Our Families

We’re not shy about saying it: Stepping Stone School families are the best! Happily, they say the same about us.

Over the past 30+ years, Central Texas families have entrusted Stepping Stone School with the education and care of more than 50,000 young children, and have voted Stepping Stone School the best in child care for 15 years through Austin Family magazine’s annual readers’ poll.

But beyond the numbers and the media are the stories. Here’s a sampling of some in our families’ own words.

Private Kindergarten WOW!

“Rachel has only been in Private Kindergarten since Jan. 7, but I am SO impressed with how much she is learning. I am so grateful for the opportunity to challenge Rachel and push her to learn more.

She loves to read and is reading harder sight word books on her own. She is graphing things and doing math in her head without counting on her fingers.

My oldest daughter and Rachel were comparing what they knew about Martin Luther King today – amazing conversation between a 5 year old and a 7 year old!

I know Rachel will be following her sister in more ways than one! When she first started Private Kindergarten, she was only reading simple sight word books. Within a matter of two weeks, she is reading books with two sentences on the page! I am just amazed! I can’t wait to see her progress at the end of the school year.”

– Catherine Draper

I couldn’t be happier

“When I started my two-year-old at Stepping Stone School, I was feeling a bit skeptical. My oldest son had a bad experience in childcare, so I was hesitant. My two-year-old was not flourishing in his private care, and actually was regressing socially and verbally.

“Stepping Stone has really nurtured his growth in both of these areas! He is talking much better, and although he is still verbally behind, he is making up that gap through his teacher, Lisa, and with his peers. Lisa is very patient with him, teaching him how to speak correctly and really trying to understand his language. She has nurtured him socially and taught him how to play with his friends in a positive manner, where before, he would not play at all.

“At his old school, he would cry when I dropped him off and cry when I picked him up. Now, when we get in the car, his words are, ‘I go see ‘Isa’ (Lisa)!’ When I drop him off at school, he says, ‘Hi, guys!’ and ‘Bye, Mom!’ There are times I could almost cry he’s so happy. When I pick him up, he tells me about his day, shows me his artwork, and tells me about his friends. I couldn’t be happier.

“I had the opportunity to go to a daycare next year that is cheaper and at my workplace. I had to turn them down for fear that my child would not progress as he has at Stepping Stone. I absolutely adore the program they have at this school, and I just love Lisa. Thank you to Lisa and Stepping Stone for all you have done for my child.”

– mountainsharada via citysearch

The highest endorsement: ‘Yay, school!’

“My wife and I did extensive research into our options when our daughter was born, and Stepping Stone School came out on top of our list for a number of reasons: the cutting-edge curriculum based on the latest research; the excellent training program for teachers; and the strictest standards for quality and cleanliness. But the real reason we chose the school was more down-to-earth and personal. It was the first place that I stepped into (unannounced, mind you) where the staff seemed in control and not flustered, the children were happy and excited and occupied with a wide variety of activities. And now that we have become part of the family, everyone in the front office knows my daughter by name and greets us when we step through the door each morning. The highest endorsement, however, comes from our daughter, who calls out each morning when we pull into the parking lot: ‘Yay, school!’ It really makes me feel good to know my daughter feels safe and happy and welcome in her home away from home.”

– James S.

Pre-K program the best in town

“My child has been going to Stepping Stone School since the age of two; he is now in the second grade. I cannot begin to tell you everything Stepping Stone has taught him through the years. When I have my parent teacher conference, they are amazed at how well my child can read and understand context. He reads a year above his grade level. My child also has developed in writing and math. I owe it to Stepping Stone and their strong focus on getting a child prepared for their future. The staff there is wonderful! They know your name and always says hi with a big smile on their face. If you are looking for a place with loyalty and integrity, then this is it. Their pre-k program is the best in town. I will continue to keep my son there for as long as I can.”

– brandyc via citysearch

With your help and love, my son is better off

“I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Stepping Stone School IX. I recently took a job offer in Hawaii with the U.S. Air Force Audit Agency and had to move from Austin. Unfortunately, my son, Austin, had to stay behind with his mother. I was scared that his transition would be full of turmoil and insecurity, but the staff at Stepping Stone has been extremely helpful and loving to my son. I have called in on numerous occasions to speak with him, and Ashley is always delighted to hear from me and transfers me to his classroom without hesitation. Austin’s teacher, Roxanne, has also been a joy to speak with because she gives me progress reports of how he is doing and how the transition of Daddy being gone is going. Nobody has ever cut me short from speaking with him, and all have even gone to the extent of going out of their way to take pictures and create artwork that the principal forwards to me. If I wouldn’t have found Stepping Stone School, I don’t believe Austin would be as well off as he is today. Again, to the entire staff at Stepping Stone, Thank You!”

– Cory L.

Delighted

“My husband and I made the tough decision to start our 19-month-old twins in a childcare setting and we chose Stepping Stone School. As an IBM employee, I’m writing to say that our family has been very pleased with Stepping Stone, and I’m delighted my company has a partnership with Stepping Stone School. I am happy that when I come to and from Stepping Stone, any of the staff know who I am and know who my children are. This goes for any of the teachers or other support staff. They have been so supportive and understanding as I make trips to check-in and call multiple times a day to check on my sons, and are always friendly when I have any questions. We are very pleased with the quality of the facilities, and all the staff and teachers.”

– MW

The people make it magnificent

“The people here are the key pieces in making Stepping Stone School such a magnificent place. With their support and love for their jobs and children, they reinforce the curriculum and the positive environment that Stepping Stone offers. Great job!”

– A, I & E

Better than I could have taught them myself

“I love the balance of nurturing interactions and academic versus child-led learning that I see in my child’s classrooms. My children LOVE their teachers and have learned to communicate so much better than I could have taught them by myself at home!”

– MC

My daughter now can’t wait to go to school

“My family is so pleased with Stepping Stone School. We recently relocated to Austin and found childcare with another center. We thought the center would be great since it was brand-new and received high marks from the press, etc. After a few months in the new center, my daughter started to become unsocial, rough with other children and did not want to go to school. On a daily basis, the center blamed us for our daughter’s behavior. I spoke to other parents who had had the same issues and pulled their children from that center. After looking for other care, we found Stepping Stone School VI, and liked the teachers who were down-to- earth and obviously really enjoyed what they do. My daughter is now a social butterfly and can’t wait to go to school. I now realize the previous childcare center had issues. The teachers at Stepping Stone School are great, and they really get to know your child.”

– L & S Price

A peace of mind that was hard to find

“I am writing to share my experience as a Stepping Stone School parent. Being a teacher myself, I am very particular as to where we decide to school our son! This combined with the fact that I have a special needs child makes it a critical decision to make. These factors considered, we chose to make Stepping Stone School the school for our child. The principal and our son’s teachers have done a tremendous job with him. Their patience and understanding in the face of some severe situations has given me a peace of mind that was hard to find. They have gone beyond the call of normal duty in dealing with my son and he is all the better for it. Because of my positive experience, I have become a living advertisement for your schools everywhere I go. I believe in your philosophy and I believe in your team of teachers at Stepping Stone!”

– CP

Impressive leadership – and home cooking

“I chose Stepping Stone School II based on its size and homelike atmosphere. Many a morning, I have arrived in time to get a whiff of something delicious cooking in the kitchen. Brings back fond memories! In addition, all the teachers know my daughter, and take the time to greet her and genuinely care for her wellbeing. I truly respect the entire staff. I am very impressed with the principal’s leadership of the school and appreciate our one-on-one relationship. She is constantly looking for ways to improve the center and it shows!”

– RP

My first impression will last a long time

“My daughter was just seven months old when she started out at Stepping Stone School I, and had never been put in anyone’s care besides her parents and grandma. Being a first-time mom, you would agree with me that putting your child into a childcare facility is not something you could take with levity. On getting to the facility and meeting with the staff, my first fear of not wanting to leave my baby was alleviated. I liked the environment, as I felt at home there personally. It was a neat place, and I was confident that my child was going to be taken care of. But I took this as a first impression and decided to watch for changes as events continued for my child’s care. As days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, I have come to believe that my first impression will last a long time! The teachers are very friendly, accommodating and warm, and they do their job with an uncompromising passion that lets you know they love not only their jobs, but also the children in their care. I love the center’s academic curriculum and lessons my daughter learns. She is growing to be very sociable, caring and loving; this may not be achievable if our efforts as parents are not enhanced at Stepping Stone. I would like to thank the Stepping Stone team at Richcreek for their efforts and accomplishments. Keep up the good work!”

– OO

We continue to be impressed

“We chose Stepping Stone School for our children after researching and visiting many, many childcare providers in the greater Austin area. Stepping Stone stood out because of its engaging staff, high-quality curriculum, excellent extracurricular activities, comfortable facilities and entertaining outside play areas. Our daughter has been at Stepping Stone for almost two years now and our infant son for just over half a year. We continue to be impressed with Stepping Stone School!”

– LR

Compassionate, empathetic and incredibly caring

“I want to tell you that I have nothing but accolades for you and your staff regarding your program. Thomas has been in your facility for four+ years, and it’s been truly an outstanding experience. Your staff is compassionate, empathetic and incredibly caring.

“I will never forget the special care Thomas received when his father passed away. Thomas was in such a state of shock and pain, but going to Stepping Stone School eased his mind. It was familiar to him, his teachers loved him and it absolutely played a role in his increased self-esteem and pain reduction at that time. I will forever hold you all in my heart for the way in which your experienced staff handled that situation. Thank you so much, Lisa, for all you have done. If I can ever reciprocate, please don’t hesitate to call.”

– TS

Your attention gave her the freedom to learn

“While touring Stepping Stone School V before it opened, I had the opportunity to meet Lauryn’s teacher, Ms. Lisa. I truly appreciated the attention she gave to me as the parent, but I really noticed the focused attention she gave to Lauryn. She spent quality one-on-one time, talking to Lauryn and getting to know her. As Lauryn grew up and transitioned from class to class, all of her teachers were very conscious of her … paying special attention to her likes and dislikes, the way she learned and the activities she enjoyed. Their attention to her individuality gave her the freedom to learn … of course within a structured environment, but she was always encouraged to express herself.”

– Lisa M.

I know my baby is happy with you

“Just a note to let you know how much I truly appreciate all the loving care you give to my Christiano. Christiano means the world to me. And it’s easier for me to go to work knowing my baby is being taken well care of. I do know my baby is happy with you all.”

– Kay

A fabulous experience and a huge blessing

“I am writing you for the wonderful care that Stepping Stone School provided to my daughter. Victoria, who is now almost four years old, was enrolled at the Brackenridge Hospital Stepping Stone center since she was three months old. She rotated through all five of the classes there, and all of them were a fabulous experience!

“All of the Stepping Stone teachers were professional, warm and worthy of our trust. They helped guide us through a multitude of challenges (teething, feeding, potty training, discipline, etc.) with their knowledge and experience. They always welcomed our input and respected our wishes. Communication was excellent and the comprehensive curriculum got Victoria off to a great start developmentally and academically. The facility was organized, clean and inviting. It was very clear when we picked up Victoria each day that she loved being at Stepping Stone.

“It is a huge accomplishment to create and maintain such an excellent team. It helps to have fabulous leaders like Heather Bradley. Heather has done a remarkable job at the Brackenridge campus, and we are very fond of her. I would like to thank you, Heather, and the entire staff for your vision, commitment and dedication.

“Victoria is now attending church school at All Saints’ Episcopal Day School. Her transition there has been very smooth, largely due to the excellent preparation she had at Stepping Stone. We will always have warm memories about the time that she spent at Stepping Stone. It was huge blessing for Victoria to have been at Stepping Stone and we are so appreciative of all of your efforts. We recommend Stepping Stone highly and would be happy to provide references if ever needed.”

– Charlotte S., M.D.