Luthercare began its work in childcare in the 1990’s. As childcare and early learning needs grew among members of area congregations, Luthercare expanded its mission and responded to those needs. Luthercare’s first center, Lebanon Valley Child Care and Learning Center began in 1991 on the campus of Lebanon Valley College in Annville. In 1996, the center moved to 40 S. King Street, Annville. In the years that followed, Luthercare opened several more centers. Today, we operate three Luthercare for Kids Early Learning Centers in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. They are located in Annville, Marietta and Reamstown.
All centers participate in the Keystone STARS Program. Keystone STARS is an initiative of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Child Development and Early Learning to improve, support and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania.
Luthercare initiated its Family/Group Child Care Provider Mentoring programs in 2002 in Lebanon County, and in 2004 in Lancaster County, with funding from the United Way in each county. This program was designed to help home-based child care providers learn the child care business, offer them resources and equipment, help set goals for the provider as well as provide ongoing encouragement and support. Participation in the program affords home-based providers of child care access to professional resources and early learning classroom materials through a traveling resource van. In 2015, the Mentoring Program was reconceived with funding from United Way of Lancaster County to pursue the bold goal of helping 100% of Lancaster’s children to be kindergarten ready. The program has transformed into a collective impact partnership known as SAIL (Systems Aligned in Learning) that includes working in tandem with the Library System of Lancaster County, Lancaster General Health and COBYS to support home-based child care providers and the families they serve.
In 2012, Luthercare Child Care Programs was renamed Luthercare for Kids to reflect the comprehensive commitment to not only serving children, but providing multiple measures of support to increase quality care and programming for young children in the communities we serve.