Giant Co., U-GRO to Open Child Care Center

Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Giant Co., U-GRO to Open Child Care Center
The Giant Co. and U-GRO Learning Centres plan to open a child care center in spring 2022 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The Giant Co. is continuing to support families in its community by partnering with U-GRO Learning Centres to open a child care center in spring 2022, located next to the food retailer’s headquarters in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Construction partner Benchmark Construction, based in Brownstown, Pennsylvania, is slated to officially break ground on the 15,000-square-foot facility this July. Upon opening in spring 2022, the child care center will provide 10 learning classrooms, an 1,800-square-foot indoor play space and a custom-designed 12,000-square-foot outdoor playground. Up to 150 children will be served daily through full- and part-time programs for ages 6 weeks to 8 years. Approximately 30 full- or part-time employees are expected to be employed at this location, which will be U-GRO’s second center in Cumberland County and its fifteenth in central Pennsylvania. 

“At The Giant Co., everything we do is centered around our purpose of connecting families for a better future,” said Nicholas Bertram, president, The Giant Co. “We know that having access to excellent, high-quality child care is important to so many families, and that’s why we’re excited to be partnering with U-GRO to bring this much-needed resource to the Carlisle community and our team members. Equally important, this new child care facility represents our commitment to enhancing the community we’ve been proud to call home for nearly 100 years.”

In December, The Giant Co. also distributed funding to 22 Pennsylvania child care facilities through its $200,000 grant program. Funding was provided by both The Giant Co. and The Hershey Co., in partnership with Pennsylvania Key, to licensed facilities that were facing operational and financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“We couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate partner than The Giant Co., who shares U-GRO’s long-standing tradition and commitment to serving central Pennsylvania communities,” noted Greg Holsinger, developer and former president and CEO of Hershey, Pennsylvania-based U-GRO. “We’re confident that this new facility will be an invaluable asset to the Carlisle community and look forward to the long-lasting impact it will have on families for many years to come.”   

U-GROcombines a structured, age-appropriate program with self-direction, exploration and play — promoting children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. It currently serves more than 1,900 children daily across 14 locations in south central Pennsylvania, including Lancaster, Lebanon, Lititz, York, Mechanicsburg, Harrisburg and Hershey.

The company recently joined Learning Care Group’s family of brands at the start of the new year. With more than 900 schools in its portfolio, Novi, Michigan-based Learning Care Group is the second-largest for-profit early education and child care provider in North America. In addition to operating community-based preschool locations, the company’s offerings include a suite of employer solutions with tuition scholarship, subsidy programs, on-site locations and backup care options.

“We’re thrilled to bring our early-learning experience to Carlisle families next year and partner with The Giant Co. to provide this benefit to their team members,” said Sean Sondreal, CMO and head of employer solutions at Learning Care Group. “With kindergarten-readiness scores averaging an impressive 94.8% over the past five years at U-GRO, we’re confident that our exceptional team of educators and this outstanding facility will provide the best possible start in life for even more children in central Pennsylvania.”

Earlier this month, The Giant Co. also said it was launching a new customer giving initiative to help local public schools across its market area alleviate food insecurity among students. The initiative enables school districts to cover outstanding student meal debt, expand food distribution programs and offer on-campus food pantries, among other hunger relief efforts.

“Studies show how important a nutritious and balanced diet is to a child’s performance in school, and that’s why The Giant Co. wants to make sure every student can focus on learning, instead of wondering where their next meal will come from,” noted CMO Matt Simon.

Based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, The Giant Co. is an omnichannel retailer serving millions of customers across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It has more than 35,000 associates supporting nearly 190 stores, 132 pharmacies, 105 fuel stations, and 145-plus online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service across hundreds of ZIP codes. The Giant Co. is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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