Skowhegan Savings donates $50,000 to the construction of Beth Brunswick Memorial Childcare Center in Rangeley

June 28, 2024
RANGELEY, MAINE The Skowhegan Savings Bank's Charitable Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the construction of the Beth Brunswick Memorial Childcare Center in Rangeley. The $3.5 million project is being built to accommodate 48 pre-school children and is anticipated to break ground this fall. A project of the Beth Brunswick Memorial Fund, the idea of the center was sparked by a community member, the late Beth Brunswick, who saw the need for the creation of a full-service child development center to serve the region’s growing need. 

“The Rangeley area has a dire need for additional childcare facilities and early childhood learning programs,” said Ellen Oppenheim, chair of Beth Brunswick Memorial Fund’s board of directors.

“Currently there are fewer than 20 early child care slots available and approximately 50 children under the age of five living in the town of Rangeley. None of the existing programs currently accept Maine state childcare subsidies that make childcare significantly more affordable for working families.”

Two recent surveys, conducted by the Beth Brunswick Memorial Fund, found that 83% of respondents would enroll their children if a new licensed childcare option was available and more affordable.

The construction of the childcare center will be funded primarily by grants and donations from the community and will include an additional classroom for other programming needs, such as wrap-around care for public pre-school programs.

“We have raised approximately $2 million of the total $3.5 project goal and this $50,000 donation from the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation puts us one step closer to meeting that goal and Beth’s dream of opening the center,” she said.

“The Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation strives to partner with local organizations that promote economic growth by addressing the needs of education and workforce development. The Beth Memorial Childcare facility will provide parents, in the Rangeley area, with affordable childcare while at work and early learning services for their children,” explained John Witherspoon, chair of the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation.

The Skowhegan Savings’s Charitable Foundation recently announced their $1 million Workforce Development Fund, a multi-year fund dedicated to addressing workforce development needs in the state of Maine. The foundation looks to partner with nonprofit organizations, educational programs and local community leaders to support access to education, trade and technical training to meet the growing demands of the state’s workforce needs. The foundation recently awarded over $500,000 in grants to the Skowhegan Early Learning Center, the Somerset Technical Center’s Madison Welding Center, Mid Maine Technical Center’s engineering program, Association of General Contractors' Maine Construction Academy and the Professional Logging Contractors of the Northeast’s Mechanized Logging Operations Program. 

 “Beth had a vision of providing safe and nurturing childcare for the children of Rangeley and it’s community partnerships like these with Skowhegan Savings, that are going to help us achieve that vision,” said Oppenheim.