About Us

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

Stepping Stone School was created by a mother with a vision. Rhonda Paver 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 three decades.


Nurturing children, strengthening families, enhancing lives and setting and maintaining the highest standards for early care and education

We nurture the whole child through cognitive, physical and social-emotional development. We are an extension of your family and work to promote your values every step of the way. You will find peace of mind knowing your children are well cared for and loved while they are in our care.


Dedicated Professional Faculty

Each teacher receives extensive and ongoing training in early care and education. Our educators love their work enough to stay with us for years, lending experience and security to your child’s early education. 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 exciting learning institutions focused on the proven highest order research practices for early childhood education. Learn more.


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, 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) and the National Accreditation Commission standards. Learn more about security and health.


Ready for the Next Steps

We expertly and thoughtfully guide each child along their natural path of growth. Each student has an individual lesson plan based on our exclusive Platinum Learning for Life™ 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.

Our Beginnings

We had just moved to Austin. I didn’t know anyone and began the search for the perfect childcare for our three children. One that would hold our family values with respect and care for each child as an individual.”

– Rhonda Paver, Founder of Stepping Stone School

Rhonda Paver with her three oldest children, her husband Bill’s sister-in-law Sherry and her oldest child. This moment was captured shortly after Rhonda and Bill took over our Crestview campus where they lived and worked to carry out their vision of providing better childcare for the community.


The heart of Rhonda Paver’s vision is the same today as it was over three decades ago, and 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. 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.

Leadership — 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 facet 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™. Learn more.

Our Educators

Our talented educators are highly trained in the latest child development and education standards and practices. 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.

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. Daily electronic messages with parents through our Platinum Learning Link 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. 

VerifiED™ Quality

Our educators and administrators take great pride in ensuring their schools are held to the highest standards. Our own internal quality review VerifiED™ 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.