St., behind the PNC Bank. The old HER building was demolished to make way for the school.

The building has private classrooms for age groups ranging from infants through kindergarten. First- and second-graders also come to the school for before- and after-school care.

Outdoors are four age-appropriate playgrounds, and space for a garden that will be planted in the spring.

Primrose is a franchising company with 220 schools in 17 states. The Worthington school is the 10th in central Ohio.

Simonds' daughter attended the Golf Village Primrose School in Powell, and the family was pleased with its experience, she said.

Simonds has a background in early childhood education, but worked for 12 years in commercial real estate. She had worked with Primrose in developing local schools, and became interested in building her own when she learned the company was looking at Worthington.

"I figured it would be a good fit in Worthington," she said.

Worthington has several preschools and daycare centers, but Primrose is one of the few that offers long hours. The center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It also cooks and serves breakfast and lunch and three snacks a day.

The center also distinguishes itself with its Balanced Learning Curriculum that blends teacher-directed and child-initiated activities and is consistently delivered in all Primrose Schools nationwide, the owner said.

Beginning with infants who are taught sign language, academics are an integral part of each grade level. Teachers follow standard lesson plans in areas such as math, science, social science, music, physical development and language.

They are free to add to the plans to individualize experiences, Simonds said.

"We focus on school readiness," she said. "We are academically, emotionally, and socially preparing children for success in elementary school."

Playtime is also part of the school day.

"A big part of what we do is create a love of learning and a love of going to school," said Simonds.

And having fun is part of the day, even for the owner. She loves being greeted by little people who are eager to share what they are learning.

"It's much more fun that walking into a real estate office," she said.