Update – Stepping Stone School has now won Austin’s Best in Childcare for a 25th year!
Stepping Stone School Austin Family Reader's Poll Favorite for 25 years!We’re not shy about saying it: Stepping Stone School families are the best! Happily, they say the same about us.

Since 1979, 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 childcare for a 25th year in 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.

Stepping Stone McNeil has been a godsend for our family. One of my children has multiple food and environmental allergies and the school has been very conscientious about keeping him safe and keeping us informed about any concerns they have about him. During COVID, the school has remained open with many precautions taken, which was critical to my husband and I being able to continue working as essential workers. We are so grateful for Stepping Stone.

Kate S.

We have been sending our son here since we moved to Austin 2 years ago. He's now 2.5 yrs old. It has been an amazing experience all around.

Specifically, I enjoy all of the programs they have available for the kiddos even from a young age- the art projects with footprints for the infants are still on my fridge, the singing with musicians that come in every few days is a huge hit with my son, and the gymnastics classes definitely helped him with coordination and following instructions.
The teachers and administrators are SUPER sweet and knowledgeable. This is my first kid so nothing feels normal and they have helped me through so much- blowouts, getting consistent naptimes, the dreaded biting stage and so much more.

We have brought him back after some time at home for Covid, and I am so grateful for everyone that works at Hyde Park Stepping Stone. My son has been thrilled to return and see all of his friends and teachers. There are lots of cleaning procedures in place, and practices to rotate the kids around the play spaces so the minimum contact happens.

Nadia B.

So we're off to kindergarten - fully prepared! As for further edification of Stepping Stone School and the care and teaching Madison has received - I got the best compliment on your behalf at kindergarten roundup at Tobias Elementary from one of the teachers. When she greeted us and asked Madison where she went for child care and when Madison told her, she said "Oh wonderful! We having nothing to worry about with you -all you kids from Stepping Stone School are fully prepared for kindergarten!" It was a great reminder that not only did we make the right choice but that the teachers in our community have such respect for your program.

With our deepest gratitude, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and will miss you all as Madison moves on to Tobias!! Thank you for being such a huge and important part of our life!

The Feighner Family

We selected Stepping Stone School because of its reputation, curriculum, and awards. We noticed immediate improvements in our son’s social skills, listening, articulation, and happiness.

Craig D.

Over the last 6 months, our son has really come into his own.  He is comprehending words and phrases faster than we ever thought possible with the help of his teachers at Stepping Stone School.  Sometimes we will be out with him and he will surprise us with the new words he has picked up, as we had never taught him that word, so it is clear everything is being done right at his school.  While we teach him to be independent and a critical thinker at home, that is built upon at school by the reports we get from his teachers.  We're very happy to have chosen Stepping Stone to educate our son.

John H.

My daughter expresses to me every day that she is excited to attend her School Age classroom. She absolutely loves all of the new friends she has made, the activities and planned projects for her, and most off all her teachers.

Darlene H.

I really value the organization, attention to detail and the information the school shares with me about my daughter’s day. Not to mention the activities planned for each week to stimulate young minds! The communication and attention to parent requests given by the staff at Stepping Stone School is really commendable.

Jennifer M.

Dear Judy (Principal at Crestview campus),

Craig and I really can't put into words how grateful we are that you have been such a big part of CC's life. As I dropped her off at kindergarten, I realized just how blessed we were every day since she was 8 weeks old. I never worried about her, never was sad leaving her or doubted you loved her and protected her. She will always remember Crestview, as will we, and you were such a big part of that! Thank you for taking care of our first baby for the past five years. She and we love you dearly.

The Inglet Family

As for our experiences at Stepping Stone School, we have loved it. Just as important, the kids love it. Max, our oldest, just completed kindergarten readiness and it was exciting to go to his graduation ceremony. Our youngest loved going to school to play with her friends and work on all the different art projects. My wife and I couldn't be happier with Stepping Stone School, it is nice to know how well they are taken care of.

Brent W.

They go out of their way to make families feel welcome. The director does an incredible job of organizing family events and appreciation days. She also lovingly cooks all of the delicious fresh meals in the kitchen for the children daily. Sometimes when you walk in the door you can smell the casseroles baking in the oven – amazing!

Katherine K.

The teachers and staff at Stepping Stone School always give my son smiles and hugs whenever he needs them. These are the qualities that are intangible while researching for care, but vitally important to a child’s sense of security and happiness.

Penny Y.

When I initially considered enrolling my child at Stepping Stone School my biggest concern was whether the school would continue to help her with her education or just allow her to watch TV, play games, etc. We enrolled our daughter and were very satisfied with the overall service your employees provided for the full five years that she attended your school. Today our daughter is a graduate student at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. We believe the contiguous education, training and involvement with other children at an early age, played a major role in her development. Thanks again for your excellent service!

Reggie M.

Our son has really grown to enjoy the school. The experience with Stepping Stone has been nothing but positive. The staff is kind and helpful. The way I describe what I look for in a school is, ‘I’m not saying they should love my child like I do. I ‘m his mother. But I do think they should make him feel that they love him.’ Your school really did that. I know he feel safe and loved with you, Thank you.

Elizabeth B.

I love this school. We have 2 children, Boy 5, and girl 10. My Daughter went on to elementary and is such a good student, it’s amazing, all attributed to Stepping Stone School. My son still attends; he has one more year to go before he goes to Public school. He loves his teachers and does not want to go home at the end of the day, he can’t wait to return the next day. We owe you a great deal for teaching our children the skills they need to get to the next level in their young lives. My daughter is also a leader and I am sure that you taught her this valuable skill. I believe that you brought out that extrovert in my son. I am sure he will go a long way with the skills you taught him. Thanks so much!


There is no other job more important than being a teacher to a young child. I love to be that person for my son, but since I work I am glad your teachers are there to care for him, to wipe his tears, expand his mind, hold his hand when he is scared and to encourage his most whimsical adventures.

Marisol C.

Thank you for taking such great care of my 3 children every day. I have been so happy with the care they have received since we started over 2 years ago. I feel as though you are a part of our family. My kids love all of the teachers and talk about them constantly. Everyone is so friendly at drop off and pick up. Some days it is hard to get my 3 out to the car safely, so teachers will offer to help carry them out to the car when their shift is over. If I cannot be home with my own kids every day, I am so happy that we have found this ‘second home’ for them. They love going to school every day!

Christina S.

As a new mom Stepping Stone School teachers also served as excellent coaches and mentors to me regarding new things to try with feeding, sleeping etc...

Kris G.

hi Jan
It was really pleasant to meet you last Friday, and thank you for conducting the tour for us. We would like to move forward to join the waiting list :-)

I would love to share our reasons behind choosing Stepping Stone School after we toured 4 local daycares last week:
1. We were very impressed by the level of care you showed to the kids, and it made me feel like a community. You know their parents, you know how often they get sick and you were so transparent about the recent belly virus among the kids.
2. The longevity of your teacher staying at steppingstone, this reflects that they are happy working here and they truly love children.
3. Children were all sleeping soundly at 12:40, classrooms were dark and everything was well organized. My son is a good sleeper and I really want to keep him that way :-)

Thank you
Best regards,

Cathy & Paul



Friends for Life!

Friendship is a bond that transcends time and distance, connecting us in ways that often leave lasting impressions. It is a testament to the power of these enduring relationships that we find ourselves cherishing the memories created during our formative years.

Recently, the Stepping Stone School community had the pleasure of witnessing a heartwarming demonstration of friendship that exemplified the beautiful spirit of friendship. Graduating seniors, Colton Smith and Jory Kinger, returned to their alma mater, Stepping Stone School Cat Hollow, to recreate a special photograph, marking a remarkable journey of friendship that began years ago.

In 2010, a group of bright-eyed children, filled with wonder and excitement, embarked on their final year at Stepping Stone School Cat Hollow. Among this group were Colton Smith and Jory Kinger, two young boys who would soon become wonderful lifelong friends. Together, they navigated the joys of their PreK year, creating memories that would shape their lives.

Fast forward to 2023, Colton and Jory have reached a significant milestone in their lives: high school graduation. Eager to commemorate their enduring friendship and express gratitude to their alma mater, the two young men decided to pay a special visit to Stepping Stone School Cat Hollow. With a touch of nostalgia, they recreated a photograph from their PreK days, capturing the essence of their lasting bond.

The recreated photo serves as a powerful symbol of the timeless nature of friendship. It reminds us that the connections we form during our early years can remain steadfast, even as we grow and pursue our individual paths. Colton and Jory's decision to return to Stepping Stone School not only allowed them to reminisce about their shared experiences but also served as an inspiration to current students. Witnessing the reunion of these two remarkable individuals serves as a reminder of the profound impact early friendships can have on our lives.

The story of Colton and Jory teaches us several invaluable lessons. It underscores the significance of the supportive and nurturing environment provided by Stepping Stone School. It is within these spaces that friendships are cultivated, offering a strong foundation for personal and academic growth.

The reunion of Colton Smith and Jory Kinger at Stepping Stone School Cat Hollow serves as a beautiful testament to the enduring power of friendship. As these young men begin a new chapter in their lives, they carry with them the memories and bonds formed during their early years. Their visit to their alma mater not only rekindled fond memories but also highlighted the profound impact that a nurturing educational environment can have on the lives of its students.

May their story inspire us all to cherish and nurture our friendships, recognizing that these connections can truly stand as lifelong treasures. Congratulations to Colton and Jory on their high school graduation, and may their friendship continue to thrive and flourish in the years to come.