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Chapter Seven

How to Start A Christian Daycare

Rev. Ellsworth E. McIntyre

Founder of Grace Community Schools & Early Childhood Education Pioneer

Chapter Seven

The Secrets of Success

Meet a Growing Need: Working Mothers

Every politician from the President of the United States down to the dog catcher is howling about the need for child care. They are correct about the need. The biggest reward in such a market is to the teacher/entrepreneur who best meets the customers’ need. Most schools—public, private, and church related—are tied to old forms developed before World War II, when most mothers stayed home, while the husband earned the bread. Begrudgingly, some schools have added extended care, but these are very weak band-aid solutions that my system conquers. Why? Because America’s parents are waking up to many school problems. For example, low reading, low math, poor discipline and most painful, limited service, (the school is open only 180 days out of a 365-day year.) Every time the parent turns around, she must find a sitter for a school holiday. In my area, the public schools added something new, “Teacher Stress Day.” I believe the school should relieve the parents of stress.

The stream of interruptions to the care provided by the public schools is astonishing. All the free enterprise teacher needs to do is provide reliable warehousing to best the competition. But if, in addition, the free enterprise school adds an academic program that solves or even tends to solve these other problems, the wealth of the market will pour into its lap. This is not just a theory. My system really does solve all and is described step by step in our operational manual.

What About Depression?

What if a depression were to hit the nation? A depression is always a terrible thing for most businesses to face. All businesses, however, do not suffer during a business turndown. For example, used car parts and secondhand automobile businesses go up. In other words, some businesses are counter-cyclical. The used car parts businessman smiles when the depression comes and frowns when things are booming. What about daycare/preschools? Do more mothers enter or leave the marketplace during a depression? About 50 percent stay at home in normal times, but when things get rough, the husband has to get a lower paid job and his salary sags. The family must have an extra paycheck to meet the installment debt and mortgage on the house. Isn’t that a comfort to the daycare/preschool? You bet. Wait, there’s more. What happens when things are booming? Don’t young families tend to buy too big a house, too nice a car, too plush furniture, too fancy appliances, too elegant vacations, etc. Yes, it is a fact of life. When (note when, not if) the young couple overextend themselves, drawn along by the siren song of endless prosperity, will Mother go to work sooner in order to keep up with the Joneses? You don’t have to tune in tomorrow or even wait for the news at eleven o’clock to know the answer to that.

The free enterprise Christian teacher can smile in all seasons. Up, down, flat or sideways, you will be certain to have clients. The demand for daycare is what economists call “inelastic.” It is what laymen call, “The best of all commercial worlds.”

Providing Good Moral Environment

When an investor considers my school, there is usually an inbred skepticism about the religious component of the program. The folk wisdom around the countryside is that the school must be stripped of all moral religious baggage to be really attractive to the most people. Most Christians have unwittingly created and nurtured this widespread belief. Many Christian schools, fired by well-meaning zeal, have tried to pound religion down the throats of all in sight. As a direct consequence, Christian educators have made themselves unwelcome, not only at the local beer parlor, but in polite company as well. What is surprising is this: both the boys at the beer parlor and polite company do not mind “some” religion for children. It’s only the overzealous who frightens them. Solution? Just get the Scripture verses out of their faces, stop buttonholing them every time they cross your path, stop the constant sentimental invitations, and use the opportunities at hand. Tone it down! When they note the wonderful improvement in their children, your testimony will be irresistible. They will come to you with questions, if you are wise and cautious in your conversation. If you don’t pluck green fruit, as the country preacher says, your school will be more attractive to more people than the cold, sterile, humanistic school. We need more than a confession of faith to succeed. Think about it. I seldom meet a parent who doesn’t want his child to learn and obey God’s law.

Providing Masculine Leadership

Many, if not most, of the children in the typical preschool will come from homes without masculine leadership. This has an effect on sex-role development. As a college text for teachers states, “A sizable body of research suggests that fathers are particularly important in their children’s sex-role development. One reason is that fathers care much more about sex typing than mothers do. . . . Cross-sex play tends to upset men, especially with regard to their sons.” (Maccoby, 1980) as cited by Human Development, Papolia & Olds, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill, NY, p. 215.

Given this fact, boys in particular will suffer in female-headed homes; therefore, the best preschool will fill this void with male leadership. In my system, a male must lead the morning and afternoon pledges and Bible lesson. It is important that the child experience at least one male in his life, who is a Godly role model. Little boys learn how to please girls by watching Mother react to Father. Since the boy’s heart is toward Mother (if you doubt this, remind yourself whom the athlete says “hello” to when the TV camera gives him an opportunity. Isn’t it 99 percent of the time, “Hi, Mom”?), the child will learn and imitate what his mother teaches him about men. The mother makes the man, not the father the son.

The reverse is true for girls. Little girls learn how to please boys by watching Daddy’s reaction to Mother. Since the daughter’s heart is centered on Daddy, she will learn from Dad, not Mother, how to be a woman. Given the truth of this, it becomes even more critical to have both sexes represented in the teaching staff of the school.

Armed with this information, ask yourself how to make your daughter regard “brains” as just as important as her “looks.” Simple, the father must praise the mother more for her “brains” and less for her “looks.” Conversely, if we wish our boys to be less enamored with “jocks” and more interested in scholarship, the mother must praise the father more for his “scholarship” and less for his “muscles.” If both parents’ role-play in this manner until it becomes second nature, they can influence their child’s sex-role identity, at least the theory directs. To quote again from the same text, “If the father is so important to his children’s sex-role development, what happens to those children who grow up in mother-headed, single-parent homes? Some children, especially those who are 5 or younger, when their fathers leave or die, seem to suffer either by becoming rigidly sex-typed or by taking on behaviors associated with the other sex to an inappropriate degree.” (Hetherington, Cox & Cox, 1975 p. 216)

Men are needed, men are wanted, and men must be' in a quality preschool. Men, however, are subject to special regulations laid out in our operational manual that protect them from child abuse accusations.

Genuine Reading Instead of Phony Reading Readiness

It is a popular mistake to confuse reading readiness with genuine reading instruction. Every preschool in America seems to boast about their superior education program. By superior, they certainly do not mean reading; because every graduate school, to this doctor of education’s knowledge, teaches to the prospective teacher that reading should/rot be taught to children in a preschool. I have received angry letters from educators who were triggered into rage just by the slogan that appears in our advertising, “College Can Begin at Two.” It is an article of humanistic religion that young children should not be taught to read, but it is all right to spend hours talking about shapes, sizes, colors, and other abstract things that really do not need to be taught in the preschool.

The real reason, I suspect, that the American preschool or early childhood educator spends so much time on the difference between a triangle and a square and a square and a parallelogram and equally wearying tedium is that they have hours to waste that could be better spent teaching children symbols such as A, E, I, O, U. Since a child already knows how to use the vowels, it is a simple matter to transfer his hearing knowledge to symbolic knowledge set down on a written page. If a child can hear and understand language, he can read and understand language alphabetically set down on a page. There is no barrier except the teacher’s self-imposed prison cell of discredited philosophy.

Some public school teachers have boasted to me that our Grace Community graduates, after entering fourth grade in the public school, do not have much of an advantage over public school children who have not received preschool reading instruction. This seems to prove to them that preschool reading instruction is a waste of time. Oddly, none of them seem to come to the more obvious conclusion that public schools hold back reading in a lock-step fashion, so the child who is already reading must wait until his classmates catch up. In other words, public school has squandered the head start by not building on the foundation already laid. For this reason, we tell parents who must transfer their children from our preschool to a public school, that it is crucial to take the child to the library and get him to constantly read ahead of his contemporaries.

Any skill not regularly practiced gradually wanes. For example, when my mother was in the third grade, she was able to read the American newspapers and translate them into Italian for her parents. But when she was in her twenties, she was no longer speaking and reading Italian daily. She was barely able to carry on a conversation in Italian. This doesn’t mean, of course, that time invested in learning a skill is a complete loss, since the discipline of character to acquire any skill is readily transferable to every area of life. If your child is reading at the fifth-grade level by his sixth birthday, he will have a facility of language and an academic character that cannot be taken from him and more importantly, a positive attitude toward abstract learning, instead of the often negative attitude children pick up in inferior schools.

Children Reading at 3 or 4 Make Very Satisfied Clients

Another great advantage to teaching reading instead of shapes, colors, and sizes is the public relations value of a child who can read. One of our parents told us about a dinner at an exclusive restaurant, where a tuxedo-attired waiter approached their table with a blackboard in his hand, listing the various French wines for the customer’s selection. Before the waiter could speak, the child began to phonetically read the names of the wines. Since the child was only three or four years old, the waiter was astonished; and of course, the parents were very proud, because the waiter felt that the child had to be a genius. Of course, the waiter heard no argument about that. When the parents returned to Grace Community, they excitedly told the story of how they had learned the difference between genuine reading and “reading readiness.”

On another occasion a four-year-old boy transferred from our preschool to another. The mother told the new preschool teacher not to embarrass her child by getting him to recite color recognition, because the boy was color blind. When the first week was over, the teacher told the mother that she was quite mistaken, because the child could see colors perfectly. The mother said, “No, you are mistaken. The boy is color blind.”

The teacher argued, “Well, when I say, ‘Color the sky blue,’ he accurately picks up the blue crayon, and when I say, ‘Make the leaves green,’ he always picks up the correct crayon.”

The mother smiled indulgently and said, “That is easy to explain. He is reading the colors written on the crayon.” The jaw of the teacher dropped slack, and she stammered, “Can he read?”

The mother called the child to her, selected a printed page at random, and asked the child to read. The child read fluently with no hesitation.

At Grace Community, we have many such stories, because we live in a society that superstitiously refuses to teach children to read at an early age. It is our prayer that some day this superstition will vanish from our land. As a school owner, using our manual, you will do your part.

Paraprofessional Teachers

If you use a large law firm, you are familiar with paraprofessional legal aides. These are people who do legal work under the supervision of a licensed practitioner. The same is true of medical facilities, engineering firms, and other professional associations. It is only in education that every classroom has to have a fully licensed practitioner. For this reason, the cost of education is higher than necessary to the parent, and the salary to the licensed practitioner is lower than in other professionals, such as engineers, lawyers, doctors, etc. In our operational manual, we will show you how to arrange your school so that you can use paraprofessionals in various specialties to multiply the productivity of the licensed teacher. This is an obvious innovation that has to be made in education if the cost of education is to be brought under control. Surprisingly, paraprofessionals boost the learning effectiveness of the school. Greater numbers of teachers or licensed practitioners do not equal greater education. Instead, because the salary for licensed teachers is low, the caliber of the people seeking these positions sinks lower and lower. In our school, one four-year degree or Masters-degree teacher is easily able to supervise the education of more than 100 students. The technology to do so is set forth in our manual. Why this obvious change has not been made years ago in our public school system has its roots in the economic blindness that permeates American education.

The Secret of Wealth Creation

It is tempting to say that much of America has forgotten the economic fundamentals of capitalism. Forgotten is not the correct term, however, because I believe capitalism was never really taught in America. This economic blindness has deeper roots than mere academics; it is spiritual as well. The entrepreneur or capitalist creates wealth. The entrepreneur can make one plus one equal six and not two. The difference between two and six is the creative skill of the entrepreneur. This is capitalism. As Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes, so can the capitalist multiply goods under his gifted hands. The entrepreneur takes land, tools, labor, and money and uses them in a highly intelligent and creative fashion that is in harmony so that they produce more than when in a disharmonious and unorganized relationship to each other. The American Indian trod over all the natural resources of America for hundreds of years but was not able to adequately support himself. The Calvinist Christian imbued with the Protestant work ethic produced the most productive nation the world has ever known. Fidelity to the covenant of God produces wealth, as the word of God instructs, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; It is he that giveth thee power

The Midas Touch

The wealth-multiplying benefits of Calvinist Christianity were realized only in northern Europe, England, and America. All other nations have enjoyed crumbs from the Calvinist table. Non-Christian nations, such as Japan, are enjoying prosperity today, but only to the extent that they modify their economies to agree with the covenant of Christ. Communistic and socialist anti-Christian economies are collapsing, because they are in competition with the products of Calvinistic capitalism. This is not a revolutionary or unknown doctrine. Max Weber wrote of this years ago, but anti-Christian bias has thwarted many obvious applications. Even the term, “Protestant work ethic,” sticks in the throats of many anti-Christian intellectuals. When they are compelled to mention the Calvinist Protestant work ethic, they substitute “work ethic,” so as not to offend the Social Marxism lurking in the hearts of an unproductive academia. The word of God is very clear when the law of God is applied in every area of our lives, “... whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). Here is the Midas touch!

Marxism or anti-Christian humanism, on the other hand, refuses to recognize the demonstrated wealth-creating power of obeying the Ten Commandments. I was taught as a student that people got wealthy by robbing, exploiting, and taking advantage of the underclass. In all my academic experience, even in Christian schools and a Christian college, only one professor under whom I studied was pro-capitalist with a pro-Christian bias. That was Dr. Stuart Crane of Bob Jones University. The best that could be said about the rest of my teachers was that they were ignorant about the wealth-producing blessings of Calvinism. Perhaps they were silent for fear of religious persecution. For make no mistake about it, the professor who dares to speak in favor of Calvinism will be ruthlessly persecuted unless he owns the school.

The Evil of Silence

To know these realities and to remain silent is both a great sin and a terrible evil. Our young should be taught that wealth multiplies with obedience to God’s law. Some of my teachers were not conscious evil doers but merely ignorant, because teachers do not usually experience the business world. They are either governmental employees or secular religious employees of various anti-Christian faiths. Therefore, they teach their students that the highest service to God is service to mankind, either in the government or some nonprofit organization. I have learned to define anti-Calvinist as any organization not wholeheartedly in favor of applying God’s law-word to every area of life. Unfortunately, a pervasive but often unconscious hatred of Calvinism permeates every level of American society.

For example, recently one of my teachers was falsely accused of paddling students. The local television stations and the newspaper immediately jumped in the battle against Grace Community Schools. A newspaper reporter phoned me long distance almost daily demanding information about any tax privileges granted to our organization. I pointed out to the angry reporter that a local property tax exemption is granted to all school organizations, both church and non-church, and that furthermore, a property tax exemption in our case only equaled the annual gross income from one student. He then proceeded with a long list of questions, centering on the growth of Grace Community Schools, how much property we owned, and so on. I then asked, “Mr. X, if I am able to provide child care and in addition, all of the wonderful educational benefits that we offer at no additional charge, where are the victims you are trying to protect?”

There was no reply, so I said, “The answer, my friend, is that no one is being ripped off, because my tuition is as low or lower than my competitors, and my parents have enrolled their children freely at my schools. My teachers earn more than teachers in comparable institutions. Please tell me who is being ripped off here?”

The reporter replied, “I see what you mean.” He then asked other questions. When his newspaper articles appeared, there was no reference to my question, nor my answer, because they would have revealed that I was a benefactor and not the villain that he wanted to portray.

Religious Persecution

The fires of such persecution may sometime sear all Godly entrepreneurs, but as Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:12-30) were joined in the fire by the Son of God, so will all those who choose the way of God’s law instead of the way of the world. Although you may not enjoy the good opinion of the anticapitalist bigots in society and the church, you will enjoy great wealth in this life and in the life to come. The God of the Bible wishes “above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (III John 2). Decide to provide a true education using our system. The bad opinion of the Pharisees is a small, small price to pay.

Providing a True Education

What is a true education? To a modem teacher who follows his humanistic training, it is primarily social adjustment. Academic skills are important, but not as important as learning to “fit in,” not to be a bigot, always to believe and follow the majority and such “important” skills.

First, to an orthodox Christian, the goal is to read the Bible independently. Why? Well, the orthodox Christian believes that only Christ can save. Since the child cannot save himself, he must be led to the Bible, for it is his only hope. After the child has been taught basic facts, such as the resurrection, the Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Twenty-third Psalm, then literacy becomes a “holy obligation,” not an option to the Christian teacher. For this reason, universal education had its origin with the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther in particular. Without literacy, the child can be robbed of maximum opportunity for a full reward. Christians debate free will in salvation, but all Christians (or nearly all) agree that man can choose after his new birth to submit or not submit to Christ. Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Success Can Be Easily Won by Our Children

The second goal to an orthodox Christian is adjustment to the commandments of God, not to the majority. If the majority of people in the child’s life are cannibals, whoremongers, drunks, drug addicts, or thieves, we certainly would not want the child to socially adjust, would we? (especially if adjustment means being a well-adjusted criminal). Given the moral blank taught in government schools or antinomian Christian schools, this is about what can be expected. A true education is very dependent on the parent’s choice of school. We Christians should not despair about our amoral society, because the systemic ignorance of our culture represents great opportunity for our children, provided they are truly educated. If they can be honest among thieves, chaste among fornicators, drug and alcohol free among those enslaved to substances, literate among those who cannot read above the fifth-grade level, etc., our children can more easily win success. “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” The genuine and literate Christian can easily best all rivals.

More Than Conquerors

True education must be an education that equips the child to compete in a very competitive world. Humanists, socialists, and various shades of collectivist mentality dream of a world of endless cooperation in which everyone works for the common good, sharing freely the labor of their hands with all people equally. The recent collapse of the Soviet Union is only the most recent tower of such nonsense to collapse. Private property is supported by the Word of God. Two of the Ten Commandments—“Thou shalt not steal,” and “Thou shalt not covet”— directly support private property. For this reason, all socialist schemes run counter to reality, and we must educate our children to be sane. It is insanity to try to build a world that is imaginary with imaginary common ownership of property. It cannot be done. Private ownership, on the other hand, rewards the productive and creative worker more than the failure. Failures scream in anger at God and attempt to pull down the world of private property. As the old Jewish proverb goes, “He that does not give his child a trade trains him to be a thief.” Socialists are thieves using government bureaucracy backed up by storm troopers, instead of knives, clubs, and guns in a dark alley.

Education for the Real World

The artificial world created by the anti-Christian, pro-socialist mentality that has created our school system has desperately tried to eliminate competition. When I was in grade school in the Pittsburgh school system in the 1940s, various subjects were graded satisfactory and unsatisfactory. When I transferred to a rural district outside of Pittsburgh in the fifth grade, the local school system graded by numbers, 85 and above for a B, 92 and above for an A. By the time my children entered the same rural system twenty-five years later, grading by numbers was obsolete, and credit was being given in mathematics for wrong answers if the methodology was correct.

By the time I was principal of a private, Christian school, I hired three graduates in a single year from Princeton University. When I looked at the transcripts of their college work, I was surprised to note that all of them had graduated with honors. Then turning over the transcript, I found the explanation. The majority of the students graduating from Princeton graduated with honors. It seems the major competition is getting into an exclusive school. Once inside, grade inflation has watered- down everything except perhaps the hard sciences and mathematics. I say, perhaps, because the math teacher I hired from Princeton was not superior to the caliber of math teachers I had hired from less esteemed universities. When I attended graduate schools, the average grade was a B. Any grade less than B was considered failing. So typically, every student in my graduate classes obtained a B or an A without any competition. The goal of the modem educator is to reduce competition in every way possible and to make all students as equal as possible. All must be equal: black, yellow, red and white, stupid, gifted and perverted; all must be equal in the eyes of a false collectivist god. Everybody a winner; nobody a loser. There is one area, however, where the liberal, anti-Christian leveling process has not been so successful and that is sports.

Sports: A Game Closer to Real Life

It is nearly impossible to tell an underdeveloped, butterfingered, uncoordinated child that he is a winner, because feedback on the athletic field is immediate. No amount of positive thinking, self-esteem psychobabble can overcome immediate feedback. The difference between winning and losing on the athletic field is very close to the game of life in the real world outside academic circles. For this reason, at Grace Community Schools we insert competition into every possible moment of the child’s day. Math games, word games, spelling bees, recognition for the best behaved, most original, most creative, etc. We even have a contest to see who the leader will be to lead us out to bathroom break, or snack time, because competition is the element that the Lord has inserted into His world. No castles in the air can change reality. Our competition extends also onto the playground with hopscotch, foot races, jumping contests, ring-a-round the rosy, and organized activities; not the disorganized chaos that is found on the public school playground. Games have rules that must be obeyed, especially when prizes are to be won, and recognition lost by those who cannot discipline themselves to follow the rules to win the prize. This is God’s world, and there are special curses on the heads of all educators who encourage children to become (good) losers in God’s world. In our manual are more detailed explanations of how to be winners in God’s world.

Add Structure to Add Security

Incidentally, children are far happier in a world of order than a world of chaos. Rules known and administered justly produce security for the child. Children are born into a world that is terribly frightening, because they do not know what is going to happen. The future could bring disaster, sorrow, and failure, and in too many of their homes, the future has already brought arguments, divorce, and drunkenness. Often their meals are not served on a regular, predictable schedule. Some children come from homes that are an existential hell on earth. At Grace Community, on the other hand, every moment of every day is scheduled. The rules are the same every day. Every day the teachers are predictable. The child can depend on this world, and he can depend on how to proceed into the future in the world of Grace Community and emerge triumphant. Structure, in other words, brings security to the child.

Remove the structure and we create an insecure child. I use the word “structure” for order, scheduling, and predictable events, because this is precisely what many of my educational instructors despised. They hate structure. They argue that structure stifles creativity. The opposite is the case. In an unpredictable world, where the child doesn’t know what is happening next, in a world where the child doesn’t know what will be workable ten minutes from now, how can he create a better way? He has no base line of an existing world. Add structure and you add security to the child and counter the unstructured, insecure home life that threatens his development.

Immediate Feedback of Music

Music instruction is a key part of the Grace Community curriculum, because the wrong note, like the poorly thrown pass or badly bunted ball, yields immediate feedback. It is not an accident that modem music becomes more and more atonal and chaotic, because the nihilistic liberal wants to remove all rules. For example, in one school I administered we developed a championship high school band program. Incidentally, this was easy to do. We simply added an extra period to the school day and made the extra period mandatory band practice on a daily basis. The reason that most children do not master a musical instrument is because they are not disciplined to practice long enough to sharpen their skills to the point where music becomes pleasurable. What a structured system does is substitute the teachers’s discipline and longer attention span for the student’s undiscipline and shorter span.

Lend the Child Your Discipline

If the teacher is patient, systematic, and persistent, the students’ discipline and concentration will lengthen; and positive feedback will result.

To return to my narrative, when we took our championship band to compete against the public schools in the state of Maryland, our disciplined youngsters easily bested all rivals. When our students cheered when their first-place rating was announced, the public school music officials were very offended. They pulled aside our teachers and scolded them, saying, “Don’t you people realize that this is a music festival, not a competition?” So, the assault on Christ’s orderly world is even fought in the world of music.

Of course, similar things have happened in the world of poetry. Rhythm and rhyme have been all but banished from modem poems and what can we say about modem art? The attack on reality here is too obvious to merit comment. The Christian preschool is an opportunity to bring as much health- giving stability as possible into the lives of the little children in the event they enter into the existential nightmare called “public education.”

A Perfect World to See and Hear

Systematic phonics and music instruction teach the child that a beautiful and predictable world exists where discipline is rewarded, and sloth is punished. The child will be able to hear language, not just see it. He will be able to sense and feel the rhythm of language, all of which teaches the predestinated kingdom of God. Without such instruction, it is difficult for the child to see the kingdom of God and reach out for faith to believe and search for that perfect world that is coming with the victory of all those who have eyes to see and ears that hear.

These are only a few of the secrets of success found in our system. Apply the operational manual as directed, and good things will happen. But what about government interference? Won’t there be opposition?