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Early Childhood Center

The Early Childhood Center (ECC) is a weekday program for children ages 17 months to 5 years.  Our goal is to provide a consistent, caring and respectful environment for children.  We encourage creativity, individuality and self-expression for every child.  We actively promote the values and skills needed for social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual development.

2018-2019 Registration Information


Registration Dates:


Monday, February 12th; 7:30 a.m.: In-House & FUMC Church Member Registration Begins.

Registration will be accepted for currently enrolled families & FUMC Church members on a first-come, first-served basis(*). Children currently enrolled will be placed first, then any siblings not currently enrolled; followed by FUMC church members.

Once FUMC Community Registration begins, forms will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis(*), and in-house registration forms can no longer be given priority.

*When enrolling in extended care, preference will be given to those also enrolling in Wrap-Around Care.

Monday, February 26th, 7:30 a.m.: Community Registration Begins.

Registration Fee: There is a NON-REFUNDABLE $60 registration fee (check, money order or cash – change is not kept in the office) which must be turned in with the registration form. Each family is responsible for turning in their own form to Mary Spears Polk in the ECC office to reserve a place for each child (one person may not turn in forms for multiple families). Please do not give forms or fees to your child’s teacher. Classes will be offered based on enrollment. Class assignments will be based on the age range of the students enrolled and with your child’s best interest in mind.

What if I don’t have a confirmed spot in the program?: If you have paid your registration fee and we find that we do not have a spot for your child, you will be contacted and your registration check returned by mid-March. If you have not paid your registration fee, you will be contacted as soon as a spot becomes available. Waiting lists for each class are maintained throughout the school year but are not carried over from one school year to the next.

We are registered in the program—what’s next?: In late June/early July you will receive a postcard and email letting you know that your enrollment packet is ready for pick-up in the ECC office. You will be asked to complete the enclosed forms and return them with your material fee (explained below). The packet will include information about parent orientation, children’s orientation and our 2017-2018 school calendar.

Material Fee: Material fees are based on the number of days per week your child attends. When you return your summer registration packet, you can either pay your material fee in full OR pay half then and the other half with your September tuition.
     Material fees:
     2-day classes: $20
     3-day classes: $30
     5-day classes: $40
     Wrap-Around Care: $5-10

Activity Fee: Activity Fees are based on the number and cost of activities scheduled for enrichment during the school year. Activity fees can be paid in advance, but will be due with the January 2018 tuition.
     Activity Fees:
     Rabbit, Fish classes: $25
     Bear, Duck classes: $15
     Lamb, Frog, Monkey classes: $5

Withdrawal: Please note that if you choose to withdraw your child from the program, we require 30 days notice. This also applies to the 30 days preceding the start of school. If the 30-day notice is not given before the start of school, and we are unable to fill your child’s spot, you will be responsible for up to one full month’s tuition.

Financial Aid: Applications for scholarships can be picked up in the ECC office. Scholarship forms should be turned in no later than Friday, March 9th, to be considered for the 2018-2019 school year. However, we know that some financial challenges come on unexpectedly. If scholarship money is available, we will be happy to consider applications turned in at anytime during the year.

Arkansas Better Beginnings Accreditation

Better Beginnings

The First United Methodist Church Early Childhood Center is proud to maintain the highest level (Level 3 status) with the Arkansas Better Beginnings Program.  ECC has been a state-accredited facility since 2003, and the teachers and staff are excited to be a part of the state’s current Quality Improvement Rating System.  The children of Conway deserve nothing less than the very best, and ECC strives to offer that!  For more information on the Better Beginnings Program, click here!

At the Early Childhood Center we will nurture Christian values and equip each child with skills for social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual development.  The Early Childhood Center opens for classes each fall, and closes in late spring.  Options for enrollment are as follows:

Two-Day Preschool

Developmental preschool classes are offered to children 17 months to 3 years (note: Class assignments are based on your child’s age as of August 1 of the current school year).  These classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., or there is an additional option of 7:30 a.m.

We currently have three classrooms serving children 17-35 months.  The age ranges for each class vary slightly from year to year based on enrollment.  The Monkey class serves the toddlers.  The younger 2-year-olds meet in the Frog class, and the older 2-year-olds in the Lamb class.

Three-Day Preschool

A second developmental preschool class for 3-year-olds is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings (8:45-11:30, 8:45-2:30 or 7:30-4:30)  Depending on enrollment, this class may consist of all 3-year-olds, all 4-year-olds or a mix of 3- and 4-year-olds.

Five-Day Pre-Kindergarten

The five-day classes for 4- and 5-year-olds provide enrichment opportunities weekly through additional guest speakers, science, language and a variety of classroom learning centers.  This class is a morning program (8:45 to 11:30 a.m.), with extended care (11:30 a.m. to 2:30p.m.) available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and/or Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is also a MondayFriday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm option.

For More Information / Text Alerts / Facebook

Learn more by reviewing our Family Handbook 2017-2018  For more information, call 501.329.1467 or e-mail:

In your email, please include the following information:

  • Name of Parent
  • Name of Child
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail
  • Child’s Birthdate

To receive text alerts — Text @eccof to 81010

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Questions & Answers

Where are we located? are located in the Trinity Building at First United Methodist Church, 1610 Prince St. (the corner of Prince and Clifton streets), in Conway, Arkansas.  The entrance to our facility is on the northwest corner of the campus, nearest to Duncan Street.  To reach the church campus from Interstate 40, take the Oak Street exit (Exit 127).  Travel west on Oak into the downtown area.  After you cross the railroad tracks, please turn north (right) onto Locust Avenue at the next stop light and curve around to the left onto Prince Street, and travel two more blocks to the church.

Is there financial assistance available?

Yes.  The ECC offers a limited number of partial scholarships based on financial need. Applications for scholarships can be picked up in the ECC office.

How will my child spend each day?

The classes offer developmental learning activities in a loving and nurturing environment.

All classrooms provide age-appropriate learning centers and activities that encourage “hands on” learning.  The learning centers allow children to explore, create and develop decision-making skills through the world of play.  Each child will gain physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills.  ECC learning centers include: Pretend, Art, Block, Discovery, Science, Game, Reading, Music, Listening and Writing.

Enrichment activities may include: science experiments, cooking experiences, age-appropriate field trips and special guests.  Parents are encouraged to become involved in the ECC classroom by sharing their talents and skills with the children.