According to the 2016 Census, children aged zero-to-four are the second-largest demographic in the Cessnock local government area – second only to the five-to-nine years age group.
With the growing number of children comes the need for more childcare services in the city.
Cessnock’s newest preschool – Cessnock Kids Preschool and Early Learning Centre – was officially opened on Saturday.
Located in the historic former Soldiers Memorial Hall in Vincent Street, the centre opened in November and is already almost at half-capacity.
Centre director Kellie Stapleford said the open day on Saturday was a huge success, with about 200 people through the doors.
Activities included a petting zoo, jumping castle, disco, face painting, a sausage sizzle, a visit from the fire engine and tours of the centre provided by the staff.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent conducted the official opening, cutting the ribbon alongside members of the Adney family, who own the centre.
The centre will be open to the community again at the Stomp Festival on Sunday, April 8.
“We are looking forward to another event and becoming a strong part of the community,” Ms Stapleford said.