SouthSide Early Childhood Center is a place where children develop a love of learning, curiosity about the world around them and strong social skills that are so critical for success in elementary school and beyond. SouthSide children become great problem solvers. Our philosophy of child-centered, individualized learning helps every child succeed, no matter where they start out. Our nurturing and diverse atmosphere helps SouthSide children develop respect and appreciation for the talents and contributions of their peers. The SouthSide community is diverse in many ways, including socio-economic diversity. Through Early Head Start and Head Start funding our program is free for income-eligible families from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and extended day child care is available at affordable rates. Market rates apply to families who do not qualify for Head Start based on income. Here are just a few of the reasons to consider SouthSide Early Childhood Center:

  • We meet the highest standards for early education in Missouri and are accredited by Missouri Accreditation and licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
  • We are open from 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, all year (we are closed for 10 major holidays and winter break between Christmas and New Year’s).
  • Our teacher-child ratios make sure that each child gets the individual attention he or she needs. In the infant and toddler classrooms the ratio is 1:4 and in the preschool it is 1:10, with two fully qualified teachers (not teachers’ aides) in every classroom.
  • Our research-based curriculum encourages children to learn not only essential social skills, but also important pre-academic concepts in the areas of literacy, mathematics and science.
  • The children are assessed continuously with formal and informal measures in order to ensure that all of their individual developmental and educational needs are met.
  • As a result of our curriculum, SouthSide graduates meet or exceed state standards for kindergarten readiness — and most importantly, they enjoy learning and want to go to school!
  • Teachers in every classroom hold Bachelor’s degrees or higher in early childhood education or a related field. Teachers receive ongoing coaching and professional development from our full-time mentor teacher.
  • When needed, we provide health services for children through our community partners, including dental, vision, hearing and speech assessments.
  • We are an inclusive center, welcoming children from every background and with every level of ability.
  • We provide nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack made from fresh and healthy ingredients in our own kitchen.
  • Our preschool garden allows children to learn about food science and nutrition, and plant, care for and harvest their own fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks.
  • We embrace parent involvement. Parents are welcome to volunteer in the classroom, at special events, and on committees.
  • We offer services to parents, such as parenting workshops, peer support, and monthly meetings featuring guest speakers, covering topics that parents select.

Come for a visit and see our program first-hand. Contact Jackie Weaver at jweaver@southside-ecc.org with questions or to schedule your visit.