Child care program in Connellsville gives peace of mind to working parents | Helping the Helpers

The center is not just available for children of hospital staff, as it’s open to all children

By: - December 23, 2021 6:30 am

Teacher Madilyn Bryner has some fun with Jimmy Mongell at The Learning Lamp Center for Children at Highlands Hospital.

By Mark Hofman

A child care program at Highlands Hospital in Connellsville is growing strong and wants to continuing expanding to serve the residents of Fayette County.

(Capital-Star file)

Founded in 2003 in Johnstown, nonprofit The Learning Lamp began by offering one-to-one tutoring that was accessible to all students, regardless of ability or income.

Leah Spangler, president and CEO of The Learning Lamp, said the organization’s mission is to engage all children in the support they need to succeed from birth, and continuing with critical development in the infant, toddler and preschool years.

In 2020, the organization expanded to deliver peace of mind to working parents by caring for more than 1,000 infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children to give the highest quality care, education and support services to the communities it serves.

Spangler said one such location that opened this past April at Highlands Hospital in Connellsville.

“It happened out of the need Highlands Hospital had with employees with finding child care,” Spangler said, adding that the hospital had some space available to open the center.

IF YOU WANT TO HELP: For more information visit The Learning Lamp’s website at, email at [email protected] or call 1-814-262-0732.

The center accepts children from birth to age 12, offering full-day care from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Programs include preschool for ages 3, 4 and 5 taught by a certified teacher, summer camps and school-age care on days off from school.

The center is not just available for children of hospital staff, as it’s open to all children.

Unlike many organizations being negatively affected by the pandemic, The Learning Lamp Center for Children at Highlands Hospital, 700 Park St., was established because of the pandemic with parents needing a safe child care option for their children.

The center accepts tax-deductible donations as well as donations of gently-used children’s book and toys as there’s a need for those books and toys for the infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

“We’re very excited to be in Connellsville,” Spangler said. “It’s been a great experience working in Fayette County, and we’re looking forward to find other opportunities here.”

Mark Hofman is a reporter with the Uniontown Herald-Standard. Readers may email him at [email protected]. Helping the Helpers is a cooperative effort between the Pennsylvania Capital-Star and the Uniontown Herald-Standard.

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