Potential Merger Will Strengthen Services

The Boys the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire (BGCCNH) and Lakes Region Child Care Services (LRCCS) are exploring a merger, enabling the combined organization to offer comprehensive care and services for children from infancy to age 18. Under a merged entity, both organizations would continue to operate under their existing names.

“Both of our organizations strongly believe in giving children the tools they need to be successful, whether that’s developing a strong foundation for future learning, or helping them learn to navigate the social challenges of adolescent and teenage years,” said Chris Emond, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Central NH. “Combining organizations will allow us to share resources and focus on the most important part of our work – the kids.”

BGCCNH currently operates four early childhood centers and 12 before and after school programs across the Lakes Region and Central NH, caring for more than 2,000 children, adolescents and teens. At each before and after school site, children can get help with homework, participate in sports and games, explore their creative side and join leadership development, health and wellness, technology-based and long-term programming designed to help them grow. LRCCS operates four child care centers with research-based, nationally recognized curriculum for infant, toddlers and preschoolers in Laconia and Belmont; it also manages before and after school programs in the Laconia and Belmont public elementary schools. In total, LRCC cared for more than 400 children from 28 towns in the Lakes Region in 2018.

“Merging with the Boys & Girls Club of Central NH is a wonderful opportunity,” said Marti Ilg, Executive Director, Lakes Region Child Care Services. “By working together, we will expand our reach to care for more children throughout the area. Families will be able to seamlessly transition to before and after school care programs, ensuring that their children are well cared for at any age.”

As the second oldest child care nonprofit in New Hampshire, LRCCS brings more than 50 years of early childhood education experience to the partnership, increasing the combined organization’s capacity for early childhood programs. Combining resources will allow both groups to share best practices and provide more care options for families. The combined organization would operate 21 centers throughout the Lakes Region and Central NH, caring for more than 2,600 children. The merger will not result in the elimination of any jobs; it’s anticipated that additional staff will be needed once the partnership is complete.

Merging is a logical next step for both organizations as they continue to grow, especially as their strategic plans are so closely aligned. Both organizations strive to expand their quality programming for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and both organizations are renewing their focus on staff development and training opportunities.

Fifty years ago, Sara Allen of Gilford, NH founded LRCCS. Today, she fully supports the proposed merger with BGCCNH. “This merger will help LRCCS reach even more children in the region, setting them up for success with a strong educational foundation. Working with the Boys & Girls Club of Central NH will have a positive impact on the families we currently serve, and the ones we’ll work with in the future.”

Following votes in favor of exploring a merger from the BGCCNH board in December and the LRCCS board in early January, both organizations are currently conducting due diligence. The organizations’ leaders anticipate that both boards will vote to consider the merger in the next six months, with a goal to complete the merger by January 1, 2020. Chris Emond will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the combined organization, while current LRCCS Executive Director Marti Ilg will become the Chief Operating Officer. Several current LRCCS board members will join the BGCCNH board once the merger is complete.