At the Austin Children’s Academy (ACA), our mission is to guide every student through the milestones of early childhood development in a nurturing and natural way. Whatever your children’s ages, we engage their natural curiosity in the world to promote their innate creativity, engage their senses, develop their initiative and independence, and most of all, encourage empathy and respect for others. We do all this within a warm, loving, educational environment that feels to your child like a home-away-from-home.
One of the keys to our success is our educational philosophy. Our school is an Austin Montessori School, a member of the American Montessori Society, for which we are currently completing the rigorous accreditation process. We adhere to the child-based, tried-and-true learning philosophy developed a hundred years ago by Italy’s first female doctor and educator. Like Dr. Maria Montessori, we believe that children learn best when they are prompted to follow the winding path of their own bottomless curiosity. All our teachers are Montessori-certified, trained to capitalize, through constant classroom observation, each child’s individual creative and learning impulses to nudge them toward their next cognitive, motor-skill, sensory, and educational milestones.
Our facilities were built and designed to maximize learning and safety for children of all ages. Each of our ten classrooms is dedicated to one program, and thus set up for a specific age range. For infants and toddlers, we emphasize safety so the toddlers can move around and explore freely. For older children in preschool and kindergarten, the educational materials may look “just” like toys but each serves a very specific range of learning purposes. Each classroom has a dedicated computer lab and library used in age-appropriate ways. Outdoor facilities include two enclosed play areas with equipment for younger and older children as well as other wide-open spaces available for sports, messy art or water play, and impromptu midday dining al fresco in the finer Austin weather.
This is why, when you visit the Austin Children’s Academy (ACA), you’ll see active, happy children enjoying themselves in large, open-plan classrooms or in our outdoor areas. Play is very serious business for your child and we promote it as much as we can. Happy in their exploration of our well-crafted, Montessori-designed toys and educational materials, and eager to engage in group activities with teachers they respect, they advance swiftly to the next level of development as they embrace a lifelong love of learning.
Check out some of the core goals we strive for in each program:
Infants: three months to eighteen months of age
In our program for infants and young toddlers, we focus first on developing trust between each child and the caregivers by our attentive response to their physical and emotional needs. Infants and toddlers who feel confident, comfortable, and well-loved within a new environment will then be eager to explore the wonders of the colorful, well-crafted toys available for play and learning. The many education goals include language development, basic counting skills, gross motor skills, sensory exploration, as well as increasing self-care and independence.
Toddlers: eighteen months to three years of age
Toddlers during this period of time experience explosive cognitive and physical growth. We strive to help them develop language skills, small and gross motor skills, social development, independence, basic mathematical skills, word recognition, increasing practical skills, as well as curiosity about the greater cultural and scientific world they live in.
Primary: three years to six years of age
One of the hallmarks of a Montessori school is the family-like environment that includes children of a three-year age span. Since every child reaches developmental milestones at a different rate, this allows our Montessori-certified teachers to guide children to the kindergarten level without the pressure of having to push them to a certain milestone within strict age requirements. Older children are encouraged to act as mentors and role models to the younger children. The younger children build confidence and self-esteem as they eventually step into that role.
Kindergarten is a crucial academic year, preparing the child not just for the rigors of grade school to come, but for an entire lifetime of learning. A child who enters first grade adeptly socialized, unafraid to tackle new challenges, eager to learn new things, and secure in his or her own ability to figure things out is likely to do well not just in school but also in life. Our goal in the private kindergarten is to make sure your child has reached and exceeded appropriate milestones in language arts, reading, basic science and biology, geography, and basic mathematics. We value just as highly the intangible skills of self-reliance, social adroitness, and self-confidence.
After School Program
Our after-school program isn’t just for the children currently in our school. We also have a transportation system for students of other schools who want to take advantage of our exceptional program. The goal of the after school program is to offer your child free play as well as enrichment activities in cooking, dance, gymnastic, and art. Our Montessori-certified teachers are also available during tutoring hour for homework help.
In an increasingly globalized world, speaking a second language fluently is of great benefit. During certain periods of early development, children are hardwired to learn language effortlessly. The sooner a second language can be introduced, the more likely he or she will be able to edge close to the proficiency of a native speaker. Because of the multiple scientifically-researched benefits of being bilingual, including better memory, perception, and focus, ACA is pleased to offer a Spanish Immersion Program to all our classes, from infancy to seven years of age.
Our dual-language program uses both languages during the school day in a way that is appropriate to the age group. Babies won’t understand the target language at first, but toddlers, through body language and context cues, will come to understand the meaning. Preschoolers will begin to use the language spontaneously, and older children will graduate to speaking Spanish among themselves.
The 21st-century dual-working family has evolved since the days when grandma watched the kids as the parents trudged off to the office or factory. More and more millennial families have one parent who works part-time, or works at home for several days a week, or has a freelance gig that requires only limited hours of child care. Yet half-day or half-week educational child-care is tough to find.
Here at ACA we offer flexible part-time programs along with our full-day and full-week offerings. You can choose 2, 3, or 5 days, a full-time schedule or a part-time one from 8:30 am until 12:00 pm, and have access to our extended hour program (7:30 am to 6:00 pm). The best part? Your children won’t be set down in a play space to fend for themselves. They’ll be under the keen eye and gentle guidance of Montessori-certified teachers in a classroom full of educational toys.
Here at ACA, we strive to be a year-round resource for education and fun for our neighborhood Austin families. That’s how we know that the need for quality structured child care doesn’t end when the academic year ends. We offer a full complement of summer programs to keep your kids active, exhilarated, and entertained. Our goal is to ensure your children have the best summer ever while avoiding the dreaded “summer slide” responsible for the loss of several months of academic skills come the new school year.
Our programs are designed to fit your schedule, whether you’re looking for a full-day program with extended hours, or just a few days or hours a week to cover some gaps. Whatever program you choose, your kids will love our cooking days, splash days, music days, assemblies, free play in outdoor playgrounds, special guests, as well as the shelves and shelves of colorful, handcrafted, educational toys within their reach.
Mother’s Day Out
Parenthood is a full-time job. All mothers work, even those who aren’t punching a clock. These days, with fewer grandparents available to babysit (they’re working, too!) and fewer teenagers with free time (have you seen their schedules?), finding quality care for a few hours a week can be nigh impossible. Fortunately, ACA offers Mother’s Day Out, a special program designed for the unique needs of those who labor at home.
Mother’s Day Out is designed for the parent who requires a few hours a week to buy birthday presents, make a doctor’s appointment, run errands unencumbered by a baby carrier, finish a home-improvement project, or just get the laundry done. We offer flexible hours, full-day or part-time, morning or afternoon. While your kids are enjoying themselves in the freedom of a Montessori classroom, you can indulge in a leisurely lunch with friends, guilt-free.
Young children have a plasticity of mind that allows them to absorb enormous amounts of skills, lessons, and information in a very short time. That’s why it’s so important to expose kids to a cornucopia of enriching experiences during their childhood years. According to the Montessori Method philosophy that we adhere to at ACA, curiosity is the most important engine of cognitive, academic, social and physical growth…and play is the best way for children to learn.
To that end, ACA offers a wide variety of after-school enrichment programs to expose kids to wonderful new experiences and stimulate their curiosity through play. Whether your kids love sports, music, dance, language, robotics, or computer programming, we strive to offer learning in the form of fun long after the end of the school day. Check out the “Little Geniuses” chess program, Kindergym® gymnastics, and our Spanish Immersion program.
Whether you’re considering child care for your infant or a kindergarten for your growing child, we encourage you to call to make an appointment to tour our facilities. If the school is in session, you may observe behind glass an active classroom to see exactly how our Montessori-certified teachers handle a room full of kids. All your questions and concerns will be answered by our lead teacher. We believe that communication is king when considering any school, and what is best for you and your child’s education.
In the meantime, learn more about the specific programs of the Austin Children’s Academy by selecting an icon above. We’re sure that the more you know about our programs and educational philosophy, the more confidence you’ll have in selecting our school to be your child’s educational home-away-from-home.
Curious to learn more?
Call us today to arrange for a tour and speak to our Director and teachers about whether our Montessori programs is right for your child.