Big Top Learning Center provides developmentally appropriate activities and a safe and healthy environment for children and their families. High-quality childcare with many positive reinforcements are provided so that the children, their parents, and staff enjoy the school experiences. The programs are designed to meet all of the needs of the children socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively.
The childcare programs at Big Top, consist of infants, toddlers, preschool, prekindergarten, and school-age children. We have a developmental curriculum for each age group.
The INFANT PROGRAM offers a safe and clean environment with emphasis on building trust. A curriculum with a wide variety of activities, music, rhymes, and toys for the child caregiver to interact with the infants are available. The infant group consists of newborn infants, 6 weeks through 12 months.
The TODDLER PROGRAM consists of sequential developmental chronological skills and activities. The toddler l group ranges from 13- 23 months and toddler ll group ranges from 24-35 months.
The PRESCHOOL PROGRAM includes the 3 , 4, and young 5 year olds. Learning areas in the preschool program include blocks, home center, art, sand and water tables, library, music and movement, cooking, computers, manipulative, and carpentry.
The PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM provides creative learning experiences. The children are taught alphabet and number recognition along with a review of shapes and colors. A minimal emphasis is placed on printing, as this is a developmental skill rater than a learned one. Manners are taught and practiced daily through example and application. Social Studies, simple science experiments, nature hikes, and a study of the seasons are all part of the curriculum. The pre-kindergarten student is prepared in all areas of development for the step that takes him or her into the world of formal education. The TEKS are taught and stressed through out the curriculum.
The UPPER PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM is composed of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills including the fundamental elements of the pre-kindergarten program. The skills enable the students to achieve knowledge and skills in the areas of language and early literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, health and safety, personal and social development, physical development, and technological applications.
The SCHOOL-AGE CHILD has special needs; therefore, a special program has been established for them. This program provides a relaxed atmosphere, where the school-aged child can unwind and have fun. Homework, special projects, and special activities are planned throughout the year. In conjunction with this program, transportation is provided from local public schools as an added service. At Big Top, there is an exciting summer program where the school environment is taken away and replaced with a summertime setting.
In all of these programs, parents play a vital role in supporting their children's efforts. In many informal as well as formal ways, parents are involved in the school's program, one of which are the parent teacher conferences. At least several times a year, parents and the teacher meet to review how the child is progressing in all areas of development. In this meeting, the child's goals are set to ensure continued growth and learning. Reports are sent home daily, weekly and a progress report every nine weeks. Another program is the parent/teacher organization. This organization supports the children of the center, helps the teachers with new ideas and volunteers in the classroom to prepare materials and read stories to the children. The PTO also works with the director regarding programs and polices, and parent teacher orientation at the beginning of each school year. The orientation is when parents and teachers discuss classroom activities and the child as a whole.
Not only is there a program for students and their parents, but there is also a program for the staff. The staff and director have a meeting once a month that covers many topics and updates on childcare issues. Community resources such as Fire and Police Department, Medical Field, and Community Leaders are asked to come in for updates and perform trainings on occasions.