General FAQ’s for Stepping Stones

Here are answers to common questions we see at Stepping Stones. If you do not see a question listed, feel free to fill out our form below and ask!

Are you a chain/franchise?

No, Stepping Stones is not a franchise. We opened the doors to our Woodbury location in 2006 and to the families of our Blaine location in 2015. Our owner, who is very involved with the day to day operations of the company and both sites, lives locally with his wife and three children. He has had a passion for education and early childhood development his entire life and brings a unique approach to childcare by a philosophy of nurturing the whole child – meeting each kiddo where they are at emotionally, academically and socially. An all-inclusive approach ensures each student has the opportunity to participate in the many enrichment programs that are offered, while providing added value for our families. On-site chefs and fully functional commercial kitchens allow for the preparation of high quality and delicious meals.

Are your programs available only to residents of surrounding neighborhood?

Our Stepping Stones sites were picked very specifically. We love the features of being set in the quiet neighborhoods near local elementary schools. However, Stepping Stones is not exclusive to any neighborhood. All of our programs are open to the public, regardless of where they reside.

Do you require your students to wear uniforms?

No. Stepping Stones encourages the expression of individuality through comfortable and appropriate clothing choices.

Is your infant staff specially trained?

ALL of our staff , infants through School Age, are trained in First aid/CPR, SUIDs, and Abuse Head Trauma (AHT). We also have a nurse who visits our centers every month to keep us updated on any new guidelines or illnesses and to answer any new questions our staff may have.

What makes the Stepping Stones Infant program stand out from other centers?

First and foremost, our class sizes are unlike that of other centers. Our Infant Rooms are staffed at a 1:3 teacher to child ratio, with a ratio of one teacher for every 3 babies. We have passionate, dedicated infant teachers that spend their days making sure that each child receives the same loving care they would get if they were at home. How a room feels to a child and their parent are very important. That is why our rooms are designed to look and feel like nurseries, with separate sleeping areas from the play area and huge windows for natural light. We also have screened-in porches specifically for infants/crawlers to spend time enjoying the outdoors. Because we are located in quiet residential neighborhoods, time outdoors means they can enjoy the sounds of nature instead of noisy, busy roads.

Second, Stepping Stones ELC offers an all-inclusive approach to child care. We provide infant formula, diapers, wipes and baby foods. This is very important when comparing programs as many centers do not include these in their programs/pricing.

Why do you have lower ratios and smaller class sizes compared to other centers?

Because Stepping Stones is not franchised, we have been able to structure our programs in such a way that focuses all of our time and attention on the children and families instead of the requirements of a corporation. At Stepping Stones, we feel that children are more comfortable and learn better when there are fewer children in the class. Having more classrooms with less children allows us to provide a calmer and quieter atmosphere for all age groups.

We also believe that the maximum state required ratios, which most centers operate at, are not good enough. You will see at Stepping Stones that this is especially important to us in the Infant and Waddler programs. Our Infant rooms have a 1:3 teacher to child ratio. In our Waddler room (young toddler), our ratios are 1:5. You will find that most programs have a 1:7 ratio in their young toddler classrooms.

Will your program academically challenge our preschool child so they are ready for Kindergarten?

Absolutely! Our Preschool and Kindergarten Readiness Curricula are specifically designed to prepare your child for Kindergarten. We offer a literacy-based curriculum that supports reading-readiness, math & science activities, and fine arts. Also included in Stepping Stones’ tuition are Spanish, music, sign language LANA, Farm to Preschool and Yoga.

Your information states that your prices are competitive. However, when I compare pricing to other local options, your prices are equal to or a bit higher. How do you consider your prices competitive?

We price our programs as all-inclusive. Many programs do not include Spanish, LANA, yoga, music, diapers, wipes or baby food in their pricing – and have additional fees for such features. We believe that all children at Stepping Stones should have equal access to these program features and we do not have additional fees for them.

Additionally, we have on-site chefs and all of our food is wholesome & freshly prepared. To compare apples to apples, you will need to factor all prices together at other centers, then compare to our price. You will find that Stepping Stones offers a greater value and higher higher quality than other centers.