Built on a Solid Foundation of Faith
First Baptist Church Children’s Weekday Education has been a leader in early childhood education for over thirty years. Responding to the needs of our community, our program has experienced growth and change throughout the years – in the number of students and staff, in program offerings and even in the names of our school. Through it all, our commitment to serving children has remained paramount. This time-honored commitment, combined with our enthusiasm for providing fresh, new and innovative experiences for our students has made First Baptist Church Children’s Weekday Education the premier choice in preschool education in our community.
Our school began as a drop-in, two-day-a-week Mother’s Day Out in 1977 under the direction of Barbara Johnson. It was called the Child Development Center and was located in downtown Georgetown at First Baptist Church’s previous location on Main Street. Barbara served as the director for ten years. The original program served children from infancy through half-day kindergarten and tuition was only thirty dollars per month. Becky Washington, formerly the school’s music teacher eventually took over as the director and because of popular demand, implemented a more structured reservation system where students were signed up for each Tuesday and Thursday for the entire school year, allowing a more consistent and comprehensive curriculum to be followed. The school quickly grew from six classes to nine classes plus a music program as well as a specialized weekly children’s chapel service.
After ten years of operation, the program moved (along with the church) from the Main Street site to its current location on Highway 29 where it continued to thrive. During this transition, Becky was instrumental in organizing church, school and parent resources to build a wonderful outdoor wooden playscape that served the school for many years. It was also at this time that the school began using the name “Stepping Stones Preschool”.
In 1988, Cynthia Russell, previously the school’s chapel teacher, became the director and managed the school through many stages of growth. Over the next several years the program continued to grow and more classes were added to accommodate more students and the changing needs of our families. As we continued to grow in enrollment and staff members our school remained a consistently reliable community leader. The name Stepping Stones became synonymous with the very best in quality preschool education in Georgetown.
With the growth of Georgetown and Williamson County between the mid 1990’s to the present time, our weekday education program has seen a great deal of growth. By the year 2000, the school had grown to fifteen teachers, and just over one hundred students. Paula Miller, who had been the school’s assistant director, became the director in 1999 and was responsible for seeing our school through the process of becoming a fully-licensed childcare center in 2000. More enrichment classes were added to allow a more focused learning environment for specific subjects. In addition to a full and well-rounded curriculum offered within individual classrooms, the preschool now offered specialized art, science, and physical education classes as well as the existing music and chapel enrichment programs at no additional cost to families. In 2003, Paula began the successful school fundraiser, “Christmas Spectacular”, the annual shopping fair that consistently generates funds needed to make improvements and updates to the school.
33 Years and Counting
In 2006, our new Education Building 3, was completed. This building is an amazing facility with a fabulous jungle-themed indoor playscape, a child-friendly chapel room and bright friendly classrooms. With the addition of this second building, making room for twice as many classrooms, our program experienced unprecedented growth. We had many changes, including the move of some of our older classes to the new building, and the addition of several more classes for younger children. With all these changes, we felt it was an appropriate time to officially change our school’s name once again. Although the name Stepping Stones Preschool had been used by our school since the 1980’s and was recognized by many longtime residents of Georgetown, over the years, many people who were new to the area would incorrectly assume that our school was affiliated with a national chain of preschools with a very similar name. So with the start of the 2006-2007 school year, our program dropped the name “Stepping Stones” and was now officially referred to as “First Baptist Church Children’s Weekday Education”. In 2009, with the help of some amazing parent volunteers and funds derived primarily from our school fund-raisers, our outdoor play areas were re-designed by installing safe and clean, modern playground equipment and replacing pea gravel with soft rubberized mulch.
As of 2010, our program had approximately 240 students ranging in age from 12 months to Kindergarten. We employ forty staff members including directors, classroom teachers, enrichment teachers, aides and support staff. We offer two-day programs for children ages 12 months through three years, and three-day programs for children ages three years through Kindergarten. We continue to offer developmentally appropriate curriculum and instruction in our regular classes as well as specialized enrichment classes including art, chapel, music, physical education, and science.
Throughout the years since our doors first opened in 1977, there have been numerous changes – new locations, new names, new buildings, additional programs and additional space for considerably many more students than were served when we first began. What has remained as a constant throughout all of these years is our commitment to providing a Christ-centered, loving environment for our students by selecting and retaining the very best teachers, chosen not only for their excellent credentials and experience but particularly for their warm and nurturing spirit evident in the day-to-day interaction with the children for whom they care.
Built on a solid foundation of faith that is rooted in the Word of God and inspired by His ever-present guidance, we look forward to continuing to serve the community by sharing the love of Christ with our precious young students and their families.