About the Center

The Center opened its doors in 1988 out of necessity. Through community partnerships, the Lake County School District developed a plan that brought child care, preschool, and family services together at The Center. When the Climax Molybdenum Mine closed in the 1980s, thousands of people were out of work in Leadville. Families found themselves in an economic and social crisis. Schools closed; suicide, depression and domestic abuse rates increased.

Lake County School District Superintendent, Jim McCabe and Administrator Kathy Brendza brought the community together to plan a center that met the needs of children and families in Lake County. Innovative for the times, The Center was open 7 days a week from 5:30am to 6:30pm including Christmas. The building housed many community partners including Full Circle, Health and Human Services office space and classrooms for Colorado Mtn College. The goal was a comprehensive community-based program.

The Center was very successful and was named one of the top early childhood programs in the country by Yale University Bush Center. It was also named one of the top ten preschools in the country by Working Mother Magazine in their September 1999 edition.

Today The Center’s dedicated, hard working staff continues the vision of the program by providing quality early childhood services to the community, meeting the needs of Lake County families and promoting professional growth for teachers.

We are excited to be moving into the new Lake County Elementary School building in the fall of 2021 to continue the next shapter of our mission to serve and respect children and families in Lake County.