Since 1976, the Leelanau Children’s Center has been serving the children, parents, and families of Leelanau County.

CHILDREN MATTER. Because children matter, the Leelanau Children’s Center provides high quality early childhood educational programs and advocates for children, parents, and families.

Los Niños Importan. Porque los niños importan, el Leelanau Children’s Center tiene una alta calidad de programas de cuidado infantil y defensores para los niños, padres y familias.

Play-Based Learning

Play is the essential ‘work’ of the young child. Through play, young children explore, learn, and consolidate knowledge while stretching into every developmental domain: physical, language, cognitive, social-emotional, sensory, and aesthetic. We believe that children in group settings should experience lightly structured days that allow them to feel safe and supported, while exposing them to a wide variety of developmentally appropriate opportunities.


Leelanau Children’s Center is devoted to the tending of relationships because relationships are the single most effective vehicle for change. LCC is rooted in the belief that relationships are the most important aspect of any care and education setting.



LCC was founded when community member Elizabeth “Dee” Glass learned that parents with young children had nowhere to gather and play.

Elizabeth began a playgroup in the basement of the Leland Community Methodist Church. In 1976 LCC was incorporated under the name Leland Daycare and Nursery School.

The playgroup grew into a morning preschool, then into a full day preschool, then into a full day preschool with a before and after program. At this point, the program stretched the capacity of the most generous Leland Community United Methodist Church. In 1988, with the support of the church, a facility designed to house 20 children and 9 staff members was constructed on church property in Leland. Funds for the building were raised locally, with a challenge grant from Miss Sally Reahard.

In the new facility, LCC grew into an accredited family support early childhood education program providing center-based care for toddlers and preschoolers as well as the Parenting Communities outreach program.

In all periods of growth, LCC is guided by the following cycle:

  1. Listen to the community,

  2. Determine whether LCC can do a great job in responding to this community,

  3. Research the best practices models,

  4. Do what is right for children and families,

  5. DO IT!

  6. Evaluate what we are doing and begin the cycle anew.

Leelanau Children’s Center is a non-profit agency devoted to the welfare of young children and their families and has been recognized for excellence at the regional, state, and national level.

  • Licensed by the State of Michigan

  • Accredited by the National Association of Young Children

  • Accredited by Family Support America

  • Recipient of the Governor’s Award for Quality

  • 5 out of 5 stars rating by Michigan Department of Education’s Great Start to Quality.

  • Recognized as one of the 21 exemplary early childhood programs in the U.S. for the Strengthening Families Through Early Care and Education project of the Center for the Study of Social Policy

  • Awarded the State of Michigan Model Program of the year status by The Michigan Children’s Trust Fund for Parenting Communities outreach program