At Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc., including Curtis Wilson Primary School and Academy, our exceptional team of caregivers and teachers offer loving infant and toddler care, an academic and structured preschool curriculum, and a state-accredited exemplary-rated elementary school. Our mission is to provide stimulating programs that support children’s emotional, social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual development while nurturing each child’s potential as a strong, productive, and compassionate member of society.
Phone: (317) 882-8636
Address: 7850 South Emerson Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46237
Q&A with Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc.:
What makes Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc. unique?
Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc. is a family-owned, non-denominational Christian based child care center, preschool, and fully accredited elementary school, conveniently located under one roof, serving families with children as young as six weeks old through the sixth grade. Beech Tree House is a loving, family-oriented home away from home for little ones with a focus on both social emotional learning and cognitive/academic growth, helping each unique child develop to his/her fullest potential.
Beech Tree House was founded by Lynda Haywood in 1978. Lynda, also known as Nany, is a mother of six and was a pediatric nurse by profession. She blended her expertise in child development with her intuitive warmth for the entire family. Lynda’s genuine love of children and firm belief in providing stimulating early childhood experiences inspired the unique philosophy practiced at Beech Tree House today.
Though the center has expanded its programs over the years, it has remained family-owned and operated, providing the highest level of quality control and dedication to mission fulfillment. The center is now managed by Lynda’s daughter, Heidi Haywood Dowell, and an outstanding team of directors, teachers, and support staff.
With an emphasis on values and personal excellence, all members of our school family are challenged to practice and exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in daily life.
What is Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc.’s educational philosophy?
Traditional, play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, co-op, faith-based programs, other
The sensory rich environment in our infant and toddler classrooms invite exploration and allow for daily discovery. Our infant rooms, full of music, books, and encouraging conversation, are designed to allow for a balance of sleepy relaxation, tummy-time, physical activity, and curious wonder. Our toddler rooms implement a modified curriculum that strikes a balance between structured activities and play-based learning. Academic opportunities are infused into creative and hands-on lessons that introduce foundational skills and concepts while encouraging emerging language. Our experienced teachers help toddlers begin to understand their own emotions and develop social skills.
Preschool classrooms at Beech Tree House follow the Ausubelian method of organizing curriculum which appeals to various learning styles. This engaging process incorporates a variety of lessons, activities, games, crafts, projects, and experiments that help develop proficiencies in a specific theme, skill, or concept. Children enjoy expressing themselves through creative art, music, dance, and dramatic play, fostering self-confidence, encouraging independence, developing motor skills, and instilling a love for learning.
Pre-kindergarteners are captivated by an academically ambitious curriculum that engages children in the content areas of language arts, math, social studies, science, health, art, music, and non-denominational Christian religious education. The curriculum introduces themes and concepts designed to challenge children while promoting the development of problem solving skills. They enjoy the satisfaction of tackling a challenge and realize the thrill of mastery that inspires genuine confidence.
What is Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc. age/grade range?
The programs of Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc. and Curtis Wilson Primary School and Academy include infants, toddlers, preschoolers, pre-kindergarteners, kindergarteners, and elementary school first through six graders.
Early Childhood Age Guidelines – before August 1st, your child should be:
- Infants: six weeks old and older
- Toddlers: one year old
- Level Two Preschool: two years old
- Level Three Preschool: three years old
- Level Four Pre-kindergarten: four years old
- Kindergarten: five years old
What is your enrollment policy? Are there any key dates parents should be aware of?
Families are welcome to call our center to arrange private tours at any time during the year. Tours are required to be added to the waiting list.
We enroll throughout the school year as spots become available.
Typically, there is a classroom transition at the start of the new school year in late July/early August, but promotions to other classrooms can also take place during the school year based on the child’s level of development and our enrollment needs.
What are the standard school day hours? Does your school offer flexible day/hour options? Is before/after school care available?
Beech Tree House is open from 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for infants and toddlers and from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for preschool and older children, Monday through Friday.
Part-time is NOT offered for infants and toddlers. Occasionally for preschool and pre-kindergarten children, two families will share one full-time spot with one family coming three full days per week and the other coming the opposite two full days per week. When a part-time spot becomes available, Beech Tree House arranges enrollment matches based on families on the waiting list who have expressed interest in part-time. Full-time has priority over part-time on the waiting list.
How many children are in each class? How are children divided up?
- Infants: three rooms of eight babies, each a little different age group
- Level One Toddlers: two rooms, a younger and older class, each with ten children
- Level Two Preschool: two rooms, a younger and older class, each with up to 15 children
- Level Three Preschool: two rooms, each with 15 to 20 children
- Level Four Pre-kindergarten: two rooms, each with 15 to 24 children
- Kindergarten: two classrooms, each with up to 14 children
What is the teacher/child ratio?
State licensing and accreditation guidelines are followed for each age group.
What are the teacher’s credentials?
All lead teachers and many assistant caregivers at Beech Tree House have earned college degrees and/or are certified or working toward certification in child development (CDA). Upon employment, all teachers participate in Beech Tree House’s training program, including child development training, safe sleep training, child abuse training, anti-bullying training, and safety training. Most of our teachers have also been trained in conscious discipline. All staff members are CPR/first-aid certified on an annual basis. All teachers are fully vetted with state required background checks, drug screens, and health checks.
Is parental participation required?
Typically, parent participation is welcome but not required. Due to Covid, we are currently only allowing enrolled children and staff members inside the classrooms, therefore, parent participation opportunities are more limited. Of course, daily communication is encouraged, as always.
How do teachers communicate with parents? How often do parents receive updates?
Many means of communication are employed at Beech Tree House to keep parents and staff members connected. Lead teachers typically work a split shift so that they are available to talk with parents when most are dropping off in the morning and when most are picking up in the afternoon/evening. Additionally, the center has adopted an electronic communication system and parent app, which enables parents to leave morning drop off notes and teachers to log and share all the care and curriculum activities, including photos, from the day. All classrooms have a “Parent Information Board” that includes the daily schedule, a weekly lesson plan, and a current newsletter. Monthly newsletters are also emailed to families. All lead teachers and administrators have a center/school email address. In addition, parents are welcome to phone the school to speak briefly with staff members. Finally, conferences may be scheduled at the request of the either the center or family.
Does your school offer support for students with special needs?
While we are not licensed as a “developmental/special needs preschool,” we serve many children with differing needs, abilities, and delays. Frequently, families will arrange to have private therapists and/or therapists from the public school system come to Beech Tree House to provide on-site services.
How much time do the children spend outside?
Large motor skill exercise and play is embedded into the daily schedule at Beech Tree House. Children enjoy time outside each day, typically in the morning and afternoon, as weather permits.
Are meals and/or snacks provided?
Beech Tree House tuition does include breakfast, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack for children on table food. For infants, parents prepare and provide bottles and baby food from home.
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Children are not required to be potty-trained until they get to Level Four/pre-kindergarten. If a child is not yet potty-trained by the time they enter Level Three, potty-training becomes a major objective and the parents and teachers work together with the child to implement training as quickly as possible.
What enrichment programs/activities are offered?
Children enjoy music, art, drama, and values education naturally embedded into the Beech Tree House experience. They begin participating in our formal music program as toddlers. Open areas are provided in our spacious backyard and indoor atrium for large motor skill development and rambunctious play. We extend these learning experiences as we welcome guest speakers and performers throughout the year (except during pandemics). In addition, our pre-kindergarten and school age children enjoy off-site fieldtrip adventures.
What are your school’s safety policies? What extra safety measures is your school taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Beech Tree House Center for Child Development, Inc. has many safety and security measures in place. All doors are locked from the outside. Parents are given I.D. cards and pin codes that are used upon entering the building and picking-up children. Most areas are electronically monitored as additional security and provide an opportunity for parent, teacher, and administrative observation. All classrooms have doors to the outside for easy-exit in the event of an emergency. Fire and other emergency drills routinely take place.
Our health and illness policy follows state guidelines. Many additional protocols are currently in place to minimize the spread of Covid-19. Those include, but are not limited to:
Permitting only masked staff members, therapists, emergency maintenance, and enrolled children (masked or not) in our classrooms;
- Recording the temperature of all staff members upon arrival at the center;
- Requiring families to complete health screen and document results in our communication app each morning;
- Teaching, modeling, and demanding proper handwashing technique and respiratory etiquette;
- Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces many times each day;
- Monitoring for unexplained fever (100° F threshold) and other Covid symptoms and excluding when symptoms present (including quarantining away from the school if Covid-positive and/or a close contact with a Covid-positive person);
- Avoiding common indoor areas and equipment as much as is practical;
- Limiting group size as much as is practical and keeping children in strict cohorts; and
- Reporting any relevant confirmed case of COVID-19 within our center/school family to health officials and parents/guardians of children enrolled at BTHCCD/CWPSA (keeping the patient’s name confidential).
Who should parents contact for more information about your school?
Marketing and Enrollment Director