AFTER seven long years of waiting for an answer, the Pottsville Community Preschool can finally start preparing for its much-needed extension.
The Tweed Shire Council voted in favour of granting the preschool its development application to build new classrooms, extended administration facilities and extra parking, and more playground equipment.
The approval means the preschool can enrol an extra 40 students a day and increase the number of staff to 12.
This long overdue decision comes after years of community efforts to make the preschool viable for its students, with reports the preschool had a waiting list of more than 100 students since 2010.
As a result of the long waiting lists, the preschool's expansion project was started by former director Michele (Shelly) Howell, who passed away in January 2014.
Current director Cassy Read said she was beyond excited for the approval to build and thought Shelly would be to.
"I think Shelley would be very excited because there's been so much work,” Ms Read said.
"We can build and we can start to meet the need of the community. It demonstrates the amount of work put in by other people, whether they're still here or not here.
"There's' just so many people who have come together to realise this project and make it happen.”
Ms Read said the community has always had a invested interested in seeing the preschool thrive.
"People have invested so much time, energy and skills into the preschool and getting it this far that they are still heavily invested and they still want it to go ahead,” she said.
Project manager Katie McColl said even though her children no longer attend the preschool, she was determined to make sure others got the same opportunities.
"Even though your kids aren't there any more, what it did as a platform for education, you want to see other kids have that opportunity,” she said.