With its miniature-sized tables and chairs, its game mats on the floor and bright posters hung on the walls, Horizon Kidz Christian Learning Center in Roanoke strives to give its preschool-aged students a strong foundation to take with them throughout their educational development.

“[We want our students] to love themselves and love each other,” owner Heather DeHoyos-Williams said. “Try not to change just because someone else is doing something else. Don’t be a follower; be a leader.”

DeHoyos-Williams, who is one of five siblings, said that experience made it natural for her family to buy the learning center in 2002. Starting as a custodian at the age of 16, DeHoyos-Williams decided to seek out a degree in child development and buy the center in 2019 from her father, who was looking to retire.

“My little brother came to the only center in Roanoke at that time, and they were closing their doors,” she said. “My mom was like, ‘No, [my dad] needs to help ... this is the only thing in Roanoke.’ This is before a Walmart even came in, before Home Depot was here. ... That’s when I started joining in because family [helps] family.”

Horizon Kidz Christian Learning Center offers day care services for children starting at 18 months up to age 12 with before- and after-school programs. The center is affiliated with Texas Rising Star, a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for child care programs participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized child care program.

“Anybody that goes to [a] child care center and actually does the work and the parents do the work with a child, they are set for life,” Williams said.

DeHoyos-Williams said the small classroom approach offered at the center—with ratios starting at one teacher for every nine infants or toddlers and up to one teacher for every 20 children at older ages—has allowed children, parents and staff to grow close.

“We’re a big family here, even the parents; they have trouble, we help. We have trouble, they help. That’s our little community,” DeHoyos-Williams said.

Horizon Kidz Christian Learning Center | 301 W. Byron Nelson Blvd., Roanoke. 817-491-2026. www.horizon-kidz.com [email protected] Hours: Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m.