What Makes Us Unique » Kids Academy In Kirtland, NM
The Learning Circle Kids Academy began as a dream for the founder, Michelle Hill-Jack in 1983. Starting out in another building was a beginning. Then three children came into her life to call her “Mom” and they became a family. Ten years later they added a daddy to the family. So she switched to becoming a home provider of child care. It soon became clear that expansion was vital to the program so she took a hammer to the walls, moved her family to another home and Learning Circle Kids Academy took flight!
Michelle is passionate about the safe loving care of children. As a single mom to three children she knew that not only did the community need safe healthy child care but that she was the one that could make a dream happen for many families.
The family home was renovated in 1989 and the program has increased to 50 children. No longer a private home, it is well-known as “the home away from home” for many families. It is multi-generational as Michelle’s daughter, Carrie Schoenberger, is now the on-site Center Director. Children that were students here have come back to join our staff. One of the teachers will now begin the “third generation” with her little one.
- Children love to come to our loving, family-friendly atmosphere. Moms and Dads are comfortable here knowing that they are welcome to just drop in anytime to visit their child and assure that their child is happy
- Join us for fun safe child care at County Road 6405 #22, just north of Highway 64 where your child’s second home can be right where it belongs- in a safe neighborhood! We’re just 7 miles west of Farmington.
The Learning Circle Kids Academy is now the longest running program in San Juan County! Our founder and Executive Director, Michelle Hill-Jack, is now taking over the business portion of our program and her daughter, Carrie Hill Schoenberger, has stepped up to take the reins as on-site Center Director. She is now completing her Bachelor Degree and has all staff working toward early childhood degrees and certification. This alone is a vital part of the loving care of children in that they spend their days with informed loving adults with your child’s best interest at heart!
- Every teacher has had a thorough background clearance, has CPR and First Aid training and is working toward college degrees and certifications.
- We have an unbeatable guarantee-We are so sure that you will be happy with our program, that at any time within the first 30 days of enrollment you wish to leave and attend another center, we will gladly refund a full weekof tuition.
- Because we offer maximum work satisfaction and our staff loves what they do, The Learning Circle Kids Academy has low teacher turnover.
- We uphold strict security measures—with 16 security cameras, and a list of approved adults for child pickup, you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe at our facilities.
- Our unique “Tools of the Mind” brain power methods will help your child grow, learn and meet his or her milestones while having fun.
- All of the children from the babies on up, have one-on-one attention with caring teachers that talk to them, hug them, feed them, and that keep them safe.
- Your child will have their feelings validated, and challenges provided to help your little one develop to his or her next stage of growing.
- Children learn best when they have an opportunity to respond to the beauty and wonders of the world around them. They learn the order of the natural world in an environment that is structured, appealing, and offers opportunity for discovery of all kinds, socially, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. This has always been our philosophy based on scientifically proven information about how the brain grows and children develop to their potential.
- A rare asset to our program is our Foster Grandparent, Myra Begay. She volunteers about 20 hours each week to come and love the kids. She is a very kind person with high standards and reaches out to help the staff and the children.
- You, your child and your family are a vital part of our program. You are needed and appreciated as you participate in activities, graduations, volunteer for our Parent Board, help with holiday parties, celebrating your child’s birthday, giving us “Your voice” as the customer and as an advocate for your child.
Come celebrate your child with us as we watch your loved one grow and learn.
Individualized Learning Plans
- Your little one will have his or her own learning goals and plan determined by you and the teacher. We strive to assist your child in meeting those goals by providing activities that teach the skills needed.
- All children from six weeks old through age five are screened by you and scored by the director. You will actually complete the questions and activities with your child at home. It is a lot of fun! Most parents say,”Oh, I didn’t know that my child should be able to do that.” This helps us to determine that your child is meeting age appropriate developmental milestones. Parents find these assessments to be fun, rewarding and a great tool for learning what they can help their child learn next.
- We use this tool to help your child continue to grow and learn to their fullest potential!
Free Nutritious Meals & Gardening
- Your child’s nutrition is an integral part of our purpose. Fresh, homemade well-balanced meals, snacks and plenty of time to eat will be offered to your child.
- Nutritional education and encouragement to try new foods, assistance with meal preparation, clean-up and simple cooking is an everyday occurrence at The Learning Circle Kids Academy.
- We understand the necessity of healthy nutrition to build strong minds and healthy bones for all children. We want to help you keep your child healthy and strong. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. We help you give them a great start in life.
- We take pride in our healthy meals that consist of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, various breads, and fluid milk. Our meals are colorful and appealing.
- The Learning Circle Kids Academy won the highest award given to early childhood programs from the New Mexico Child and Adult Food Program for nutrition, cleanliness, quality, nutrition education, service and sanitation. We exceeded all of their highest goals!
- We offer free formula for newborns until they are off of the bottle. Your child will be offered foods according to the USDA Children’s Food Program guidelines.
- Did you know that even the babies help make bread sticks for meals here? They do if they are big enough to help roll the dough. You will soon see your child eating foods that you would never dream they would eat!
- We will let you in on our little secret- the children grow veggies in the summer and help cook them. We have cooking experiences for the children using familiar and unfamiliar foods. Yes, the kids love to eat what they help cook!
- When you hear “Mom can we have little green trees for dinner tonight or white ones?” That means your child wants broccoli or cauliflower. Take the challenge and bring your child to enjoy and experience eggplant, artichoke, “chicken of the sea”, and much more. Shh! “Chicken of the Sea” is healthy baked fish. We just don’t tell them. Did you ever dream your child would eat tilapia or salmon? Come on over for lunch sometime. We don’t do junk food.
- Our garden has been a community effort from funds from great San Juan County companies that furnished the garden boxes.
- The preschool children and school age children begin growing the seedlings in late spring, plant when it is warm and tend the garden until harvest. The vegetables are washed, cut, sliced and some preparation is done by the children so that they eat what they are growing.
Our garden will be a big hit giving your child a sense of joy, well-being out in the sunshine, exercise, teach him or her self-sufficiency and lifelong learning skills. Come garden with us. Many families enjoy gardening at pick up time.
Exercise, sunshine, nature and plenty of joy! The Learning Circle has it all!
Eugena Daniels Quotes:
1. I take my kids to The Learning Circle, because it’s family oriented, very close knit, very low turnover rates for the staff. Kids are very comfortable there. Just a wonderful place. We’ve been there for about 10 years. All three of my little ones have gone there.
2. The kids are exposed to new meals or foods like vegetables or fruits that they don’t get very often at home. They get it regularly to where they start getting used to eating a well-balanced meal, snacks.
3. When they’re tired and cranky or whatever, the staff is very good at making sure that they do get a nap in when they need it. They take their blankets or maybe a small stuffed animal to help them at nap times.
4. They let us know what they’re doing at daycare, like planting or growing. It’s very nice, where the kids have that experience and try to plant things on their own at home.
5. My six-year-old and my four-year-old, both gone there since they were babies and they’re continuing to go there during the summer. They give them very well-rounded things to do that they can do outdoors during the summer times and after school. They give them a sense of belonging.
6. I continue to come here and go out of my way to come here, when I live about 10 to 15 miles round trip. I’d rather come here and continue to take my kids instead of somewhere else, because it’s more family knit and my kids are comfortable here.
Vance Aspaas Quotes:
1. I take my kids to the Learning Circle Academy because it’s a family-oriented place and they treat you just like family. It’s not like any other daycare. It’s a family-oriented daycare. It’s a great place to take your kids. They can eat and snack if they need to. Carrie has just been an unbelievable person to me and my family and my kids.
2. The teachers are family oriented. They’re very communicative to the parents. The kids are having fun. When my kids are not in school they want to go back to the Learning Circle. For me and my wife, it’s great that we hear that from them.
3. It’s a clean environment. They sanitize their toys, disinfect everything every day, daily. My child didn’t get sick as much at this daycare than my oldest son did at our previous daycare. I like it because they record everything at school that happens. Everything’s caught on video. It is just so organized. They pass their inspections every time with flying colors.
4. I’ve had my kids at a different daycare before I came to the Learning Circle. And it was high-priced and it didn’t fit the needs that I expected for it to cost that much.
5. I love that it’s cooked there, it’s made fresh. It’s just like home. It’s like mom and dad or grandma and grandpa cooking.
6. My son loves it when they go on field trips. They go everywhere. It’s a learning experience for the kids. The kids get to go out. Teachers take photos of every kid in class and they make a big collage. It’s something good to see when you go into a daycare and you see kids’ pictures on the wall, smiling, laughing, having a great time.
7. They teach them really great manners. We teach our kids manners at home and then it continues at school. They’re teaching them the right way.
8. Carrie and her mom have been doing a great job. I’ve had little siblings go to school there when Carrie’s mom was running the program. One is graduating high school this year and the other one’s a sophomore in high school, now.
9. The Learning Circle is a great place for my children, as a parent, because I know that it is a safe environment. It’s all about their staff, too. They’re like mothers away from home where you can take your kids and know they’re in good hands.
Kyrie Watkins Quotes:
1. I take my kids to the Learning Circle Academy because I feel that they are loved and treated with love and care. They’re there for my child when I have to be at work. When you walk in, they greet you, like when you walk in to your own home, and you feel safe. Women that work there are like his other mothers and he feels safe with them. I’ve never seen that place ever messy.
2. They are excellent with my son. He hasn’t always been on track with things and they work with him. Within months, he’ll be on track to where he should be at his age. They’ve done an immaculate job with him. I had my other son there and they did an amazing job with him. They’ve done such a good job that he’s ahead of his class in kindergarten.
3. They do all sorts of different things with the kids to where they don’t want to leave. When I get there to pick up Jaxon, he doesn’t sometimes want to go with me. He’d rather stay and read the book that they’re reading or he’d rather stay and do the little activity that they’re doing, or any sorts of little things that they do he wants to stay and be a part of it.
4. I know if the kids get hungry they give them snacks. If they’re tired, they don’t try to wake them up to play or to do participation in what’s going on. Sometimes Jaxon’s hit a growth spurt and he’ll just be completely tired.
5. I know Jaxon this summer grew his own vegetables in their garden and he picked his own vegetables. He learned how to pick them off the vines and know when they’re done. I know everything is prepared homemade. It’s not store-bought. It’s not frozen foods, it’s all homemade stuff. Jaxon, he is the most difficult eater and they have got him to try things that I can’t even get him to try. They are amazing at what they do, they really are.
6. Jaxon, every time he gets something, he always says please and thank you. If we happen to burp on accident or something, he always says “Excuse you.” They work really good with the kids on that. He comes home and he even uses those manners from the school at home; that’s what’s nice is it’s not just something he does at the school.
7. Before he could start talking to me, one of the teachers taught him how to sign language so he could talk to me with sign language. If it wasn’t for half of the kids there, my son wouldn’t be talking like he does now. They have helped him to where he can talk so I understand what he’s saying and he can talk to me. He comes right up to them, he’s really friendly, and he’ll play, and that’s a lot of big thanks to them.
8. If there’s something Jaxon’s upset about while he’s at school they take him, they comfort him, they love him, they let him know that they care just like a mom would.
9. They talk to them about Baby Jesus and how they prayed before every meal. They have worked with him on being able to learn how to eat with a spoon.
10. Jaxon has his crib to where he can’t get the flu or whatever that the other kid had. They rock them to sleep. They put them in their crib. Here at home it’s helped us tremendously learn how to teach Jaxon that he needs to sleep in his own bed.
11. I’ve been to other daycares, I had my oldest son at another daycare. This daycare, they really do care about the kids.
Miranda Hobbs Quotes:
1. I take my kids to the Learning Circle because I love the staff there, they’re super friendly. They have a family-friendly vibe. They’re just really good about meeting the kids’ needs. The kids are always happy and having a lot of fun over there.
2. You can tell they’re very tidy. Every time I go in there, they’re always cleaning up, sweeping and tidying up the area after the kids. If the kids are outside playing, you go inside, they’re cleaning up. Mopping and all that stuff.
3. You don’t want to be sending your kid to a facility where they’re not being monitored or you have no idea what’s going in the classroom. I really like that they have cameras everywhere.
4. I’ve seen their garden in the back. That’s really cute. I like that they teach the kids how to be healthy. And, they promote the kids to do wellness programs over there.
Blaine Allison Quotes:
1. You should take your kids to Learning Circle Academy because it is a very fun atmosphere, loving atmosphere, and very family-oriented. We’ve become friends of the family over there. We’ve been using them for five, six years straight now, and it’s just a really good group of people. Glad that they do a really good job taking care of our kids.
2. I think we’ve maybe seen one or two new teachers in the last six years. It’s really good for the kids, especially, it just gives them that stable environment. They’re just constantly looking out for the well-being of our kids.
3. My daughter loves to eat and she loves to nap. She’s always well taken care of and always well fed and gets to eat as much as she wants at lunch. And if she’s still hungry after the snack that she is given, she’s given another snack. And all the food that they provide is very, very healthy, much healthier than probably what they normally get at home. They’ve got a garden there onsite during the summertime. My daughter’s always talking about just all the different foods that she is fed there.
4. It is very clean. Whenever I am picking up my daughter, usually it’s later in the evening and they’re wiping down the toys, they’re wiping down everything and everything is being disinfected whenever the day is over.
5. Every room is monitored from multiple angles. I don’t believe that there’s any blind spots on the property. With their security cameras they’re able to watch the children and watch the teachers. If there is an incident they’re able to rewind it and see exactly what happened.
6. They’re teaching them about their manners: Thank you; no thank you; yes, ma’am; no, ma’am; yes, sir; no, sir.
7. They’re given quite a bit of attention. The teachers are only allowed five kids until they have to have another teacher with them. The kids definitely like that and they form their bonds with the teachers. They have a great deal of one-on-one time that my daughter is constantly talking about her teachers in class.
Enjoy these short videos, explaining what we do differently and how this helps your child develop, learn, grow, and have fun!