Two Tri-State educational nonprofits combine to become Learning Grove

Agencies serve 3,200 children combined
Posted at 1:22 PM, Aug 23, 2019

COVINGTON, Ky. — Two local nonprofit organizations known for their work in early childhood education are joining forces.
Governing boards of Cincinnati Early Learning Center, Inc., and Children, Inc., voted Thursday to become Learning Grove.

The organizations will begin working together right away, according to a news release announcing the change.
The two nonprofits have been serving more than 3,200 children in their early child care and early childhood education programs each year.

While both have a broad range of services, they are best known for providing child care, preschool, before- and after-school care and parenting supports.

They have operated in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for more than 40 years.

The CEOs of both organizations will continue with leadership positions. Shannon Starkey-Taylor of Children, Inc., will be the CEO of Learning Grove. Patti Gleason, who has been the CEO of Early Learning Centers, will be the chief operating officer.

Shannon Starkey-Taylor

“This partnership will allow us to support additional children and families in a more meaningful way,” Gleason said in a news release. “This exciting opportunity will improve the lives of children and families while strengthening our region for generations to come.”

Patti_Gleason .jpg
Patti Gleason

“The future of our community is determined by the start we give our youngest children,” Starkey-Taylor said in the release. “This union enhances our ability to implement the best of what early childhood research says is possible to benefit the children or our region, especially for the ones who need it most.”

Learning Grove will continue to receive funding from United Way of Greater Cincinnati, according to the release, and will continue to work with local schools and its existing initiatives on both sides of the river.

For more information, email