What are your hours?
Mainspring is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 – 5:30. We are closed only 17 weekdays per year.
Do you offer part-time care?
Mainspring only offers full-time care.
Do you have a waiting list?
Fill out the form on our Attend page or call 512-442-2301 to get on the Waiting List. There is no fee to be placed on the waiting list.
What kind of paperwork will I need to fill out?
There is no paperwork for the waiting list. We do an intensive enrollment process when your child is enrolled.
Do you give tours of the school?
Yes, we do! We offer group tour opportunities once a month: on the third Wednesday of the month at 3:30pm. No formal RSVP necessary but a heads up email (firstname.lastname@example.org) that you plan on attending is much appreciated.
What are your fees?
|$1,395 per month||Age 0-2 years|
|$1,195 per month||Age 3-5 years|
There are no other costs. No waitlist fee, no application fee, no materials fee, no afterschool fee or any other surprise fee. It's simply a monthly tuition.
Nearly 75% of our students receive tuition subsidies.
Do you offer childcare subsidies through Workforce Solutions?
We do accept the subsidies through Workforce. If you income-qualify for the childcare subsidies, you must get on the waiting list at Workforce as soon as possible by calling 512.597.7191. When you submit your paperwork at Workforce, you should tell them that you are choosing Mainspring Schools, and it will help you get your subsidy a little sooner. Or, you can come to Mainspring and we will help you complete the forms and fax them to Workforce. To get the subsidy at Workforce, you must be working or in school at least 25 hours per week and provide lots of documentation.
What kind of meal program do you offer?
We serve breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Menus feature fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. We get deliveries of farm-fresh produce. We are not vegetarian, but meat is often replaced with healthful, whole grains. We participate in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and follow all USDA food guidelines. We are not peanut-free and cannot become so (because we often use food items that “were manufactured in a plant that also manufactures peanuts”).
The recipe for one of our favorite lunches:
· 1 Tbsp Canola or grapeseed oil
· 1 onion, chopped
· 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
· 1 Tbsp cumin
· 1 tsp garlic powder
· ½ tsp ginger powder
· 2 tsp garam masala
· ½ Tbsp coriander
· ½ tsp cayenne (optional; will make dish spicy)
· 1 tsp ground turmeric
· ¼ tsp black pepper
· Salt to taste
· 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
· ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
· 2 cups cooked brown rice
1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Cook onion in oil until browned, 5-7 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and spices to onions and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add chickpeas and allow mixture to simmer for at least 10 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it will be.
4. Serve over brown rice and garnish with cilantro.
What is Mainspring’s philosophy?
Mainspring is a non-profit organization and the values that non-profit organizations generally hold run through Mainspring. The most obvious of these is honoring the individual worth of our students, parents, and staff. Visitors to the school often remark about how kindly the teachers speak to the children. There is a strong sense of community at Mainspring and we invite all parents to join with us. Educationally, we follow the children’s developmental cues. In the youngest years, the focus is on establishing emotional bonds, encouraging language, and helping children master their bodies. By the time they are 3 and 4 years-old, true learning takes place … but always in a developmentally appropriate and fun(!) manner. When children “graduate” from Mainspring, they have mastered the skills outlined in the State of Texas’s pre-K guidelines.
What other programs do you offer?
Depending on the success of our grant writing, Mainspring is often able to offer special programs to the children, including Creative Movement, Art and Music. Currently these are offered at no additional charge.
What role do parents play in your program?
Mainspring has a vital parent program and parents are required to participate at least 8 hours per year.
We host a Monthly Parent Supper Series, where we bring in an expert in some field related to young children (e.g., childhood nutrition, bedtime blues, etc.), a light supper is served and childcare is provided. This even takes place the fourth Thursday of each month, 5:30–7 p.m.
The Parent Support Group is smaller and more intimate. It uses the “Incredible Years” Curriculum in the fall and parents pick the topic in the spring. Parents commit to completing all 13 sessions. It is led by our Family Services Coordinator, a master’s degreed counselor. Meets Tuesdays, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Childcare is provided. We feed the children and have healthful snacks for parents.
The Parent Advisory Council is somewhat similar to a PTA; they do some fundraising activities and provide much-appreciated teacher support. They meet the second Monday of each month, 5:30–7 p.m.