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Harvest Christian Daycare and Learning Center is not your ordinary daycare! We provide first class care with state-of-the art facilities in a loving and nurturing environment. While we have grown to be a larger center with 200 children, we are still able to provide that small center feeling through individualized attention and care to each family who enrolls with us.
HCD was started in January 2009 with our President and VP, Pastors Jay and Debbie Eberly, our Director, Katie Warner and two part-time children. As more and more children enrolled, additional staff came on board and many volunteers sowed hours into making Harvest Christian Daycare what it is today.
We assembled a volunteer group of individuals that comprised of professional teachers, Sunday school teachers, parents and college students who helped write our daycare curriculum. Our curriculum is unique as it encompasses a Bible lesson, academics and character development. We are a Christian daycare and according to Matthew 6:33, we put God first in all that we do. Each classroom starts the day with prayer and a Bible lesson. The curriculum is then built around the Bible lesson, reiterating the things from the Word of God throughout the day. For example, the Bible lesson of the day may be on the time that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. During a learning time that day in teaching a Math lesson, the two year olds would practice counting to ten and talk about which numbers are small and which ones are big. The three year olds would practice writing one through ten, like God did. The four and five year olds would practice writing the numbers, but also adding and subtracting them. For an art lesson, the children would roll out some play dough and practice tracing numbers with their fingers, just as God wrote the commandments on the stone. For social studies, the children would learn about a mountain, because God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on a mountain. They would talk about what a mountain looks like, read books on mountains, talk about the weather on a mountain, and maybe even go on a “mountain hike”! As they go throughout their day, they learn the Bible lesson while also learning academics.
We also incorporate learning and developing Godly character into everything that we do. According to Galatians 5:22, Christians have the fruit of the spirit including: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Through direct instruction, modeling and practice we teach these principles to the children at every age! We have a strong understanding that the children in our care are the future. It is our goal to develop these fruits in each child so that when they grow up, they will be people of honesty and integrity.
Teaching social skills is also a large emphasis at Harvest Christian Daycare. We know that research shows the “single best childhood predictor of adult adaptation is not school grades, and not classroom behavior, but rather, the adequacy with which the child gets along with other children." Through demonstration, discussion, books, and activities we teach children problem solving, friendship skills and anger management/impulse control.
In 2010, the Department of Human Services approved our curriculum and we received a license to be a state-certified pre-school. We now have three separate pre-school classes: three year olds (Pathfinders), four year olds (Trailblazers) and five year olds (Explorers). That same year we added our playground surrounded by a security fence, and we also started transporting children to and from school. We started with one van, and now we currently have 4 buses and 2 vans that transport children to and from nearly 20 area schools.
Security is always a top priority at Harvest Christian Daycare, and in 2012, we added a security camera system. Cameras are stationed both inside and outside to give everyone an extra feeling of safety.
The Family Center building was added in 2013 which is the home of our Trailblazers and Explorers pre-school class and our Voyagers School Age program. The Family Center building includes a fenced-in playground for the older children and a large gross motor room for the school age children. The building was completely remodeled and provides a state-of-the-art facility for our children.
Harvest Christian Daycare welcomes children of every kind. We have seen tremendous results with children with special needs, emotional disorders, and learning disabilities. For example, one child came to HCD when he was three years old. He was non-verbal, not potty trained, and aggressive. He was raised by a single mother who worked third shift and needed help. We took him into our care and started working with him daily. We learned what worked best for him and we taught him how to communicate appropriately. We learned how to work together with him, and eventually we taught him how to speak. We helped him with potty training and developing social skills. He eventually was diagnosed with autism, however, he was very high functioning. While he was in our school-age program, he became one of best behaved children we had! When he first entered school, he went to a school that had a developed autism program. He was able to be in a normal classroom and has since graduated the program and is able to be in regular school! Praise God!
We have seen the blessings of God poured out on the daycare as we continue to strive to provide world-class childcare. As we grow, we continue to make improvements and adjustments necessary to provide the most loving, nurturing and safe environment for every child we have the honor of providing care for.
Willard Hartup, President of International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development.