Step Ahead Early Childhood Learning Center

Developmental Daycare Program

Children at Step Ahead are offered an inclusive environment in which to learn. The program provides services to special needs children from birth to three years old.

The Step Ahead program aims to maximize every child’s potential. We work with children in a number of key areas, including social/emotional, physical, language, and cognition. By working together with parents, the staff are able to prepare a child so that the crucial first steps on the journey to learning begin on solid ground.

Services include daycare, parent support, transportation, and group and individual programming.

We offer programs according to ability and children’s level of functioning, from birth to three years. Children are grouped in the following manner:

  • Koala Bears – Children with critical developmental and physical needs are supported.
  • Polar Bears – These children work at developing independent skills in feeding and playing, and in following directions.
  • Zebras – Teachers work with children to develop fine and gross motor skills as well as language skills that are appropriate for this age group.

Group singingEnrollment

Children at Step Ahead are enrolled by referral through Early Intervention. An application must be filled out and submitted, and Step Ahead requires a copy of your child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). There is a waiting list, and as children age-out of the Program, families are called for their Intake Meeting.

Long-term Benefits

There is evidence — both quantitative (data-based) and qualitative (reports of parents and teachers) – that early intervention increases the developmental and educational gains for the child, improves the functioning of the family, and reaps long-term benefits for society.

A History of Supporting Children with Development Delays

Finn and Ms. Kathy

At the Step Ahead Early Childhood Learning Center, we’ve devoted more than 20 years to working with special needs children from birth through age three, to encourage exploration and development in all areas: social, physical, language and cognitive. We work together with parents to prepare each child to take the crucial first steps on the lifetime learning journey on solid ground.

  • Children are placed in one of three classrooms based on their developmental progress with similar developing peers
  • Our program is run all year long

A Typical Day at Step AheadJoey in car

A typical day at Step Ahead includes a balance of activities, from Morning Circle to motor development to playtime, and so much more. We provide structured and non-structured activities, in both small and large groups. We spend time inside the classrooms and in our brightly colored multi-purpose room, and we go outside, weather permitting. And, of course, no day would be complete without a healthy lunch, snacks and even some time to rest.

Safety & Security

Although we have an open door policy where parents and guardians can visit at-will, all visitors to our program must be “buzzed in” to our facility. Plus, security cameras are located in each classroom and throughout the facility in order to record activities both inside and outside the building.

Family

We update parents and guardians on their children’s progress on a daily basis, and teachers are available to speak with parents on the phone, or meet with parents in the afternoons, after the children have left for the day.  Just give us a call. We are here to help and answer any questions.

Step Ahead Early Childhood Learning Center
1015 Fairmount Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08629
609-278-0154
stepahead@arcmercer.org

The teachers at Step Ahead have welcomed my son and I from day one. I talk to them as if they are extended family. It’s wonderful to know I’m leaving my son in such capable hands.

– Jaweia Campbell, Parent

The Step Ahead teachers are fantastic! They have helped our son so much with core learning areas, and with social skills too. He has come a long way and made many great friends. We’re so thankful for Step Ahead!

– Denise Wagner, Parent

I am very thankful because my child has learned many things. Teachers are doing a great job. Thank you so much GOD BLESS!!

– Jenny Strada, Parent

We are very happy and thankful with Step Ahead and all the staff because with their help Carlos has improved and learned routines that will be very helpful for pre-k.

– Sonia Martinez, Parent