Early-learning childcare center, located at 16145 S.W. Upper Boones Ferry Road, opens in January 2022

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Shyla Ilavarasan, Prithvi Prabakar, Prabakar Murugappan, Subha Singaram, Srishti Prabakar and Vijay Ilavarasan help break ground on the new Kiddie Academy, an early-learning child care center located next to The Circuit Bouldering Gym.  A new Kiddie Academy facility, the first one in Oregon, will open in Tigard early next year.

On Friday, July 16, Tigard Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Debi Mollahan, Tigard Mayor Jason Snider and representatives from the academy gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the nationally franchised early-learning child care facility.

Located at 16145 S.W. Upper Boones Ferry Road, next door to The Circuit Bouldering Gym, the 10,800-square-foot academy is expected to open in January 2022.

"The importance of early education and childcare was certainly amplified during the pandemic," Snider said during the ceremony. "I think we'd all agree with that."

He said parents struggled to maintain their jobs over the last, children struggled without having in-person learning and it became tougher for students and teachers to build relationships.

Snider said the pandemic also has highlighted the need for more childcare and learning options for children.

"And this is why the Kiddie Academy is such an important addition to our community," said Snider. "The academy will benefit children, parents and even you, through the addition of new jobs in our community."

Owned and operated by Subha Singaram, the center is supported by Prabakar Murugappan, along with Vijay and Deepika Ilavarasan, who run a Kiddie Academy in Vancouver, Washington's Fishers Landing neighborhood.

"It's a very experienced team," said Murugappan. "We believe that educational childcare is a dire need in the community and as well as across the nation. So, bringing that to Tigard, and the communities around Tigard, it is quite exciting for us."

COURTESY CIDA ARCHITECTURE - The 10,800-square-foot Kiddie Academy, designed by CIDA Architecture of Tigard, is expected to open in January 2022.A Bull Mountain resident for the last 15 years, Murugappan said Kiddie Academy expects to have up to 150 students with a dedicated curriculum for children ages 1 through 5. In addition, after-school programs geared toward students ages 5 through 12 years old will be available as well.

STEM — short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics — programs will be available, too, with both chess and music programs offered, all in an effort to give students a well-rounded education, said Murugappan.

The Tigard location will include three playgrounds, including areas for children to play soccer and basketball.

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