With the faith and support of a wonderful team of staff, as well as encouragement from many preschool families, colleagues, and friends, my husband and I founded A Great Start Preschool, Inc. (AGSP) in July 2004 and found a home for our school in Hope Church. When I first put together a business plan, I optimistically expected to start our first year with 40 children. After all, it was July, and with classes beginning in September, many children had already been enrolled at another school. But thanks to word of mouth referrals and blind faith, we started the school year with twice as much! Our second year in business we added afternoon sessions and grew a whopping 55%! By the time the school year drew to a close in May 2006, we were serving 136 children. We had an astounding 153 children enrolled for the 2006-2007 school year, and, after adding an additional classroom in 2007, we hit 200 children during the 2007-2008 school year. We even added a sixth classroom in 2009! We are excited to begin offering a 5 Half-Day Private Kindergarten Program during the 2012-2013 school year. Due to this growth and success of our school, we have hired additional staff, bringing the total number of staff members to 12, and we serve over 200 children. In November 2012, we learned that Hope Church would not renew our lease after the 2013-2014 school year, so we began a search for a new location. We explored many options, including purchasing or leasing our own facility and renting space in another church or community building. We toured multiple facilities, but we kept coming back to Southminster Presbyterian Church. Not only could their facility sustain our current enrollment, there was potential to grow by adding one additional classroom. Southminster was only 3.2 miles from our location at Hope, and the staff and congregation was very welcoming and excited about an opportunity to house AGSP at Southminster. As you can understand, our relocation does not come without cost. We knew their facility would not meet state licensing regulations and county building codes without renovations. We began meeting with architects during the summer of 2013, and determined from their estimates the costs of renovations were within our budget, based on the funds we had already saved and the budget cuts that were immediately made when we heard that our lease with Hope Church was in jeopardy. Unfortunately, when the actual contractor bids were received in February 2014, the job already exceeded the amount we had budgeted and the amount Southminster had pledged toward the project. After lengthy discussions and prayer, we decided to continue to move forward with Southminster, knowing we would have to depend on our preschool families and friends for help. Rather than only asking for money outright, we decided to host several fundraisers, giving a variety of options to participate in our fundraising efforts as they were able. In only 3 short months, thanks to our supportive preschool friends and families, we raised an additional $20,000 toward our Relocation Costs! A Great Start Preschool moved to Southminster Presbyterian Church on June 2, 2014.
A Great Start Preschool is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) corporation. We are licensed by the State of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
We are very excited to call Southminster our new home! In exchange for a monthly usage fee, we occupy seven classrooms (Rooms 103, 106, 107, 121, 122, 124, and 127). The Director's office is in Room 105. From each classroom, there is close access to the large, fenced playground. On days of inclement weather, we have use of the Christian Fellowship Center (CFC) for gym and large motor activities. We also use the Community Room for Music and Movement Activities. Classrooms are arranged in learning center areas including Home Living, Library, Art, Science, Computer, Blocks, and more. Classrooms and restroom are cleaned daily. Our facility is safe and secure, with a door code entry system to enter the preschool areas. A Great Start Preschool has no affiliation with the Church, and therefore any comments, questions, concerns or compliments should be directed to the Preschool Director.