About Us

Central Texas Families’ Favorite Private Preschool and Early Childhood Education Program

Authentically Austin Since 1979!

The heart of Rhonda Paver’s vision is the same today as it was over four decades ago, Rhonda and her husband Bill arrived in Austin in 1979 with their first three children. After searching for affordable, quality early care and education for her own children, Rhonda believed the children of Austin deserved something better than what she was finding. Rhonda founded the first Stepping Stone School that year determined to focus on the whole child as an individual. While overseeing the continued growth of Stepping Stone School she obtained a master’s degree in Child Development from UT Austin.

Since that time, with 5 key elements in mind, our schools have helped families and children grow into the next steps for over four decades. We are a Stable growing family of private schools committed to creating better education for a better world. Stepping Stone School is considered by leading industry experts to be a national model of early childhood care and education excellence.

Rhonda and Stepping Stone School are featured in the January 2017 cover story of the leading early care and education professional publication ChildCare Exchange Magazine.

Stepping Stone School featured in ChildCare ExchangeStepping Stone School featured in ChildCare Exchange

The national child care expert who authored the article, spent two days in Austin touring the Stepping Stone School campuses in preparation for writing his story. While touring the campuses with Rhonda, he recognized Stepping Stone School as being visionary and ahead of our time not only in our building designs but in our curriculum, teacher training, service to families and the overall business model.

Our Incredible Journey: An Interactive Timeline.

Austin's Best Preschool Since 1979 - Stepping Stone School Interactive Timeline

Explore Our History

We invite you to take a glimpse of Stepping Stone School’s history as we celebrate 40 years of providing the highest quality early care and education to the Central Texas area!

View Timeline

Mission & Vision

Founded in Austin, Texas in 1979, Stepping Stone School is an organization of servant leaders who contribute experience, consistency, nurturance and security, to the school and community. We are dedicated to supporting the development of the whole child while strengthening families, enhancing lives and setting and maintaining the highest standards for Early Care and Education. This visionary approach inspires meaningful experiences while empowering children to be resilient and successful lifelong learners.

We are a positive, unified, and dynamic organization moving and advancing learning and human development forward.  Our particular strength is the multiple intelligences of the human spirit. Our Early Care and Education teachers and leaders are committed to developing national excellence and cutting-edge programs and have educated over 100,000 children.

Austin's Favorite Childcare Leadership

Our Leadership

Austin's Best STEM and STEAM PreSchool

Nationally Recognized. Family Focused.

The best organizations – the ones that really shine in what they do – are the ones led by people who are interested, involved and invested in every facet on a daily basis. Most importantly, they are the ones who set the standards for their competitors to follow. Since the inception of Stepping Stone School, the Pavers have set those standards as national leaders in early childhood development and are often called upon at the local, state and national level to share their expertise. We are also the only regional privately owned early care and education provider that has a distinguished advisory board composed of leading national authorities on every aspect of early care and education. These specialists and the knowledgeable administrators of Stepping Stone School have crafted a truly unique curriculum called Platinum Learning for Life TM.

Dedicated Professional Faculty

Our Faculty of inspired leaders, creators, educators, and collaborators are dedicated to learning and growing. Our educators leverage their creativity and emotional maturity with our extensive in-house training to produce the best educational outcomes for our students.

Many of our educators love their work so deeply they stay with us for years, lending experience, consistency and security to your child’s early education. We ensure their careers grow with unsurpassed continuing education, and in turn many have been with us for years. A stable and joyful environment for teachers means a sound and nurturing environment for your child.

Learn more.

Warm, Safe, Secure and Nurturing Child Learning Environments

Our Focus

Safety, Security and Health

Nothing is more important than the security, welfare and health of your child. Our schools far surpass the basic requirements to provide an unmatched environment where you will feel secure knowing your child is in good hands. From our meticulous hygienic practices to our protected playgrounds, coded access doors and video monitoring systems, and emergency alert system.

Our campuses meet and often exceed health and safety requirements by state regulations and recommended in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) TM and the National Accreditation Commission standards. Learn more about security and health.

Research Based Curriculum

Stepping Stone School’s Platinum Learning for Life TM curriculum is a research based, developmentally appropriate, personalized learning plan. The Platinum Learning for Life TM curriculum is directly overseen by Rhonda Paver, M.A., Bill Paver, Ph.D., Susan Brunk, M.A Ed., as well as well as our Advisory Board members, Sandra Briley, Ph.D., Joyce Juntune, Ph.D., and Christopher Lemons, Ph.D.
Learn more.

We expertly and thoughtfully guide each child along their natural path of growth. The Stepping Stone School difference is evident in the way we approach educating children. We strive to meet each child’s individual needs based on their development. Using best practices, we guide, nurture, and scaffold their learning and development in every way possible.

Stepping Stone School offers a deep, meaningful understanding of each child’s specific developmental needs, something a boxed, pre-prepared curriculum cannot provide. We are not a franchise, nor corporate entity and this enables us to tailor and customize learning at all times. Other schools provide a one-size fits all curriculum, limiting how far teachers can develop and support each child’s potential.

Platinum Learning For LifeEach student has an individual lesson plan based on our exclusive Platinum Learning for Life TM curriculum to ensure they are ready for the next step, whether that is moving up to the toddler program or being among the best prepared students for kindergarten in Central Texas. The Platinum Learning for Life TM curriculum is the key to unlocking each child’s incredible gifts and talents, while nurturing them each step of the way!


Our educators and administrators take great pride in ensuring their schools are held to the highest standards. Our own internal quality review VerifiEDTM program places great emphasis on quality in safety and health, curriculum, environment and everyday operations, evaluating over 1,000 quality items on an on-going basis. This system exceeds the quality standards of others by a significant factor.
Learn more.


Our Vision

Family Service

Stepping Stone Schools’ philosophical platform is based on a trusting partnership with parents and is the key element to a child’s happiness and educational success. That’s why we go the extra mile to ease the transition into school time with a welcoming smile, a cup of gourmet coffee, and any other assistance you need to start your day off right. Ongoing communication with parents is an essential facet of Stepping Stone School’s philosophy, sharing your children’s latest adventures and achievements through a variety of avenues, including mobile apps and personal discussions. These daily electronic messages with parents through our Platinum Learning LinkTM provides the much-needed communication parents seek. Stepping Stone School is distinct from all other providers due to our commitment and warm embrace of each individual child and their families.
Learn more.

Technology with imagination

Our schools, like world renowned children’s museums, are designed to foster curiosity and creativity and inspire wonder. They encourage outdoor discovery, enhance lessons with 3-D displays, and help advance knowledge through our interactive learning centers with over 1,000 activities. Our schools are vibrant, thriving learning environments focused on the proven highest order research practices for early childhood education. Through optimal teaching and learning environments, we seek to engage families and children to develop their hopes and dreams for education, and provide our schools with the tools and resources to transform those ideas into reality.
Learn more.

Contact Us

We are here to assist you on your journey to find the optimal early care and education environment for you and your child! For more information or to schedule your own personal Stepping Stone School Experience call 512-459-0258 or click here! We are looking forward to enthusiastically supporting you every step of the way!