Bank of New Hampshire Offers $50,000 match to kick off the campaign.
Mid-State Health Center (MSHC) is kicking off its “Building the Next Generation” capital campaign for its new children’s learning center slated to be completed this winter. MSHC is committed to raising $500,000 through this campaign to bring the new learning center to Plymouth.
Many families with young children must make a choice between spending a significant portion of their income on child care or leaving the workforce altogether. In a 2017 study from the National Survey of Children’s Health, an estimated 2 million parents in the U.S. made career sacrifices due to difficulties with child care. A feasibility study conducted in 2020 identified that 75% of the region’s infant and toddler childcare needs are currently unmet and a recent regional plan identifies access to childcare as a barrier to full-time employment in our rural region – a barrier that has grown exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mid-State opened its Children’s Learning Center (CLC) in 2007 as a small childcare center to support the recruitment of quality health care workers to the region. Enrollment is open to anyone in the community, currently serving 22 of the region’s children. While Mid-State’s mission as a federally qualified health center (FQHC) is to ensure access to high-quality primary care regardless of ability to pay, the health and wellbeing of the community’s children cannot be overlooked.
A new, larger facility is essential in order to meet the rising demand for childcare. MSHC has purchased and will begin renovating an existing 8,400 square foot building located at 742 Tenney Mountain Highway in Plymouth as the new home for the new CLC recently named and rebranded as the Little Antlers Learning Center (LALC). Additionally, they are committed to serving 51% of our child care slots to low-to-moderate income families.
“With a lack of day care in our rural communities, the Little Antlers Learning Center will ensure a continuum of education for our children to grow and play” said Robert MacLeod, CEO of Mid-State Health Center. “We are thrilled with the amount of support from our local partners, who have recognized this as a need in our community.”
So much so that the Bank of New Hampshire has generously offered to match the first $50,000 in funds, dollar for dollar, as the kick off to the capital campaign.
“Bank of New Hampshire is proud to support Mid-State Health Center’s “Building the Next Generation” capital campaign,” said Chris Logan, President & CEO for Bank of New Hampshire. “It is our mission is to build brighter futures for our customers, employees and communities. As we live out this mission, we’re committed to supporting impactful organizations, like Mid-State Health Center and their children’s learning center, which will contribute to enhance the health and vitality of the communities in which we live, work and play.”
MacLeod also highlighted the project as a catalyst for economic development in the community, and stated the need to keep young families in the area and the importance of investing in the foundation of its residents. The future of the Central New Hampshire region depends on the families who live in it, which makes the commitment to high-quality child care that much more of a priority.
MSHC’s goal is to build a state-of-the-art, energy efficient building offering solar, efficient HVAC systems to strengthen infection control, and more to ensure everyone’s safety, reducing environmental impacts, and keeping operating costs low. The building, will host both indoor and outdoor play areas, a children’s garden and they believe it will become a teaching facility for the children on energy efficiency, the importance of physical activity, nature and more.
Audrey Goudie, Mid-State’s Director of Marketing, Communication and Philanthropy, stated, “the total project cost is estimated at $3.1 million dollars. To date, we have worked hard to secure Community Development Block Grant Funding and tax credits to defray a portion of the cost. Additionally, we were recently awarded funds from Northern Border Regional Commission totaling $1,190,000; however more funding is needed. Our Building the Next Generation capital campaign is just one piece of the funding puzzle.”
Mid-State is confident that this project will create positive change for local families, knowing that its Little Antlers Learning Center will be a learning home for all families, and an ongoing investment to the community.
If you are interested in supporting the Little Antlers Learning Center, gifts may be made via check to Mid-State Health Center, 101 Boulder Point Drive STE 1 in Plymouth, or online at littleantlers.org via the “donate” button.