If a child cannot learn in the way we teach, we must teach in a way the child can learn.

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Why Big Bear Academy PPEC?

At Big Bear Academy, we offer an alternative healthcare choice to families of children with special needs. Our mission is to enhance children self-esteem, socialization, and self-efficacy while ensuring the safety of the child. We provide learning and personalized care for children focused on their special need. We are specialized in childcare for those who need medical attention and monitoring.

Friendly & Welcoming
Big Bear Academy is a friendly and welcoming environment for your child.
Individual Care
Individual care is provided by qualified professionals - multi-lingual and multi-cultural pediatric nurses and aides- working together on-site with Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapists.
Up to 12 hours per day
Big Bear Academy prvides up to 12 hours per day of nursing care Monday through Saturday from children from birth to 21 year old.

Rarely do I take the time to post a review about anything, but this center has continuously exceeded my expectations. This center grounds itself on putting your child's needs first everyday and gracefully excels at making my child feel at home. The attention and dedication received by all staff, nurses, therapists etc., at this center is exceptional. I wouldn't want my child to attend any other center than this. I really am so grateful.

Abraham Brito
Miami, FL

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a PPEC?
PPEC stands for Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care. These services provide a less restrictive, cost-effective alternative to expensive hospitalization or home health care. It reduces the isolation of home-bound programs, helping each child to achieve the highest quality of life possible.
What qualifies a child for the PPEC program?
Children who need nursing care every day and are unable to have their needs met by a typical school or day care and/or do not need to be in a hospital. Children who have been hospitalized or frequent emergency room visits for an ongoing or unresolved condition such as asthma or seizures.
Who pays for these services?
PPEC Services are covered by Medicaid once recommended by the child’s pediatrician through a prescription or letter of medical necessity. We also accept insurance and private pay. Our staff is happy to assist you with the enrollment process.
What services do we offer?
Our services include Pediatric Nursing Care, Transportation, Nutritional Food Program, Physical, Respiratory, Occupational, and Speech Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Special Education (provided by Miami Dade County Public Schools), Physician on Call, After School Program, Extracurricular Activities, and Social Services.

Our Partners

Joe DiMaggio
Bascom Palmer
Nicklaus Doral
Miami Dade Public Schools
Parent to Parent
The Childrens Trust
Early Steps
Pediatric Associates

The Best Team in South Florida

Judith Perez-Franco

Director Of Nursing

Mrs. Perez-Franco began her career in nursing as an LPN, which she did for over 10 years old. During that time, she had the privilege to work with medically fragile children and their families at an amazing PPEC. She worked with brilliant and caring nurses who paved the way for her to become the nurse she is today. Later Mrs. Perez-Franco became an RN and spent a brief time working at a hospital, but she missed the joy of working with medically fragile children and their families, so she returned to work at PPEC. In 2016, she joined the BBA PPEC family as DON, where she continues to do what she loves daily.

Abdiel Cabrera

Registered Nurse

Mr. Cabrera was born in Havana, Cuba. He studied at the University of Havana, graduating as a General Physician in 1976. In 1986 Mr. Cabrera graduated as a Pediatrician, working as such for more than 20 years in Cuba. After arriving in the USA, Mr. Cabrera studied at FIU, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 2012. He has worked as a pediatric nurse in different PPECs. Pediatrics is his passion and a dream come true in his life to this day.

Isel Carcasses

Registered Nurse

Isel Carcasses was born in Cuba where she discovered her passion for medicine at an early age, thus pursuing a career in the medical field and earning her Medical degree in 1995. She worked as a PCP in her community in pediatric and adult care. Once in the USA, Dr. Carcasses became a Registered Nurse in 2016. Soon after, she joined the Health Care Agency for medically fragile pediatric patients, where she expanded her already broad field of expertise. In 2018, Dr. Carcasses joined the BBA PPEC, a place she loves every single day, caring for these special children.

Rene De La Iglesia

Registered Nurse

Mr. De La Iglesia is a Medical Doctor, he graduated from the Santiago de Cuba Institute of Medical Sciences in 1992. He graduated as an RN in the USA in 2015. With more than twenty years of experience as pediatric doctor, Mr. De La Iglesia is a valuable asset at the Big Bear Academy PPEC. He became a member of our staff in 2018 where he shares his great academic knowledge and expertise for the welfare of our children.

Yerisley Avila

Registered Nurse

Yerisley Avila graduated from Florida National College with her LPN in 2013. Her first assignment was as a pediatric nurse with Nation Wide Agency, where she enriched her experience in patient care. In 2013, Mrs. Avila graduated with her RN from Dade Medical College. Since then, she has been working with pediatric patients for Home Health Agencies with love and dedication. In 2018 Mrs. Avila joined the Big Bear Academy PPEC staff, where her professional experience and deep care for children is her passion every day.

Teresa Miqueo

Registered Nurse

Teresa is a Cuban psychologist who had the opportunity to pursue her passion of working with both the physical and mental health of her community. Here in the USA, she continued upgrading her knowledge and academic expertise until she eventually graduated as nurse assistant and a mental health technician. Fourteen years ago, she became a Registered Nurse, and since then, she has worked for Home Health Agencies, a Public School and a Pediatric Day Center (PPEC). Mrs. Miqueo is a highly skilled professional totally devoted to providing care and support to those in need, and she is deeply thankful to her family and friends who helped her get this far.

Nayma Castro

Licensed Practical Nurse

Nayma Castro was born in Cuba. In 2014 she graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and immediately started working at the Integrity Health Service where she specialized in medically fragile children. Mrs. Castro also worked for a brief time at Leon Medical Centers with geriatric patients. In 2018, she entered the Big Bear Academy PPEC to serve medically fragile children and their families. Mrs. Castro truly loves her profession so she is upgrading her academic degree to become an RN in the fall of 2019.

Eliza Llanes

Occupational Therapist

Eliza Llanes is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist, specializing in pediatrics. She graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2015, receiving both degrees at Florida International University. Eliza has been a part of Big Bear Academy since 2016, and has grown with the center from its beginnings. Eliza values the integrated clinical environment that Big Bear Therapy offers, and strongly believes that a collaborative team approach with parents and clinicians is the most beneficial for children.

Martha Pinzon

Speech-Language Pathologists

Martha has a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology, and she is also a Certified Infant- Toddler Developmental Specialist from the Early Steps Program in the state of Florida. She has devoted her expertise to the medically fragile population as well as children with mild-severe developmental delays. She thoroughly enjoys working with the pediatric population and collaborating with caregivers and other professionals to ensure a successful outcome in therapy.

Maggie Neff

Speech-Language Pathologists

Maggie is a licensed and certified bilingual Speech Language Pathologist. Maggie enjoys working with infants, toddlers, preschool and school age children in the one-to-one PPEC setting. She believes in looking at each child as an individual, and designing a therapy plan to fit that child's unique needs. She also encourages collaboration with other professionals, including occupational and physical therapists, and applied behavior therapists. Maggie’s passion is to help each child reach his or her highest level of potential.

Susana Zamora

Physical Therapist

Susana Zamora is a graduate from Florida International University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Prior to that she completed her bachelor’s in health sciences. As a new-grad Dr. Zamora dove right into the world of acute inpatient rehab, where she fell in love with treating patients with spinal cord injuries, neurological conditions, orthopedic injuries and cardiac-pulmonary disorders. In this setting she spent almost 6 years of her career to then dive into the pediatric world gradually for the past 4 ½ years where she has experience with multiple neurological, genetic and orthopedic diagnoses. Helping kids improve their range of motion, strength, flexibility, and movement patterns is Dr Zamora main goal. Clinical Instructor certified and fluent in both English and Spanish she is trained in various methods and therapy approaches to provide superior therapy services.