Gethsemane Lutheran Children’s Ministry (GLCM) offers year round full-time and part-time child care and preschool education for children from 6 weeks to 6 years in Austin, TX. Our program emphasizes Christian values of love and trust, justice and peace, cooperation and human dignity and is designed to meet the emotional, social, physical, cognitive and spiritual needs of children through a variety of activities and experiences. Our dedicated staff members are friendly and caring with decades of combined experience. GLCM fosters an environment where children thrive.
The Gethsemane Lutheran Children’s Ministry (GLCM) is designed to meet the needs of children through an inclusive preschool program that offers a variety of activities and expressions while providing an environment that emphasizes the basic Christian values of love, trust, peace, cooperation, and respect. GLCM is a safe and affirming environment that promotes acceptance of all children and families.
GLCM is truly unique compared to other child care programs. Our low child-to-staff ratios ensure children get the attention they need in a caring environment that allows teachers to focus more individually on their children. Like the children enrolled in the program, our teachers come from diverse backgrounds, providing exposure to different cultures and traditions. Our curriculum includes a variety of tailored experiences crucial to developing children (please see Programs section for details):
- Religious curriculum, such as chapel and Vacation Bible School
- Outdoor excursions, such as nature walks and splash days
- Spanish language
- Music exposure
- Foster Grandparent Program
- Field trips and guest speakers
- Physical education courses and dance lessons (optional for older children)
Staff members are an integral part of each child’s education at GLCM. Everyone is committed to providing a happy and secure environment for each child to grow, creating a positive attitude toward learning, teachers, themselves, and each other.
Each lead teacher has a Child Development Associate (CDA) degree or higher. All staff members are certified in CPR and first aid and attend at least 20 hours of continuing education per year. Our staff tenure is one aspect that makes us unique. The average tenure for our teachers is more than 5 years. Many of our staff members have been with us for more than 15 years.
The teacher’s role in the classroom is one of facilitator, to offer insight for the parents on their child’s routine and developmental progress. Parents receive regular communications regarding the child and are strongly encouraged to participate in their child’s school life. Staff members ensure that the children spend time in small- and large-group activities each day that may be self-directed or teacher-directed. These activities encourage good listening and verbal skills, aid in growth and development, encourage growth without pressure, and develop creativity and problem-solving skills.
Gethsemane Lutheran Children’s Ministry is an outreach of the Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Having first opened in 1987, GLCM has a long history in the Austin community. Children who attended in the past are now enrolling their own kids in our program!
Starting with just a handful of children, GLCM has grown to caring for more than 100 children each year without sacrificing our low child-to-staff ratios. In addition to the lengthy tenures of several of our staff, our Director has been guiding the center for more than 13 years, ensuring dedicated staff are hired and retained and the program curriculum is enriched.
GLCM is licensed by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS), which sets the minimum standards by which any child care center must adhere.
Our high academic standards are maintained by the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association. The ELEA Accreditation is a national accreditation that holds our center to higher standards of care and curriculum. Lower class ratios are maintained and staff members receive more than 20 hours of training per year compared to 15 hours required by minimum standards. Each lead teacher has a Child Development Associate (CDA) degree or higher and all staff members are certified in CPR.
GLCM is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), designed to ensure the quality of children’s daily experiences in early childhood programs and promote positive child outcomes. NAEYC sets explicit program standards for early childhood programs serving children birth through kindergarten. Their standards are evidence-based and aligned with the profession’s knowledge of best practice.
WorkSource Childcare Solutions has awarded Gethsemane Lutheran Children’s Ministry a Four Star Rating, the highest rating possible, which requires staff members to adhere to higher standards in curriculum, interaction, and multicultural activities.