Our Program

Small Steps Nurturing Center’s accredited program provides a high-quality education, social and emotional support, a nurturing Christian environment, transportation, and nutritious meals to economically at-risk children ages two through six living in poverty in Houston, Texas.

Intellectual Growth
Social & Emotional Growth
Physical Growth
Spiritual Growth

Small Steps Success Story

Emilia* is the youngest child of a single mom and has five siblings, two of whom attended Small Steps. Of all her siblings, Emilia struggled the most, both academically and socially/emotionally. She began Small Steps with no language and didn’t speak to her teachers until the end of her second year. She began pre-K and kindergarten with similar behavior, choosing to shake her head “no” and “yes” instead of answering a question aloud. Teacher assessments showed that she was significantly behind pace for language, math, reading, and comprehension. Throughout her time at Small Steps, she received speech and occupational therapy. During her kindergarten year, she received additional academic support from the Instructional Specialist. Although her progress was slow for much of her time at Small Steps, her teachers and support team highlighted a “light bulb moment” in her kindergarten year, at which point she progressed more quickly. One breakthrough was when she said her name in front of her drama class after spending the year standing in the back, participating as little as possible. By the end of her kindergarten year, she graduated from both speech and occupational therapy, and her teachers described her as engaged, curious, social, and independent. During the 10+ years that her family has been a part of the Small Steps community, Small Steps built a relationship with Mom and supported the family during destabilizing events, like Hurricane Harvey and the COVID-19 shutdown. Small Steps has also seen Mom make progress herself, seeking a more stable job to support her family and dedicating herself to improving her English. Mom frequently cooked food for the staff to express her appreciation.

*Names changed to protect the privacy of our families.

Our Community

Small Steps serves economically at-risk students and families who live in the areas surrounding our campus locations.

We currently have two campuses, located in the Fifth Ward and Gulfton communities.

Fifth Ward Campus Community
Gulfton Campus Community

For a child to qualify for Small Steps’ program, the family must meet three requirements at the time of application:

  • Qualify for the free meals portion of the National School Lunch Program
  • Live in specified zip codes surrounding our campus locations
  • Agree to complete tuition hours each year by attending parent education events and volunteering

Small Steps has numerous ongoing collaborative partnerships with other nonprofits to accomplish our shared goals.

Our current collaborative partnerships include:

  • The Center for Hearing and Speech
  • Christian Community Service Center
  • Connect Community
  • Hope Stone, Inc.
  • Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
  • Houston Food Bank
  • Impact Houston Church of Christ
  • Prelude Music Foundation
  • Prevent Blindness Texas
  • Rice University Kinder Institute
  • Rice University Texas Policy Lab
  • Second Servings
  • St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
  • University of Houston, TIMES
  • University of St. Thomas