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Now accepting: Primrose School open for spring semester class, childcare

Melinda Aurora (pictured) and her husband Mickey opened the Primrose School of Cottage Grove Dec. 26, 2017. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 4
There are several classrooms in the Primrose School of Cottage Grove. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 4
Class time for youngsters enrolled at Primrose includes all subjects, including some time for art. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 4
The newly-opened Primrose School in Cottage Grove cares for children from infancy to preschool and up to 12-years-old for before and after school programming. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 4

Melinda Arora couldn't have looked happier to have the Primrose School of Cottage Grove open after nearly five years of proposals, rejections and construction.

The school let its first students in for class and childcare Dec. 26 and has been continually enrolling since. They accept children from infant to 12 years old for child care, early preschool, pre-Kindergarten and before and after school programs.

Melinda and her husband, Mickey Arora, started the process to become franchise owners of a Primrose School in Cottage Grove four and a half years ago, and had proposals rejected twice before finally finding a permanent home at 6927 Pine Arbor Dr.

"We knew we wanted to do this, but now your heart truly warms up seeing them beaming and I can't even describe it," Melinda Arora said.

She and Mickey — who between them have marketing, management and small business backgrounds — had been considering opening a business for some time, she said. When they had "baby number one," Melinda Arora said, they found the industry they wanted to pursue.

The couple found in their own search for child care that they either were not happy with offerings or were put on a waitlist.

"We thought, 'We cannot be the only parents who have this need (in Cottage Grove),'" Arora said.

Now on "baby number two," they are preparing for their grand opening Jan. 27, where parents and children are invited to attend an open house about what attracted the Aroras to Primrose all those years ago.

Melinda Arora said they were drawn to the curriculum and its focus on character development.

"(That) is what I didn't really see elsewhere," she said.

The Primrose curriculum centers around STEAM rather than STEM, Arora said. Whereas STEM includes science, technology, engineering and math, STEAM adds art into the core mix. The curriculum also includes other basics such as social studies, music and "Mucho mundo," their Spanish language program.

The curriculum is often tailored to each student, with instructors dialing the content up or down for individuals depending on their learning level. Arora said this is also done without the other children necessarily knowing, keeping all kids in the same classrooms, having the same experience.

For infants, she said it's a much more fluid course, but they still keep on track with storytime, music and sign language.

"We try to instill a love of learning," Arora said. "Because they have a long way to go."