Smart Start Preschool strives to create a safe learning environment, which promotes developmentally appropriate education and social skills for young children to learn about themselves, others and their surroundings. Emphasis is placed on self-esteem, creativity, and individuality. Smart Start utilizes a system of manipulative materials within a structured environment where exploration, discovery and learning take place. The focus is to teach readiness skills for Kindergarten as well as instill the desire for life-long learning. A team approach between parents, children and teacher is essential for a consistent, quality education and experience.
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Owner and Head Teacher
Erin Tippetts is a mother of three children. She has a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in human development with early childhood, and has over 25 years of teaching experience. Over the years, she has taught preschool in various early childhood centers, was the owner of a preschool in Sun Valley, ran an interactive parent/toddler program, taught Kindermusik, and spent 19 summers as the owner of a summer day camp in Sun Valley, Idaho. Erin currently owns and operates Smart Start Preschool in Hidden Springs, Hidden Springs Kid's Camp during the summer months, and was honored in Idaho Business Revue’s 2009 Women of the Year magazine. Starting September 2015, she will split her time between her two schools.
At Smart Start Preschool, children most often: Lead…rather than follow the teacher. Create…rather than duplicate. Move…rather than wait. Initiate…rather than imitate. Raise questions…rather than answer the teacher’s questions. Solve their own problems…rather than the teacher’s problems. Make art…rather than do crafts. Make books…rather than fill in workbooks. Decide…rather than submit. Choose wisely…rather than being told. Try again…rather than fail.
Adapted from Sandra Crosser’s, The Butterfly Garden.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
The part I like best about Smart Start preschool is how they instill a love of learning in their students. My children are perfect examples of this effect as they love to learn about anything. It’s a beautiful building block and the perfect beginning of your child’s education.
Our daughter loves the activity-based lessons that promote on-going interest in learning at Smart Start. We love the positive environment that fosters growth. Erin’s knowledge and expertise in early childhood education and developmentally appropriate instruction have truly prepared our daughter for Kindergarten.
We love Erin Tippett’s program at Smart Start Preschool! With her gentle spirit and love of teaching, Erin instills a love of learning into her students. Our son, Ryan, has flourished in the 3 year old class. The environment is child centered and the atmosphere is one of caring and friendship. With lessons in music, art, academics, Spanish, nature and play, I don’t think we could ask for anything more!
As owner and lead teacher at Smart Start Preschool, Erin Tippetts epitomizes the best in early learning. While the overall atmosphere at Smart Start fosters creativity and fun and the teachers follow Erin’s lead of sweetly guiding, supporting, and challenging the children — all wonderful characteristics of the place — it is Erin’s attention to and knowledge of current literature regarding best practices for children this age (and the successful application of this knowledge) that really sets her school apart. Both of my children truly felt engaged in mind and heart, benefitting greatly from Smart Start’s approach of teaching the whole child.
Erin Tippetts is that rare teacher who has perfected the art of generating and sustaining enthusiasm in her young students while maintaining an atmosphere of respect and regard. I’ve never seen small children have so much fun while behaving so responsibly! She brings out the best in them. We started our oldest at Smart Start and expect to continue until our youngest heads off to kindergarten.