The harsh reality for working parents is that the majority of your children’s days are spent away from home and yourselves. It can be tough to find a childcare provider who loves your children as their own. At Stairway to Heaven Childcare, parents will find that and much more!
“We are a Christian childcare center,” Stairway to Heaven Owner and Founder Shintell Bartley said. “I think this is one of the things that sets us apart. We are also big on education and safety.”
At Stairway to Heaven, kids experience God’s love through nurturing, highly-skilled teachers and are taught it through the Christian-based curriculum. Starting at six weeks of age all the way to 12 years-old, Stairway to Heaven’s children are educated using the Abeka Children’s Curriculum, which incorporates cornerstone Christian values along with foundational educational principles.
“They learn scripture and we teach them about Christ through songs and Bible stories,” Shintell said. “They will also be ready to go to school, but most importantly they will have knowledge of who God is. So they can continue in their journey through life in a positive manner.”
Shintell founded Stairway to Heaven in her home in 2013. While she didn’t use a formal curriculum then, she was still teaching children about Christ and his love. After a few years of operating in her home, the waitlist for her childcare services became so long that Shintell decided her next move was to open a childcare center.
“I opened this center in March of 2018,” Shintell said. “I am in this because God has called me to it and I have a message for children and their families.”
Shintell’s lifelong passion for childcare is so powerful that she views her work as a ministry. A ministry, she said, that God called her to at a young age. However, it wasn’t until after her battle with cancer that she listened to the call and began Stairway to Heaven.
“They gave me four to six months to live,” Shintell said. “I had stage five Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I have now been cancer free for eight years. After I went into remission, I felt God continuing to put it on my mind and showing me the vision of doing childcare.”
Now held in an actual center, Shintell is able to expand her outreach and touch the lives of even more children and their families. At Stairway to Heaven, Shintell and the teachers genuinely care about benefiting the children and families they serve. One way they strive to lighten the parental workload is simple: offering homework help.
“One of my goals is to make life easier for parents,” Shintell said. “We all get into this routine of going to work, picking up the kids, making dinner, checking homework, giving baths, and then going to bed. Parents don’t have the opportunity to spend time with their children. That is not how we are going to be able to build strong families.”
The teachers at Stairway to Heaven make a special effort to ensure their students get the majority of their homework assignments done before their parents arrive to pick them up. Stairway to Heaven feels like this act, while simple in nature, benefits both children and their parents alike.
Stairway to Heaven offers before and after school childcare services for students at Cimarron Elementary School, Exley Elementary School, Memorial Parkway Elementary School and West Memorial Elementary School. Located at 21950 Kingsland Blvd., Stairway to Heaven is a central location to serve these schools in the Katy community.
To aid working parents even more, Stairway to Heaven aspires to offer childcare 24 hours a day and six days a week. Shintell reports that she is currently building a list of families who are interested in these services, to confirm that the communal need exists first.
At Stairway to Heaven, students are divided into different classes based on age: “movers and shakers” are ages six weeks to 23 months, “stair steppers” are two-year-olds, “great leapers: are three-year-olds, and “adventurers” are four-year-olds. Finally, the before and after school students make up the “brainy bunch.”
In addition to their Christian education, students also engage in outdoor playtime and have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. Currently, children can participate gymnastics, but Stairway to Heaven hopes to offer rugby, ballet, tap and hip-hop dance soon.
“We want our children to be well-rounded and whole,” Shintell said. “That means in health and fitness too. So many kids are into technology and it is a great thing, but there has to be a balance. So, we want to keep them active and incorporate other activities that will allow them to do that.”
Even though Shintell isn’t from the Katy area, she and her family feel right at home here in the Katy community. She has enjoyed serving the families of Katy so much so that the families at Stairway to Heaven have become her own family.
“We are a family full of love at Stairway to Heaven,” Shintell said. “We are all family here. From the moment you walk through our doors, you are part of this great, big family.”
Interested parents are welcome to stop in to find out more about enrollment and tour Stairway to Heaven’s facility.
“We want the parents to feel like we are a family and they are not just a number,” Shintell said. “We are not just a business. We aren’t just babysitting your children either. We are actually nurturing them.”