Early Learning Academy

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Early Learning Academy

Coming in January 2023, the Early Learning Academy at Mineral Area College will bring a new high-quality preschool to St. Francois County with an innovative curriculum designed to meet the needs of the community and support working families. 

A Play-Based Curriculum
Current research shows that children who play have brains that are 20% larger than students who do not play. Children will have the opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility for each other and their natural environment and resources and we will emphasize nature to foster environmental literacy. In addition, children will learn the importance of a healthy mind and body. Established learning centers will include science and nature, yoga mats for meditation time, and a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) center. 

An Inclusive Community to Meet the Needs of All Students
The facility, including the playground, will be ADA-compliant and fully accessible. Our highly-qualified teaching staff will be prepared to support students at all levels of learning and accommodations will be implemented to support learning for all children enrolled in the academy. Teachers will focus on building confidence in each child to help contribute his or her gifts within the learning community. The academy will partner with area resources to address mental health services for children, families, and staff, and will reach out to English Language Learners (ELL) services and work with local Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) or First Steps providers to offer supplemental services.

A Unique Approach to Education 
Children will have access to nature trails, a fine arts theatre and gymnasium, along with opportunities for many educational/enrichment learning experiences throughout MAC's campus such as day camps with the athletic teams, fine arts camps, and science classes. Families will be encouraged to participate in daily learning activities at scheduled times throughout the day and invited to attend monthly parent education sessions covering topics such as developmental milestones, parenting styles, and exceptional learners. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Early Learning Academy will open in January 2023.

We are renovating the former Continuing Education Building at the main entrance of MAC's Park Hills campus, located at Flat River Road at US Highway 67. 

The building sits between Serenity HospiceCare and Missouri Highway Patrol.


We will serve children ages 2-5 years.

Children must be 2 by January 1, 2023 and should be potty-trained.

7:00 am - 4:30 pm
With extended care until 6:00 PM*

*Additional fee of $25/week for extended care.

$150.00 per week

Extended Care
(Pickup child by 6 pm)
Additional $25.00 per week 

A limited number of childcare subsidies will be accepted. 

We will only offer full-time enrollment

Teachers must have a minimum of a two-year degree with an emphasis on early childhood education or child development. The teacher must be certified in Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold. All employees must pass a background check. 

The child/teacher ratio will be 15:2, with one lead teacher and one assistant teacher per class.

Meals and snacks are included in the tuition price. 

The academy will be a part of the Child and Adult Food Program. We will provide organic meals/snacks based on the MyPlate and guidelines that are set forth by the CACFP.

Diet and allergy accommodations will be respected and meals will be served with family-style dining. Family-style dining in early childhood programs is when children and teachers sit together at a table for a meal or snack. It helps children make healthy food choices by seeing positive attitudes from teachers and peers.

We will work with First Steps, Parents as Teachers, EMAA Head Start, and local ECSE to help transition, offer services, or evaluate children that may qualify for services.

The safety of our children is a top priority. We have multiple safety measures in place to ensure a secure facility including family key card access plus restricted entry to a staffed reception area.

All adults who enter the facility will be required to provide an ID and those entering classrooms for special events during business hours must pass a background check.

We currently have openings for Assistant Teachers.

Click here for more information or to apply.

For more information, fill out our interest form
or contact our director:

Photo of Jennifer Sikes

Jennifer Sikes

Early Learning Academy Director
and Child Development-Early Childhood Education Department Chair
(573) 518-2142