Nonprofit Insider

Lakes Region Organizations to Join Forces

Laconia — Two nonprofits with a significant presence in Laconia – Lakes Region Child Care Services and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire – are seriously considering merging so that each can reach more children.

A joint press release issued yesterday announced that the boards of each organization voted in favor of exploring such a merger, with the hope that the deal could be sealed by the end of the calendar year.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire serves 2,000 children at a dozen sites across the state, including one on North Main Street in Laconia. Boys & Girls Clubs are mostly known for providing a place for children to come after school and during vacations, but the clubs in the Central New Hampshire organization have started addressing a need for preschool child care. The Laconia club added a preschool in the fall of 2018, and it currently has 11 students.

Lakes Region Child Care Services was started 50 years ago and operates four sites, which provided care to more than 400 children last year.

Marti Ilg, executive director for LRCCS, said joining with BGCCNH would allow the organization to grow the number of children it serves. She said the conversation to join forces began because the two organizations have similar objectives.

“As we know, there’s a lot of child care deserts in New Hampshire, the goal would be to expand programming into areas that don’t have strong programming currently,” Ilg said. “We also have the opportunity to expand services cradle-to-career. They would be able to come in as an infant and stay through high school. That would be unique.”

A merger would result in a stronger administrative team than either organization currently has, and both Ilg and Chris Emond, executive director of BGCCNH, said that would enable growth.

“We want to grow, the demand is there, we want to serve more communities but we know that we need to do something a little different,” Ilg said.

“One way or another we were going to have to build up some administrative strength if we were to continue to grow,” Emond said.

If the merger is completed, Emond would serve as the new organization’s chief executive officer, while Ilg would be the chief operating officer. She said that they did not expect to reduce any positions as a result of the possible reorganization.

“In a for-profit, a lot of times companies merge and it’s about cost containing or eliminating jobs, that is not what this is about," Ilg said. "The focus is to join strength and have a stronger organization that can serve more communities and more children, from ages birth all the way through 18.”

Another benefit of a merger would be enhanced professional development opportunities for staff members of both organizations. Even if the programs are brought together in the same organization, they would continue to operate under their own identities.

Emond said the merger would help address what he called a “huge demand” for child care.

“Infant and toddler care is almost impossible to come by. Preschool is a close third,” Emond said. “We’re excited for the prospects here.”

Posted on: February 5, 2019
Topics: Collaboration | Something New

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