If you are looking for nurturing teachers and a office staff that communicates with you, keep looking! Our experience was awful. We were misled by previous reputation (prior to moving) and beautiful grounds. I'm not sure if the ownership has lost sight of the absolute necessity of qualified and nurturing teachers or if they simply grew too fast and can't keep up, but it simply is not working. The office staff does not communicate in any way. There is no response to phone calls or emails while enrolled or not. Once we left the school, I called and emailed to request a time to pick up my son's blanket and other items without disturbing the children. No response. When I finally went by, they had given his things away because "they don't like to hold on to things." No one ever responded or reached out to me about his things after repeated attempts on my part. My son, initially was so excited about the school with the wonderful play areas and beautiful grounds, but within days he was screaming before we even parked the car. I found the room to be unstructured and loud as it was shared with another class with only a partition separating the two. His teachers were indifferent and did not have a clue how to respond to him. It is obvious management's attention has been on their facility. Nothing else there is of value. The teachers don't smile! They do not even look the children in the eye when they speak to them. They tower above them and give short commands. Please and thank you were never uttered the entire time I was there. If your child wonders out of the play area on the play ground don't expect someone to go over, hold hands, explain where they need to play and bring them back. The teachers simply holler across the play ground without moving. This place is horrendous. Save yourself a tremendous amount of heartache and find a school that values teachers and children.
I enrolled my daughter in the Esperanza program a month ago and we both love it; she can't wait to go each morning. The teachers are highly qualified and very sweet and caring. The curriculum is both educational and entertaining and everyone we know who has used Esperanza (either part or full time) has been able to enroll their children in the magnet program in HISD once they reach school age.
I'm not the kind of person who ever, ever writes reviews. I only write this one in response to the comments I've just read written by "houstonmadre" and "downtownworkingmom".
My wife and I toured every daycare facility that could serve us in the downtown area where we both work. Our daughter started in Esperanza as an infant and now uses the afterschool program and attends their summer camp. We have many friends that also use Esperanza in all age groups currently. First, let me be very clear. They have never, ever, had 3 hour nap times. Second, the safety of the school and the emergency procedures are the best I've seen at any daycare we toured in the city. Esperanza has been one of the best decisions for our daughter that we have ever made. They prepared her, and more importantly, helped her have the CONFIDENCE to take the Vanguard test and score quite high. She now has excellent homework discipline and study habits that she was taught by the teachers at Esperanza. She loves drama because of the exposure that the summer camp has given her. She even learned to swim at Esperanza! So, before you take any of these critical comments from these few parents to heart, be sure you go and tour the school yourself. You'll decide that some people just can't be pleased, regardless of what area of life they are commenting about. When it comes to Esperanza, remember how much they've helped our daughter, and how much our friends who have infants and toddlers at the school currently just love it and would not go anywhere else.
And pricing? We found Esperanza to be $150 to $400 a month less than comparable daycare facilities in the same area. But then, none of the competitors taught swimming, or offered piano lessons, or had professional drama and art programs. Nuff said! Check it out for yourself!
Pros: curriculum, teachers, security, safety,
Cons: wait list for infants
I have had my daughter at this school for a number of years and find that it has gone down hill a little. The nap time for the older kids in the Discovery center is about 3 hours long! The kids have to stay on their mats - are coerced into doing so - during this entire time whether they are tired or not. This looong nap time is not what is recommended for their age group. If your child has special needs, the staff won't have time to get to know them. The doors really are open - good for parents, but an easy way for strangers to walk in and out at will.
Pros: Mostly kind staff, open door policy, convenience
Cons: Loooong nap times, not following policies, open door policy
I am a previous employee of Esperanza who worked there for 8 years. I started out with the school @ their location on Lovett then transitioned over to the Heights. I can not say enough GREAT things about this school. It may not be the ideal place for most employees because of pay and benefits however, I believe every child who attends Esperanza is getting Excellent care and education. The curriculum is awesome and followed, unlike other schools I've worked for. It's a fun loving school and the teachers and staff's main focus is to make sure every child's daily experience is the absolute best. They DO follow the minimum standards rules and policy. It's been a few years since I worked there, but if a child is dropped off before 8 am they are allowed to have a dry breakfast. From 8-9 they have playtime outside so therefore the review before mine is VERY inaccurate. What I find sad and appalling is that not that you badger Esperanza with lies, but that as a parent if ANY of these things are true to you in your mind than you should be ashamed of yourself for keeping your child in that school and environment. Which brings me to believe that you are a scorned parent that didn't get your way in some form or fashion. You slam and look down at this school with all your accusation however, what sort of parent are you for not wanting, expecting the best for your son. If any of these things were true and you were a good parent you would and should have pulled him out IMMEDITALTY. There are other pre-schools in the heights. However, as you well know they can not compare to the level of excellence as Esperanza. They go above and beyond what any other school offers. I also worked their Rainbow Kids Club for the first 4 years of my employment there...another GREAT aspect of what this school offers. I could go on and on about the great quality of this school.
Pros: Communication, Curriculum, Caring and well trained Staff.
Cons: None for children and parents.
I honestly do not see how this place keeps it's doors open. There are so many SAFETY violations that anyone could write a book! The owner is a nut-job. She over complicates everything and comes across as "if you don't like it then find something else." We would, however, this is about your only choice in the Heights! If only there were a decent Montessori school in Houston Heights, then we wouldn't have to subject our son to this chaotic and unsafe environment. SPECIFICS: My son moved to a new class recently. You would think that they would communicate with the previous caregiver...but for 3-4 days he didn't drink ANY LIQUIDS!! while in the "care" of Esperanza. Each day I would pick him up and he would be so HUNGRY and THIRSTY that I could barely get home fast enough to feed him. When I questioned why he wasn't given his bottle - they said he wouldn't take it. Come on, the child was starving! I kept questioning and I finally determined that they were just handing HIM the bottle to feed himself! He hasn't learned how to do that yet - and they didn't think to ask!?!
He has so many bruises on him right now I should probably start taking photos to have for my records! I just do not know what is happening there. I dropped him off one morning about 7am and explained to the caregivers that he had not had breakfast and to please feed him his yogurt cup. The caregiver told me that they couldn't do that - that he could not eat anything until 9am because that was "snack time." Are they clueless?! Then we get these phone calls from the "main house staff."...wanting us to come in during the day to have a parent conference. Are you kidding me? JUST FEED THE CHILDREN! It's not rocket science...children just don't miraculously start feeding themselves and switch to sippy cups overnight. That's why it's called "transition" Notice I spelled the word correctly...unlike their NUMEROUS typo's in their newsletters.
BAD COMMUNICATION SKILLS!!! AND MY SON IS NOT HAPPY!!!
Cons: Bad Communication, HIGH PRICE, Poor Quality "BABYSITTING!"
Absolutely the best care and fun for kids. My child has attended Esperanza since she was 2 years old and is now 7. We now use their summer camp every year and she has a great experience with never a complaint. She enjoys numerous field trips and art projects. Most importantly, she is given tender loving care and disciplined with true respect.
Pros: Caring and Qualified Staff - Kids love it
Cons: Cannot provide after-school transportation to all North Elementary Schools