LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS) announced, during an event on Thursday, Nov. 10 its intention to create three new Early Childhood Education Centers (ECECs).

The three ECECs in Lancaster will serve economically disadvantaged and at risk-background children from birth to 5 years old, according to CHS. The cost-free centers are set to open up in Lancaster City, New Danville, and Elizabethtown.

According to CHS, the three new CHS centers are part of a $350 million initiative for the development of six ECECs around the state, as subsidiaries of the Milton Hershey School (MHS). Each of these centers will provide various necessities to its students, such as:

  • Year-round, core early learning program
  • Nutritious meals
  • Transportation
  • Other needed supplies
  • Integrated support services for families with enrolled children

CHS intends to work in conjunction with existing Lancaster County organizations – City of Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace spoke at the Thursday night event in avid support of the addition of the CHS centers, by noting the positive impact these centers will have on the surrounding Lancaster County community, according to CHS.

The Lancaster County CHS centers are expected to start opening their doors in 2026.

This Thursday night announcement was made during Founders week at MHS, and it marked the 113-year anniversary of Milton and Catherine Hershey establishing the school, according to CHS.