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To provide a forum focusing on comprehensive activities in support of all families with young children ages birth – 5 in lower Grafton County, identify needs and gaps in services, and, as a community, develop collaborative strategies to address these needs.


The Lower Grafton Council for Young Children and Families (LGCYCF) was formed in 2008, when a wide range of community leaders, programs and services supporting children ages birth-5 and their families (e.g. health, mental health, child care, public preschool, Head Start, Early Supports and Services, home visiting, parent education programs, family services, and social services) came together to explore how to promote the well-being of young children and families. We established our mission.

Promoting positive-social emotional development became our focus. New Hampshire’s Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Competencies informed our work. In 2012-2013, we developed and offered a community-wide, cross-sector professional development series on: Family-Centered Practice, Promoting Young Children’s Social Emotional Development, and Early Childhood and Family Mental Health.


In 2019, we received a multi-year State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) from the NH Department of Education. We are one of five iSocial Community Collaboratives in the state. The goal of iSocial and the community collaboratives is to improve the social-emotional outcomes of infants, toddlers and young children with disabilities (birth to age 5) through the implementation of the evidence-based Pyramid Model Framework and practices in early childhood settings. To learn more go to The Pyramid Model section of this website.

As part of the Preschool Development Grant, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Award# 90TP0060-01-00). The grant seeked to support New Hampshire’s vision that all families are afforded comprehensive and responsive supports, so they are healthy, learning, and thriving, now and in the future. LGCYCF completed activities including a Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan which are now available for download.

Currently, we have been awarded an Implementation Grant following the findings of our previous grant. With this grant we are working with the other collaboratives in our region Thrive Laconia and the Greater Tilton Area Regional Early Childhood Collaborative. We have planned a couple of different projects to support families and children birth-5, visit the "Current Grants" section of our website to learn more. 

Our Leadership Team

Sue Amburg

Director, Whole Village Family Resource Center

Jane E. Merrithew

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Grow and Thrive Counseling

Karen Sanders

Director, Center for Young Children and Families, Plymouth State University

Amanda Getman

Family Representative, Plymouth Head Start 

Kim DiSalvo

SAU 48 Director of Student Services

Tricia Patten

Early Childhood Manager, Lakes Region Boys & Girls Clubs of Central NH 

Kelly Hadlock

Health and Safety Content Manager, Tri-County CAP

Jennifer Schmidt

Assistant Director, Child and Family Department, Lakes Region Mental Health Center

Alison Murphy

Director, Mid-State Health Center, Children’s Learning Center

Voices Against Violence

Our Member Organizations

  • Whole Village Family Resource Center

  • Grow and Thrive Counseling

  • Center for Young Children and Families, Plymouth State University

  • Plymouth Head Start 

  • SAU 48 

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central NH 

  • Laconia Early Learning Center

  • Tri-County CAP — Head Start

  • Lakes Region Mental Health Center

  • Mid-State Health Center, Children’s Learning Center

  • Voices Against Violence

  • Plymouth Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

  • Lakes Region Community Developers

Communities We Serve

Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Campton, Dorchester, Ellsworth, Groton, Hebron, Holderness, Lincoln, New Hampton, Plymouth, Rumney, Thornton, Warren, Waterville Valley, Wentworth, and Woodstock



Our Collaboration Story

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