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The University of Toronto's Institute for Child Study will expand its facilities after receiving the largest donation ever made to early childhood development and education in Canada.

The $5-million donation has prompted the 85-year-old institute for Child Study to rename itself after the donor, an alum of the school, Dr. Eric Jackman.

"The timing of the gift is especially important given Ontario's new early learning [full-day kindergarten]initiative, which was informed by research done in this building," the institute's director, Janette Pelletier, said Thursday at a school assembly to announce the gift.

Students from the institute's lab school were wowed by the announcement, but more pleased with the cookies that followed.

"My mother would have been impressed, she thought something beneficial was happening to her [children]here," said Mr. Jackman, an award-winning clinical psychologist whose siblings also attended the lab school.

The school intends to double the size of its current facility. Ms. Pelletier hopes that the new space will enable the institute to host more programs for parents, including family literacy initiatives, and to house more foreign scholars, educators and researchers.