80 Waddell Road
Manchester, CT 06040

Administrative Team

Jennifer DiMaso

Executive Director

Experience: Jennifer began working at the Manchester Early Learning Center in 1999.  Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Eastern Connecticut State University.

Fun Fact: Jennifer enjoys spending time with family and her two boys.

Email: Jennifer@melearning.org
Phone: 860-647-9659 ext. 101

John Layer

Director of Operations

Experience: John has been working at the Manchester Early Learning Center since 2012.  John has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from Central Connecticut State University.

Fun Fact: John played rugby in college and enjoys family, friends, and weekend vacations.  John is also an avid reader who loves Stephen King and non-fiction books.

Email: John@melearning.org
Phone: 860-748-5377

Allie Strauch

Area Director

Experience: Allie began working at the Manchester Early Learning Center in 2010. Allie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from UCONN.

Fun Fact: Allie’s favorite place to go in the summer is Martha’s Vineyard where she loves to spend time with her family and friends at the beach.

Email: Astrauch@melearning.org
Phone: 860-647-9659 ext. 115

Larisa Albrecht

Grants Director

Experience: Larisa has been working at the Manchester Early Learning Center since 2002.  Larisa has a Master’s of Education Degree from Quinnipiac University.

Fun Fact: Larisa is an avid UCONN basketball fan and loves to bake.

Email: Larisa@melearning.org
Phone: 860-47-9659 ext. 109

Erica Leary

Business Manager

Experience: Erica has been working in the Early Childhood field since 2005 and started working at Manchester Early Learning Center as a Teacher Assistant in 2007. Erica is currently working on a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.

Fun Fact: Erica loves listening and dancing to music. She likes to travel, spend time with her family, and read fantasy or mystery books.

Email: Erica@melearning.org
Phone: 860-647-9659 ext. 113


Coming Soon



Our son looked forward to going to preschool everyday and seeing his favorite teacher, and his friends! - Sylena, parent

MELC is a great school, my son built a great relationship with all the students and teachers in such a short time. I love how they have events for the family and how they celebrate holidays for the kids to participate in (Valentine's, St. Patrick's, Dr. Seuss' Birthday, etc.) Everyday is an exciting day for my son J.J. He has learned so much here. - Cassie, parent

MELC has been a great place for my son to start his education. He has learned so much already and surprises me more everyday. Now he tries to teach his younger sister also. The teachers in the Bird Room are great and really care about the students. My son, Danny is excited to come in everyday and see what he's going to learn. - Heather, parent

I've had two children in MELC and both look forward to attending school every morning. They've developed great social skills and I can tell through their structure that they have learned a great deal. I would recommend MELC to anyone looking for a great learning experience for their child. - Edward, parent

My experience with MELC has been great. My daughter Deonnah has accomplished a lot since she started here, the teachers are great. They work one - on - one with your child. They show the kids a lot of love and your child is learning from the things they do and say. And as for the staff on a whole they work patiently with and make sure your child stays in school regardless on circumstances and situation. MELC is there for you and your child. - Tamika, parent

Awesome! MELC's programs are great. I sent my oldest to another program and my youngest to MELC and I can definitely see the difference. Now, all of my children come to MELC and they love it. - Jason (parent)