Categories CommunityFeaturedNews

Elizabethtown Child Care Center Marks Its 50th Year of Service

The Elizabethtown Child Care Center has been encouraging the young members of our community for nearly 50 years. On Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., ECCC will be celebrating its golden anniversary with a 50-year anniversary celebration; the group is inviting the community to join in the celebration. The celebration will be at ECCC’s home in the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, 777 S. Mount Joy St., Elizabethtown. A portion of the celebration will be held outside weather permitting, moving inside if necessary.

Tours of the center will be available and visitors can meet with teachers and teacher assistants; enjoy children’s games; face painting; ongoing slide show; popcorn from Reist Popcorn in Mount Joy; live music by Josh Tindall, one of the pastors at the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren and his wife, Elizabeth, keyboardist at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, and Corty Byron, former student of ECCC; see emergency vehicles (police, ambulance and fire truck). Lunch will be available for purchase from 11 a.m. until 2p.m. provided by Harvey’s BBQ of Mount Joy — diners may eat outside or inside. Anniversary cake and dessert provided by Cake & Cup Bakery, Lititz. Proceeds from lunch will benefit tuition assistance and/or additional educational improvements toward ECCC.

Elizabethtown Child Care Center was founded in 1969 as an outreach program through the United Churches of Elizabethtown, and became a 501(c)3 in 1971. Originally, the program was housed in the Christ Lutheran Church in Elizabethtown. In 1989, the program expanded to include infants and toddlers, and a kindergarten program for morning and afternoon, both of which were located in Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren. In 1993, the center expanded its services to include before & after school care, also housed at the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren. While the Lutheran church remained part of the United Churches it was no longer able to accommodate the preschool program, so in 1999 the entire ECCC program moved to Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren.

The ECCC board of directors is composed of church representatives, parent representatives and at-large persons from the community.Community churches at the inception of Elizabethtown Child Care Center were asked to contribute monies toward tuition for children from low-income families, making child care more affordable. Currently more than one third of the children attending our program can do so because of reduced tuition based on the sliding scale. While tuition subsidies funded by our area churches have decreased over the years, assistance for low-income families is still available through a combination of federal funds, United Way of Lancaster County and generous donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.

The first ECCC executive director was Jane Snyder. In 1986 Gina Strouse became the executive director until 2006 when Amy Hoffman was hired as executive director. In 2015 Allyson Cook was hired and is the current executive director.

ECCC has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 1991; it is a Keystone 4 Star Center (Pennsylvania’s highest rating for a child care center); is a United Way partner and Extraordinary Give participant. ECCCserves more than 210 children during the year—ages 6 weeks through fifth grade. Children are in the center daily, Monday through Friday, between hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

ECCC’s vision is to provide high quality, educational, safe and affordable early learning and school age wrap around and summer camp program to children whose families live and work in the Elizabethtown area.

About the author