Our History


The Newmarket Community Action Council for Day Care Centers, Inc. was incorporated in September of 1967 as a non-profit organization to administer quality child care programs for children. The Center’s funding came through local fundraising and a grant from the Spaulding-Potter Charitable Trust. In 1973, the Agency applied for a 3 to 1 matching federal grant through the Division of Welfare. In 1980 the name of the Agency changed to “The Newmarket/ Exeter Child Care Center Inc.” to reflect the additional programs provided. We changed names again in 1997 to reflect who we are today, Great Bay Kids.


The Newmarket Child Care Center was opened on October 2, 1967 for 40 children. It was relocated to 3 Simons Lane in Newmarket in 1977, where it still stands. In 1983 the building was expanded to serve 64 children. Newmarket’s program has changed to meet the needs of the community, with their most recent addition including an infant program, starting in 2016.

In August of 2023 the Executive Director along with the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to close the Newmarket Center due to lack of staffing and fudiciary responsibility.


Due to the growing need for child care in the Exeter area, a center was opened in January of 1975 in that community to hold 50 children. The Exeter location outgrew its original facility and moved to 13 School Street in Exeter in 1992. This property also incorporated the SAU#16 Developmental Preschool operated by the school district. In the fall of 2008 the program expanded to include a Toddler Program for children ages 2-3 years. With an increasing demand for infant and one-year-old care, GBK built a new facility in Exeter in 2015 and opened the doors in September of that year to its current building at 64 Epping Road.

We established before and after school programs in Exeter in 1990. Programs at both the Main Street and Lincoln Street schools offer care for elementary school children before and after regular school hours as well as during school vacations, some holidays and snow days. In the fall of 2008 we opened an after- school program at the Newfield’s Elementary School for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade.


Due to a need for more quality child care in the Portsmouth area, we opened a center at the Pease Tradeport in January of 2010. This center is located at 81 New Hampshire Avenue and was our first center to provide care for infants. This is also the location of our Agency’s business office