HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Catherine Hershey Schools (CHS) is getting an early start at educating the next generation at its new facility opening in Hershey this Fall.

“It is the foundation. If we catch them early enough, we can set a firm foundation where they’ll be able to excel throughout their educational career,” said Kesia Horton, a CHS family success manager.

The new 50,000-square-foot Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning will feature oversized classrooms, an innovation studio, a stem garden, and several indoor and outdoor play areas designed to stimulate healthy child development.

For Kesia Horton, this gives her a chance to change lives.

Get traffic alerts from the abc27 mobile app for the latest local delays and road closures

“That I’ll be able to leave my mark on this this legacy, this this great venture that we’re taking on now. Just being able to look back 20 and 30 years from now and be able to let children that I’ve affected be able to reach out to me,” said Horton.

The new facility is now accepting applications for Fall 2023, for children ages six weeks to four years old.

“It is a state-of-the-art facility that really is here to only drive really outcomes for our children and families to really help them,” said Senate Alexander, the executive director of Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning.

As Hershey’s first early learning center, 150 children will get weekly education and care at no cost for qualifying families. Eligibility is based on household income, the child’s age, and the family’s ability to participate in CHS programs.

Stay up to date on the latest from abc27 News on-air and on the go with the free abc27 Mobile app.

Some people can’t wait. “It’s going to be just such a momentous occasion we can kind of open up these doors and have those children kind of running around and families being able to really kind of be a part of all of it, so we are getting closer every single day,” said Alexander.

For more information or to apply visit Catherine Hershey Schools’ website.