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Lekotek...Start-Up Packets
Thanks for your interest in starting a Lekotek. The National Lekotek Center (NLC) is dedicated to providing quality services and the interactive play experiences to children and families with special needs. All Lekoteks are resource centers, providing core programs of family play sessions and the home loan of toys.

Any group or individual wishing to become a Lekotek must adhere to the following steps to develop a Lekotek. Only NLC approved and certified, sites and staff will be granted the right to use the Lekotek trademarked logo, philosophy, tools and practice the high standard services. Once the application is approved and the legal contract is signed, only then the site can operate as an official Lekotek.

  1. Click here (link coming soon) to view the webinar entitled, “How to start a Lekotek center”
  2. Download and review the Start Up Packet documents (free) and contact NLC with any questions
  3. Contact NLC to indicate your interest in becoming a certified Lekotek
  4. Complete a needs assessment to ensure community need and to help define program scope
  5. Attend Lekotek Leader Training
  6. Formulate program plan including but not limited to:
    1. Location
    2. Budget
    3. Partnerships
    4. Structure
    5. Staffing
    6. Timeline
    7. Funding sources, including fundraising plan
  7. Develop community support include potential board/advisory board members
  8. Submit application to NLC/await approval
  9. Submit payment for start up fee and site visit
  10. Set up site visit with NLC Apply for 501(c)3 status if applicable
  11. Contract signing
  12. Lekotek site opens!

A Lekotek may be established as an independent entity or, more commonly as a new program within an existing service organization. A Lekotek site can be either center-based and/or provide an itinerant program to meet its client family needs. The design of the delivery method of core Lekotek family services is determined after evaluating the results of the Needs Assessment and to respond to the local community needs. Therefore, the types of services offered will differ among Lekotek sites, however, the core services at each Lekotek are the same. The core services include individual play sessions toy loaning and parent resources. Many of programs also offer play groups, parent/sibling support groups, special family events, and inclusive computerplay clubs. Lekotek programs can be found in a wide range of communities, including urban, suburban, rural, hospital settings etc. in order to meet and serve the needs of a diverse range of families.

Official Lekotek Site Responsibilities

National Lekotek Center services and products provided to affiliates range from technical and logistical assistance, trainings, resource information dissemination, donation of new toys, newsletters to involvement in local and national projects and initiatives. For a complete list of benefits to our affiliates please click here: Affiliate Benefits List

* Please direct any questions regarding the start-up packets and/or the start-up process to Director of Programs at 1.773-528-5766 ext. 403 or 1.800.366.PLAY or email

* To receive our start-up packets by mail there is $10 charge (check or credit card). Please contact us at or download the Start-Up packet for free

Lekotek Start-Up Packet
National Lekotek Center Fact Sheet
Affiliate Benefits List
Steps Towards Establishing a Lekotek in your Community
Needs Assessment
Lekotek New Site Application
Outline for Building an Organization
Contents of Application
Site Requirements
Standards of Operation
Sample Budget to Establish a Stand Alone Lekotek Site
Lekotek Leader Job Description
Application for Lekotek Toy Library Training: Lekotek Leader Certification
Opening Satellite Center for Current Lekotek Sites

Currently certified Lekotek sites interested in expanding their programs to include satellite sites (operating on a part-time basis), need to contact the National Lekotek Center for approval for the expansion and receive the Lekotek Satellite Site Start-Up Packet and application support. The same application process follows for the opening of a satellite site.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader To view & print the start-up packet .pdf files you will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you do not have it:
Click here for a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Lekotek Logo   National Lekotek Center: 2001 N. Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614
773-528-5766 Fax: 773.537.2992 Toy Resource Helpline: 800.366.PLAY
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