Highlights

Small Steps Nurturing Center has both empirical and anecdotal confirmation that the program is making a profound difference in the lives of the children and families it serves.

Accreditation

Small Steps is accredited by AdvancED-Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the oldest and largest educational accrediting organization in the world.

Resources for Families

Small Steps strives to deepen relationships with parents, encouraging them as the primary teachers of their children and as adults capable of healthy relationships and productive lives.

  • Parent education events are held throughout the year on topics such as children’s social and emotional development, literacy, budgeting, and school choices for kindergarten parents.
  • Program events include Thanksgiving Feasts, Christmas and Easter chapels, and specific activities for moms and dads.
  • Coffee Talks at the each campus allow parents to learn about relevant topics with the Program Director or guest speakers.
  • The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, offered three times per year, focuses on strengthening the connections between school and home for our families, teaching parents healthy social and emotional techniques to use with their children.

Fiscal Responsibility Recognition

Small Steps has been awarded Charity Navigator’s four-star (highest) rating for 15 years in a row. Charity Navigator’s criteria include the charity’s financial health, accountability, and transparency. Less than 1 percent of charities have received this rating for at least 15 consecutive years, earning Small Steps an “exceptional” designation. In Charity Navigator’s words, this designation “sets Small Steps Nurturing Center apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.”

Outcomes

Small Steps recently partnered with the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics at the University of Houston to conduct our first-ever program evaluation. Results of the study show that the positive impact on our students is evident both while they are at Small Steps and later during elementary school. Highlights include:

  • Our students show meaningful gains in oral language skills while at Small Steps. On average, our two-year-olds begin Small Steps performing about one standard deviation below the mean in expressive and receptive vocabulary, and our kindergarteners perform, on average, at or significantly above the mean.
  • At the end of kindergarten, Small Steps students are performing well within the average performance range on the Woodcock-Johnson as compared to a nationally representative sample.
  • Preliminary results of grades 3, 4, and 5 STAAR reading and math performance indicate that the passing rates of Small Steps students are higher than the passing rates of the state and Houston ISD as a whole.

Given that the majority of Small Steps students enter our program performing at least one year below developmental expectations for their age in many areas, these results are evidence that Small Steps is narrowing the learning gap for our students and helping them to enter elementary school ready to learn. Small Steps will continue to build on this data in future years.

Early Matters

Small Steps is a member of the Early Matters Coalition, a broad-based coalition of business, civic, education, philanthropic, and nonprofit organizations and volunteers working together to raise awareness about the importance of high-quality early education and to make a strong case for increased investment in this critical, high return on investment area.

Committed Volunteers

Volunteers play an important role at Small Steps. In the 2018-2019 school year, volunteers served more than 4,700 hours, and 86 Small Steps students had Buddies. Buddies spend one-on-one time with students; fostering consistent adult-child relationships is an integral component of our social and emotional program.