Steve Ellis - River Academy Preschool Owner and Founder

My journey of opening a preschool derived from many occurrences I have had over the past year and a half. My son, River, is 5 years old and has been in preschool since he was two. Keep reading below…


Our Story Continues...

…As River grew older, I began to focus more on the quality of education, the standards set by the daycare/preschool institution and the transition methods available that would instill a more probable state of excellence in the future, all at a competitive and comparable rate.

That focus forced me to inspect and interview possible options for early development learning. After looking around Boise and Treasure Valley for a place to send him, I decided I wanted something we didn’t already have in the area.

I wanted a place that was not in an old house, someone’s garage or the back side of a church. I was looking for somewhere that I would feel safe leaving my child but also somewhere clean, so that my child was not getting sick all the time.

Once I started considering my options, I found that many schools had a wait list of a year or more.

Important Things to Consider...

…Then I started realizing that there are many methods of teaching, as well as how progressive the school’s curriculum can be. Therefore, I started looking around and asking each school how they operate.

What first came to light was there was a huge turn over in staff, mostly due to the average pay is less than $10.00 for most teachers regardless of their education.

I found that the teacher-student ratios were pushed as far as possible. Physical location and building set up was also concerning; some had them playing in the parking lot due to no play area, while others had backyards that seemed far too big to monitor kids effectively.

Only a few made me feel that they were not started on a shoestring budget. Plus, I wanted to feel like my son was in a professional setting that wasn’t going to go out of business anytime soon considering how hard it is on a child to move schools at such a young age.

Putting the plan into action...

…I contacted one of my best friends, whom I have known for the last 30 years, and explained my vision to create a preschool. That is when “River Academy” came to life.

We determined that building a state of the art facility of our own would be the best way to provide the opportunity for other children to receive the care and support that I would want for my own child.

We wanted to use as much input from as many other preschool owners as possible to ensure we could have the best preschool possible.

Our idea was to have a school that paid its teachers better than most of the valley’s schools today and to keep a management team on staff to oversee the daily activities.

We feel that students and parents needed to feel that safety and cleanliness are our top priorities. My own son, River, will be enrolled as a full-time student; I hope you join us!

We'll See You Soon...

If it’s your child’s first time at school? Be sure to talk about school while using words like “fun” and “friends” to help set the tone. If you find your child seems nervous, that’s okay!

Encourage them to express themselves and take the time to listen and reassure them. Do a few test drives to your preschool and walk with them around the building. Go inside and explore their classrooms together.

Show them where they get to keep their things, and say hello to their teacher. Talk about what it will be like on the first day. Pump up the excitement by picking out a few “school only” items.

Practice hanging up coats and backpacks, making snacks, and joining in group activities. You can use puppets or stuffed animals to represent others, and practice saying hello or asking for help. Start developing your routine a few weeks before the first day.

We know your child will enjoy River Academy Preschool & Learning Center. We thank you for visiting our website today, and are honored that you would consider allowing to care for what you value most – your children.

Inspiring creativity through fun and imaginative play.

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