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Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning Celebrates Milestone for Middletown Center

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS), a subsidiary of Milton Hershey School, celebrated the “topping off” of its third Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC), located in Middletown, PA, by placing the final steel beam today. The planned 48,692-square-foot building, which will serve 150 children from six weeks to age 5 from under-resourced and over-burdened backgrounds with all costs covered for qualifying families, will be located at the corner of Oberlin and Fulling Mill Roads in Lower Swatara Township. It is expected to open in 2025.  

The completion of the steel structure comes less than four months since construction began, which was celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony including CHS and community leaders and partners. 

CHS Middletown Center Director Jessica Knaub signs the final beam
Members of the CHS team sign the final beam

Since then, CHS has been focused on hiring the nearly 80 teachers and staff for CHS Middletown, who will participate in a nearly year-long paid professional development program beginning this fall in preparation for the ECEC’s opening next year. Leading the effort is CHS Middletown Center Director, Jessica Knaub, who brings more than 20 years of experience in early childhood education to the program. 

“By investing in our teachers and staff, we’re investing in our children and families,” said Knaub. “I am confident that the professional development CHS offers will uniquely prepare both experienced and new teachers and staff to deliver an exemplary program where CHS Middletown children and families can thrive.” 

The construction team placing the signed steel beam into place on CHS Middletown

The professional development program will further expand the existing skills and knowledge of teachers and staff while leveraging best practices in early childhood education training. The topics covered during the program include early childhood education foundations, curriculum and assessment, family success, and health and safety. The program also enables staff to establish team dynamics and learn about the local community. 

Upon opening, CHS Middletown will provide a play-based curriculum to enhance children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development and will support families through a family success (two-generational) approach. The facility will feature 12 classrooms, an Innovation Studio, active movement spaces, a STEM Garden, and a Family Success Center, where families can be connected to tools and resources to support their children in the classroom and at home. 
CHS Middletown is currently hiring Teachers and Family Success Advocates. Interested individuals can visit for more information or to apply. Families interested in admissions can learn more and sign-up for enrollment updates at

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning are subsidiaries of Milton Hershey School and will be staffed and operated independently of the Milton Hershey School core model.

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.