About UsLancaster Early Education Center
Quality education & care since 1915.
Our schools are safe & secure, filled with staff who truly love each child.
For the safety of everyone at
When your child is at LEEC, you can rest assured they are safe.
Read our COVID-19 Pandemic Healthy & Safety Plan & Procedures
Take our Virtual Tour
Our expansion was largely made possible by a very generous group of donors.
Thank you to everyone who made this project a reality.
The Gooding Group Foundation
And a big thank you to all of our individual donors as well!
Lancaster Early Education Center Playground
Offering the Best Care
Licensing & Quality
Licensing & Inspection to
Confirm Exceptional Care
Lancaster Early Education Center is dually licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Our facility is inspected annually by PDE, DHS, the Lancaster City Fire Inspector, and the Lancaster City Department of Health.
Keystone STAR 4
Lancaster Early Education Center is a Keystone STAR 4 center (which is the highest level attainable in the state of Pennsylvania). The STARS program is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania.
There are 4 levels of quality (4 stars being the best). Each level builds on the previous level and utilizes researched-based best practices to promote early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, leadership, and management.
Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Lancaster Early Education Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.
Read More About Our NAEYC Quality
Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
June 2019 – Lancaster Early Education Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.
NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Nina Moragne, CEO of Lancaster Early Education Center. Lancaster Early Education Center is one of the first child care centers in our nation, established in 1915 as Lancaster Day Nursery. The mission of the center has remained the same – to provide affordable, high quality, early care and education to children from low-income working families.
To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Lancaster Early Education Center went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.
In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.
“NAEYC-Accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. “Earning NAEYC Accreditation makes Lancaster Early Education Center an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”
Meet the Leadership
I love Lancaster Early Education Center for so many reasons. Come visit us, so you can see first hand why this place is so special! Whether you are a potential donor or a family seeking early care and education, we would love to show you around.
I have worked at LEEC since 2014 and love everything about it. The kids, the families, and the teachers. It feels like home. Both of my children attend LEEC and have had amazing experiences. They both love their teachers and look forward to coming to school each day. The learning community we have is so special and I cannot imagine myself or my kids being anywhere else!
Staff You Can Trust
Our team unties around a common goal of providing developmentally appropriate and respectful care and education to young children.
Voted #1 Best Places to Work
2021 Best Places to Work in Lancaster, PA
Want to join our team?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are your operating hours?
We are open Monday through Friday from 6:30am until 5:30pm.
How long have you been in business?
We were established in 1915 and have been open ever since, making us one of the nation’s oldest, continually operating child care centers.
Are you licensed and accredited?
Yes and yes. We are dually licensed by the PA Dept. of Education and by the PA Dept. of Human Services. We are also accredited by on the state and national level. We are a Keystone STAR 4 child care center (which is the highest level) and nationally accredited by National Association of the Education of Young Children – NAEYC https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-naeyc-program-standards
Do I have to pay tuition for my child to attend your Center?
Yes, we charge tuition for all full-day programming. We do offer a sliding scale discount to those who qualify. We also encourage families to apply for the state child care subsidy at https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Children/Pages/Child-Care-Works-Program.aspx
Is South Queen Street a good neighborhood? Will my child be safe?
We are located just one block South of the Lancaster County Convention Center. Our building is secured with digital access cards on every entrance/exit door. We use a biometric system to check-in/out all children. Our facility is very safe.
How can I get in touch with someone at the Center?
Email is our preferred method of communication. Please email info@LEEC.org or use the contact us page.
Do you have parking?
We have a School Drop-Off / Pick-Up Zone that spans the length of all of our buildings. It is highlighted with a yellow curb. Parents may use this area when dropping off and picking up.
What do I need to provide when my child is enrolled?
Parents need to provide 2 changes of clothing to have on hand in case of accidents (including socks and underwear). Your child may also bring a nap blanket from home to sleep with (we can also provide one here).
Do I need to provide diapers?
LEEC only provides diapers and wipes for Infants, Toddlers, and Tweens. If your child is in Pre-K or Preschool you will need to provide pull-ups if applicable.
What is the Pre-K Counts program?
Pre-K Counts is a Pre-K Program for 3 & 4-year-old children that is free to eligible families. This program prepares children for Kindergarten. Families enrolled only in the Pre-K Counts program do not pay for the program, however, they must pay for key cards to access our facility. Key cards cost $10 each. The program runs 8a-1:30p on a school-year calendar. There are before and aftercare services available for an additional charge.
Work at LEEC
Lancaster Early Education Center is a Keystone STAR 4 (Pennsylvania’s highest quality rating), NAEYC Accredited, non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the highest quality child care and early childhood education experience to our students.
LEEC offers competitive compensation and benefits based on experience and education. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.
General Employment Requirements:
- A minimum of 18 years of age
- A high school diploma or higher educational degree, or a CDA (Child Development Associate certification)
- Two years of prior childcare experience that can be documented with references
- FBI Fingerprint, PA Criminal Background Check, NSOR Clearance and PA Child Abuse Background Check
- Health Assessment with a negative TB test
- Valid government-issued photo identification
Along with the above requirements…
You will need
- The ability to sing in tune is not necessary, however, the ability to sing out of tune in front of a crowd is essential.
Some knowledge of Baby Shark, Frozen, Minions, Spiderman, Ariel, Peppa Pig, Octonauts, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Sofia the First would be advantageous.
- A high level of multitasking is essential. If something would normally take 5 minutes to achieve, you must be comfortable with it taking 15 minutes or longer.
- The skills required to rapidly count the heads of numerous moving small people is of utmost importance.
- To be comfortable entering public places on the way home from work with unknown substances on your clothing.
- To have a high level of comfort around talking about bodily functions. You must also have a strong sense of smell to enable you to respond swiftly to said bodily functions.
- To not have an aversion to an environment that at times resembles the aftermath of a tornado.
- To be able to remain focused in environments with high noise levels.
- The ability to remember the names of 40+ children, their parents, siblings, grandparents, pets, and special soft toys is a key component of this job. Again, this is something that will develop over time.
- To feel comfortable sitting on furniture that does not contain all of your behind.
- A high level of comfort with being asked personal questions by children is essential.
- You will regularly be asked questions regarding what you are having for lunch, whether you are willing to share said lunch, whether or not you are married, and if not, why you are not married, where you are going (as you walk into the toilet), and what you did in there (the toilet).
- To have an understanding that the small people you have a strong relationship with during the week, may completely and utterly refuse to talk to or acknowledge you when they see you at the local store. Your feelings must not be easily hurt.
- The ability to read a ten-page fairytale with at least one interruption per page.
- To be prepared to have a lot of fun in the workplace. Laughter is something you can expect to engage in for a large part of your working day.
- Finally, you must be prepared to feel loved, special, and important to many young children and their families. There is simply no other job quite like this one.
We are always looking for good people!
If all of the above sounds like you…
We’d love to meet you!
Click the button to apply.
Volunteer at LEEC
Looking for a fun & meaningful way to give back?
Consider volunteering at the LEEC! We need volunteers who would love to:
- Rock and play with babies.
- Sing and dance with toddlers.
- Read and build with preschoolers.
- Share your talent and love.
- Front desk/clerical.
Sound like you?
Reach out to let us know you’re interested in volunteering at the LEEC!
What Happens Next?
We will contact qualified candidates to schedule an interview once your volunteer application in complete. We want to ensure we match your interests and skills with the available volunteer opportunities.
Prior to starting your volunteer experience, we require the following:
- Act 151 Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance dated within the last 3 months.
- Act 34 Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Record dated within the last 3 months.
- Act 114 Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Applicant Fingerprinting Services Online Registration
Be sure to click on the Department of Human Services (DHS) box. Must be dated within the last 3 months.
- Child Care Staff Health Assessment (which must include the tuberculosis screening), must be completed and signed by a physician within the last year.
- Volunteer Application
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Emergency Contact Information
- Signed Confidentiality Agreement
- Two forms of identification (one must provide proof of age).
- Volunteers must be 16 or older.
How to obtain your clearances:
The Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) requires certain individuals to obtain clearances in order to be employed, be a resource parent (foster or adoptive), or be a volunteer with children. The purpose for requiring clearances is to provide employers and those selecting volunteers with information to use as a part of a larger decision-making process when determining whether to hire someone as an employee or select them as a volunteer.
Clearances are required for an employee or unpaid volunteer at a minimum of every 60 months from the date of the oldest clearance. Clearances may be required more frequently based on licensure or employer requirements.
Agencies and organizations must ensure that clearances are obtained in accordance with the CPSL. The required clearances include:
Our Green Roof
There are only a handful of green roofs in Lancaster City.
Our roof is one of them!
The benefits of our green roof include a rainwater buffer, air purification, reduction in ambient temperatures, saves energy and encourages biodiversity in the city.