Welcome to A Child’s Academy!
A Child’s Academy was borne from a mother’s love.
Barbara Harpe married soon after graduating Gainesville High School and, by the time she was 21 years old, was the mother of two children. She had a job at a local bank, although her real desire was to stay at home with her children. After several seriously failed attempts at finding the right person to care for her kids, Barbara chose her children over the job, which lead to the wonderful creation of A Child’s Academy.
Barbara soon took in other children in need of loving childcare. Within four years, her passion became her career, and she purchased a preschool. She knocked on neighbors’ doors, securing commitments for children to attend her new school and even financial support. Because they all knew that Barbara was an asset to their children’s future and the community.
And their investment in Barbara was a smart one. She created a center based on her own concerns, and those that other parents shared. Barbara’s childcare and preschool was far more than a business. It was an exciting solution, fueled by a woman whose heart was—and is—centered on loving care for youngsters.
Now, 30 years later, Barbara Harpe has grown A Child’s Academy into one of the most desirable childcare centers and preschools in the Gainesville area—one that maintains a perfect health record and a Christian environment. The academics are unrivaled, with her preschool graduates demonstrating more advanced knowledge and skills than their peers from other centers.
With such a long history, Barbara understands what it takes to succeed as a caregiver, educator, and businessperson. Her low staff turnover rate attests to her success—and contributes to the consistency that is critical for the children in her care.
A Child’s Academy sits on more than 11 acres, with fenced-in playgrounds for each age group, providing safety, security, and room to have fun. The two buildings encompass a spacious auditorium, the only of its kind in the area’s preschools and childcare facilities Built originally as a school, the facility is not a retrofit of a retail space or an exaggerated afterthought that is more flash than function. The school is designed to stimulate creativity and not just provide a place for young children to spend their days. Time is too precious not to give your kids the right start in the right place..
But inside these wonderful spaces is a close community of caring, knowledgeable people who are committed to giving your child the next-best thing to being at home with you!
Every teacher and caregiver on our staff is committed to providing each child with the opportunity to develop to his or her individual potential. Our staff represents more than 50 years of childcare management and teaching experience, and we take pride in the continuity that comes from finding and keeping the best professionals.
We recognize that every child has his/her own learning style and needs. Parents and teachers work together along with our director to accommodate those specific needs. In addition, our school carefully plans activities that will promote the desire to learn and enable all children to grow—like teaching sign language to toddlers, creating a hydroponic garden, and introducing young minds to technology in our own computer lab. At A Child’s Academy, success is not an excuse to sit back on our comfy laurels. Innovation is key for us and our families!
The goal at A Child’s Academy is to provide a loving, happy place for young children to learn and grow as we bridge the gap from home to school. Our staff supports a positive self-image in each child while building social skills in a scholastic setting. At A Child’s Academy, we believe in Christian values, courtesy, and good manners. We reinforce this commitment through the use of the A Beta curriculum, which builds the content of every textbook on the foundation of God’s Word.
We adhere to both Florida’s Gold Seal Quality Care Program and the APPLE (Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment) standards for our center. The Gold Seal Quality Care Program recognizes those childcare centers that promote early learning and school readiness. APPLE certification is akin to the Ivy League of preschools. Tighter requirements address not only the educational program, but the facility itself. We are proud to bear these symbols of such high standards. When your child’s care, safety, and education are trusted to us, we take the role seriously. So, none of these guidelines are tougher than the standards we impose on ourselves.
A safe environment
A Child’s Academy provides a clean, safe, and supportive place for your child. Rooms are cleaned twice a day, and toys are meticulously maintained to ensure the safety of every youngster in our care. All playgrounds are equally tended to ensure a safe, secure environment for your child.
We adhere to strict standards for our health practices for hand-washing, food preparation, and restroom protocol to reduce the risk of illness. Our perfect health record demonstrates the quality of our efforts.
Every member of our staff is certified in CPR and trained in first aid. We are prepared for any medical emergency or evacuation procedure.
For security, all parents and teachers must sign in and out electronically, and children are released only to individuals authorized by the parents on the enrollment application. We have implemented video monitoring of each classroom, so you can stop in at any time and see how your child is doing, without upsetting the class. We do not, however, allow online access, to avoid compromising the safety of our children.
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Why our Parents Love ACA:
Safety is the first and most important attribute. The staff is meticulous about cleanliness in the VPK class-- handwashing to prevent the spread of germs. They are also conscious about falls, proper check-in of adult visitors, and prevention of rough play among the 4 yr olds.
Equally important to me is the Christian environment found at A Child's Academy. The school reinforces my family tradition of prayer, blessing food, diversity, and good citizenship/community service. I was impressed when my 4 yr old expressed interest in Haiti and Earthquake Relief.
A Child's Academy has also helped my daughter get prepared for Kindergarden. In addition to the 3 R's-- Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, she has learned the rules and etiquette of classroom academic settings from firm but caring teachers.
A Child's Academy's most powerful testimonial is from my daughter -- "they are all my friends"”
Matt & Crystal Bowman, Micanopy, FL