Early Learning Center of the Upper Valley Project (ELCUV)
The City of Lebanon contracted with Placework Studio in 2023 to design and operate an Early Learning Center to help address the significant shortage of available childcare openings in the Upper Valley. This facility will be on city-owned land near the Lebanon Municipal Airport and serve up to 200 children, or nearly 10% of the identified shortfall. The learning center will provide early childcare educational and infant care services. Afterschool programming, educator training, and public amenities are also targeted for the center’s space planning and programming.
Since August 2021, the City has been working with a variety of partners to identify solutions to the childcare crisis in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is estimated that the Upper Valley was short approximately 2,000 childcare openings. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the shortage is estimated to be even higher as some childcare providers have gone out of business and others are operating at reduced capacity due to staffing shortages.
The City has several primary goals for the Early Learning Center of the Upper Valley Project:
- At least 51% of the children served will come from families of low to moderate income.
- The facility operator will be expected to pay competitive wages and benefits.
- The City would like to explore the feasibility of providing childcare services during non-traditional hours and on weekends.
- The facility will offer on-the-job training to train childcare workers for its own operations, as well as for other providers in the region.
For more information, see the project summary.
Grants, donations, and tax credits will fund the capital costs.
City Manager's Office
- February 21, 2023 - City Partnering in Design and Operation of Childcare Facility news flash
- July 27, 2023 - Community Conversation - Early Learning Center of the Upper Valley
- Upcoming - October 18, 2023 - City Council meeting and Capital Improvement Project Work Session
Early Learning Center Timeline
- January 2023 - Partnered with Boys & Girls Club of Central New Hampshire to operate the center upon completion
- February 2023 - Contracted with Placework Studio for architectural design
- April 2023 - Contracted with ReArch Company for construction management services
- 2025 - Construction to commence
- 2026 - Will be under construction
- 2026/2027 - Anticipated construction completion and center opening