100_0411_2Step Ahead Learning Center opened in fall 1997 as an outreach to the community. It was the brainchild of Kim Erickson, a new mom of twin babies who had just earned her master’s degree in educational administration/leadership. As Kim was navigating her new role as parent, she joined the Mom’s Group at Wesley United Methodist Church. Through conversations with these moms about the lack of enriching and affordable child care programs in the greater Concord community that offered both part- and full-time accommodations, she realized that she could put her love of children and her new degree to good use to fill this need. She formed a Children’s Program Committee, which began researching state requirements and logistics of creating weekday children’s programming. A volunteer Board of Directors took over the planning and financial direction, and Step Ahead was born! The school started as a part-time morning program for three different age groups: toddlers, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds. As its popularity grew, an afternoon enrichment program was added. Step Ahead is a thriving and vital part of the Concord community, thanks to the love and support of the many families who have walked through our doors and the hard work and dedication of our caring professionals.

Kim says, “Deep inside of me, I have such strong feelings about the development and needs of children. I believe in the spirit of the child and the commitment that our Step Ahead teachers create as a team to provide an environment that allows children to develop to their fullest potential. I love having the opportunity to see growth in each child: learning to write their name, make friends, climb on the playground, learn to say ‘goodbye’ to mom and dad, cut with scissors, and learn a new song. Most of all, I love to watch the smiles that happen as children are learning.”