COTTONWOOD Summit Academy expanded its services as of Monday, May 1. The private school opened the doors of Christ the King Preschool and Daycare.
Principal Jim Hickel said the administration for Summit had discussed the possibility for an early-childhood program for a couple of years. He said staff started asking questions about the feasibility of expanding and received a positive response for two reasons.
“One, we found some facilities in the area were crowded, some were not full time and some were closed over the holidays,” Hickel said. “Two, this was a good opportunity to introduce families to Summit Academy.”
Both he and program co-director, Heidi Waters, say they are excited to offer Christian programming to younger children at their facility.
“We recognize that most families are working families, that not all moms have the luxury of staying home,” Hickel said. “Why not give them the next best thing? We want to provide a place where moms feel comfortable leaving their children. A safe, Christian environment where kids learn good habits and good manners.”
Waters is working alongside her sister, Gloria Palmer, to operate the daycare and preschool. Palmer is the director and lead teacher, while Waters will primarily tackle the paperwork end of the new venture.
While Summit opened its doors Monday, May 1, they don’t expect to be at full capacity until this summer. By launching the program prior to June, it allows families an opportunity to see the program at work.
Hickel said the program will be available year-round, Monday through Friday, and only close for a few select holidays to better assist working families. The facility will open at 7:30 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.
“If we have requests to open earlier, we will open earlier. If we need to close later, we will,” he said.
Waters said children between the ages of two and four to five can enroll during the school year. During summer breaks and extended breaks, enrollees can be up to 12 years of age.
Daycare drop-ins also are welcome. Parents should call the office prior to bringing a child to make arrangements with the staff.
Summit Academy is not receiving any grant funding to initiate this program and is hoping it will be self-sufficient.
“Right now, I’d be happy with a dozen kids by the end of summer,” Hickel said. “We want to grow responsibly.”
There is a $25 non-refundable registration fee and enrollees will prepay monthly. Fees are based on the number of days the child is enrolled and their age. Monthly costs range from $87 for a 5- to 12-year-old attending two, half-days per week to $520 for a two-year-old attending five, full days per week. Summit does offer a multi-child discount.
“We are super excited to offer this,” Waters said. “It’s such a blessing to the families.”