University Heights Baptist Church
The Preschool and Kindergarten Department at University Heights Baptist Church offers many opportunities for your children to learn about God and how He fits in to the world around them. A child's spiritual growth and formation happens from the beginning of life, just as their physical growth happens. We are not just a place where you can leave your children to be safe and cared for, but a place where we pay attention to your child's spiritual development and nuture and feed it as well as their safety.
A Child's Faith Development
A Partnership with Home and Church
How do we nuture and feed your preschooler's spiritual development and trust?
We talk about God: We help children grow in faith by using the language of love and faith as we interact with them and care for them.
We provide a climate of trust: Babies learn to trust because when they cry in response to a physical need, we are quick to respond. As they grow, babies learn that you exist--even when you aren't in their presence. So they enter the age of separation anxiety. We help them learn to trust when they see the same faces each week and discover in a concrete way that they are safe and loved, even when you are not there.
We model caring: As children grow they first learn to play along side one another. They watch as we love and care for their friend at church. They see our concern when they take a toy from another child and learn that others have rights when we return the toy to that child.
We pray with children: Children can learn the attitude of prayer long before they can clearly speak themselves. We pray short prayers, in words they understand. We pray with all ages of children. We thank God for things that a child is experiencing right now. We ask God for forgiveness for what the child did just seconds ago. We remark in wonder to God when we see a child do a new skill for the first time.
We play with children: As adults our minds separate our spiritual growth from our physical growth and surroundings. But this is not an accurate understanding of how God created us. We are both a spiritual and a physical being. One can not be nurtured without nurturing the other. Play is the child's work. It is how they learn and grow mentally, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Children learn that God is creator as they learn to create themselves with modeling clay and crayons. Children learn that the world was created for them as they study the beauty of a fall leaf. Running and climbing not only develops a child's body but teaches a child to experience the joy of life that God gave him or her.
We sing with children: Music is our purest form of praise. Music is in the world for our enjoyment and to lift our heart in praise of God. As a child dances with the music or does action plays to a song they learn what praise is by experiencing praise.
We tell and read stories: We keep a Bible in every room and open it when we tell stories so that children will learn that the Bible is our text book for life. We share books and stories with children to help not only their mental development but also their understanding of God and gifts he gave us such as family, nature and church.
We offer a safe and structured learning environment filled with knowledgeable staff members and volunteers. Parents are assigned a pager to carry with them while they are in the building, just in case your child should need you. Our area is kept clean and secure at all times. Adults who are not an approved volunteer or paid staff are not allowed beyond the security gate. All of our volunteers and paid staff have been screened with a thorough background check. In addition all rooms have two adults assigned to that room for security. We follow a strict area and toy clean-up procedure at the end of every session. Diaper changes and bathroom breaks also have a strict germ control system. You can feel confident and secure while your child is in our care at University Heights.
We remind them that they are part of God's creation: Every week our workers will tell your child that God loves them. That God is paying attention to them and what is important to them. We do this with our words and by how we interact with the children. We interact and play with the children in the room--not the adults. So forgive us if we speak to your child first and seem to ignore you. We want your child to know that they are important to us!
We practice Christian values in the classroom: A preschool child's religious concepts are related to concrete experiences. For example, when we serve snacks, we learn to be considerate of others needs by waiting until all are served. We learn that God is bigger and more important than our needs by waiting to satisfy our hunger or thirst until we've prayed.
Take a look at the ministries below to see if there is an activity best suited for you and your children to join in on the learning and fun!
University Heights Baptist Church offers a structured and Biblically-centered Bible Study hour on Sunday mornings starting at 9:15 a.m. Our teachers have years of experience in the teaching field and offer lessons from the Bible that are age-appropriate and educationally engaging. We offer a safe Preschool environment with four age groups to choose from. We have a complete Preschool Suite on the first floor where babies and new walkers can play safely or rest, a two and three toddler room and a three's and fours room. Each room is equipped with age approiate curriculum and learning materials. On the second floor we offer a Pre-K and Kindergarten room full of visually stimulating and fun areas where children can learn about God and the world He created.
Our Sunday Morning Curriculum
Chidren this age learn through faith play. Have you ever looked into a classroom and thought, "They aren't teaching my child anything, they are just babysitting"? Children learn through play. Our play is intentional and built on a set of "Building Blocks" based on a child's developmental stage and previous experienc. Each separate block builds a stronger foundation toward a life of service and commitment to our Lord!
Extended Service Care
For parents with children younger than Pre-K who attend our morning services at 10:15, we offer extended service care in the Preschool Suite. We have a complete staff that will play, laugh, and care for your little ones while you are worshipping. We have diaper changing stations in each of our Preschool rooms and will ensure that your child is kept comfortable throughout the morning worship times. Children who are Pre-K age attend the first half of worship with their parents or guardian. After the "Children's Time," about mid-way through the service, children this age are also dismissed for Extended Service Care. After children enter Kindergarten they are expected to stay with their family in corporate worship or "Big Church." To help them prepare for this transition each fall we offer:
This ministry is offered to Kindergarten age children from September through the first Sunday of Advent. The program is a study of what worship designed to help children and their parents make the adjustment of attending the Worship service as a family. There is more specific information on the pages.
Our Wednesday Curriculum
Our concentration on Wednesdays is music and missions. As soon as a child experiences separation anxiety, they have learned about others. Our teachers try to help children become aware that others are important to God too through our preschool mission curriculum. The music component in our mid-week curriculum is designed to help children experience the joy of worship and it's natural expression through music and dance.
The Sonshine Singers Choir is a group that meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 p.m. All children who are four, five, and six are welcome to join. We have a 3 to 1 student/teacher ratio which provides a structured learning environment for all of the budding young singers. The curriculum is on-going so children can join at any time. The children learn how to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" by learning new songs about Jesus and performing them periodically at special events in the church. They also serve as worship leaders occassionally by sharing their "joyful noise" with the congregation. This is an integral part of the child's spiritual formation as they learn to worship God through his creation of music.
The Mission Friends class is chance for children to learn about how God affects the world around them and how they, too, can make a difference right here in their own community. This group meets on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m. and is usually offered in conjunction with Sonshine Singers. All children who are four, five, and six are welcome to join this on-going curriculum at any time. In Mission Friends, the children learn about Missionaries around the world and how they teach others about the love of Christ. The class periodically will do special mission projects like collect food for food pantries, collect supplies for Hurricane victims, and donate mittens and socks to the poor in the winter time. This class offers a chance for your child to become an active member in his or her community as a child of God.