Maine Children's Home to Partner with Bright Beginnings Learning Center to Serve More Families in Central Maine

WATERVILLE, Maine The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers announced a partnership with Bright Beginnings Learning Center to assure continued access to successful quality early care and education on the Dorothy 'Bibby' Alfond campus at 93 Silver Street in Waterville. This new partnership will increase childcare for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old and grow the program back to 50 children in the near future.

After two years of exploring many options, and with great consideration, it has been decided that The Children's Place Early Care & Education Center will end activities as a program of The Maine Children's Home on Friday, February 28th. On Monday, March 2nd, Bright Beginnings Learning Center - Waterville will open its doors. Child care will continue to take place in the same building on the Dorothy 'Bibby' Alfond campus with a number of the same staff, and ideally with many of the same families, with room for more.

The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers, founded in 1899, reaches out to more than 3,000 families and children throughout the state every year. Their mission is to "build and strengthen families and their children, instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life." The Maine Children's Home has long recognized the vital need for early care and education but is also an economic imperative for working parents. This led the organization to open The Children's Place Early Care & Education Center in 2002. 

Bright Beginnings Learning Center is a well-respected, award-winning local provider of early care and education with a current location in Benton, ME. This center-based childcare has been in operation since 2015 with Angela Parker and Heather Owen as co-owners and operators. Bright Beginnings Learning Center (BBLC), works to provide care that meets the individual needs of each child in a safe, nurturing, and educational environment. They strive to ensure that each child in their care is given the opportunity to develop socially, cognitively, and physically at their own pace and developmental level.

The Maine Children's Home is proud of its partnership with KVCAP and Educare as a community provider in its federal Early Head Start grant since 2014. Initially, 8 local children under the age of 3 and their families were part of this successful partnership, which grew to include 16 young children in 2019. Although this partnership grant will conclude at the end of February, Educare will continue to provide care in a new classroom and the following supplies will continue to be provided under the grant: teacher coaching, professional development, equipment, supplies, family support, diapers, wipes, snacks, and meals. Children under the KVCAP Early Head Start grant will see no gap in care and support.

For the past two years, The Maine Children's Home has been undertaking a rigorous strategic planning and evaluation process to assure it remains responsive to the daunting challenges being faced by children and families in the central Maine community. Over the past six months, the organization worked with consultants and private funders to assure its strategic focus is clear and sustainable far into the future. These assessments will guide the organization to continue to focus on being a leader in providing the community with essential child and family support through their adoptioncounselingteen parent schoolChristmassummer camp scholarships, and referral programs.

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The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers, founded in 1899, builds and strengthens Maine families and their children, instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life. The organization features a full Hague-accredited adoption program that provides assistance to families hoping to adopt internationally or domestically. In addition to the George J. & Mary S. Mitchell Adoption Unit, the agency offers outpatient counseling through the Harland A. Turner Family Counseling Center, the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program, a summer camp scholarship program, and The Christmas Program that provides clothing and toys to underprivileged Maine children.

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