An Early Childhood Community Center
for Douglas County

In April of 2021, the Lawrence Public Schools USD 497 Board of Education made the difficult decision to close Kennedy Elementary to future K-5students, but they also said “Yes!” to repurposing the building as an early childhood community center. This opportunity could not come at a more promising time as there is unprecedented support at all levels of government and in public/private sectors for a reimagining of the systems that impact families with young children. A workgroup of Douglas Count yearly childhood community stakeholders spent the summer and fall of 2021 gathering input, researching evidence-based models and developing timelines for implementation.

The Inspiration

A trauma-informed, family-centered, multigenerational
Early Childhood Care and Education Mixed-delivery System
where community services and supports wrap around the entire family to meet their needs.

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The Model

  • A Family Resource Center that wraps around the entire family to make sure basic needs are met. 

  • A Provider Academy to recruit new providers to the profession, retain existing providers and provide ongoing support 

  • The 3AHQ Project to increase the number of accessible, affordable and available high-quality child care and education slots in Douglas County


Community Children's Center is looking for a highly-qualified early childhood care and education professional to serve as Director of the Provider Academy. This is an opportunity to develop and implement an innovative new program to support providers and increase the number of high-quality child care opportunities in our community. To find out more, check out the position description