About Us

Welcome!

Stepping Stones Early Learning Center, formally the VA Child Care Center, believes that a quality child care center should be family centered, representing a cooperative effort by parents and teachers to provide a stimulating learning environment. We became accredited in 1999 with the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

We are fully licensed by the Department of Human Services, receiving the Gold Star Award in 2000.

The VA Child Care Center opened its doors in July 1982 and Stepping Stones Early Learning Center will continue its commitment to providing quality child care. We believe that children are our future and deserve the best that we can give them to get them a “step up.”

Head teachers hold bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Development or a related field. Teacher’s Aides must have a high school diploma and many have an associate degree or child development degree. All staff members receive continuous on-site training as well as attending workshops and conferences. Staff implements a child-centered, hands-on, developmentally appropriate classroom environment that challenges them to be successful in kindergarten.

Our Story

Stepping Stones Early Learning Center, formally the VA Child Care Center, believes that a quality child care center should be family centered, representing a cooperative effort by parents and teachers to provide a stimulating learning environment. We became accredited in 1999 with the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

We are fully licensed by the Department of Human Services, receiving the Gold Star Award in 2000.

The VA Child Care Center opened its doors in July 1982 and Stepping Stones Early Learning Center will continue its commitment to providing quality child care. We believe that children are our future and deserve the best that we can give them to get them a “step up.”

Head teachers hold bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Development or a related field. Teacher’s Aides must have a high school diploma and many have an associate degree or child development degree. All staff members receive continuous on-site training as well as attending workshops and conferences. Staff implements a child-centered, hands-on, developmentally appropriate classroom environment that challenges them to be successful in kindergarten.

Philosophy & Mission

Stepping Stones Early Learning Center keeps the child in mind when establishing goals and philosophy. Children have the right to safe, creative and enjoyable child care, just as parents have the right to quality, affordable and accessible child care arrangements. Our program has a child-centered curriculum, providing developmentally appropriate practices. Our philosophy promotes “the whole child,” by helping him/her develop and grow cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically and creatively through organized developmental activities.

Stepping Stones Early Learning Center believes that every infant and child deserves the opportunity to experience a quality education in a safe and creative loving environment.

What We Offer

Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum is one of the best teaching strategies for early learning because it focuses on the development of the whole child. The benefit of this curriculum is that the early learners become free thinkers and open to learning new subjects. And it is all done through play.

Programs

Infants—6 weeks–24mo.

The first 3 years of a baby’s life determines how their brains develop. They learn by exploring the world around them and by experiences. Stepping Stones realize that babies learn by investigating the surroundings that they are in by using the tools that they have been given: mouths, skin, eyes, ears and large muscles. Children need to feel safe and secure in their surroundings and thus needs a trusting relationship between them and their caregiver. Our caregivers provide that environment where babies have opportunities to feel, hear, see and touch.

Infants are assigned to a primary caregiver who will attend to their daily needs, provide the majority of formal and informal communication with parents. Parents receive a daily “infant-gram” report of the child’s diaper changes, sleep times, food intake and disposition. Infant lesson plans are geared to each developmental level providing fun activities that involve all of their senses.

Teachers give your child a “step up” by helping them develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Toddlers Ages 24–36mo.

Children in this age group are starting to master language and mobility and discovering a new world. The student teacher ratio is 1:6. Teachers encourage them to solve problems, make choices and practice self-help skills. The daily schedule of activities include art, music, story time, dramatic play, large motor activities and outdoor play.

Two of toddlers favorite words are “No” and “Mine.” Teachers create a stimulating and warm environment to help them grow and feel secure.

Teachers will assist children when they begin to show an interest from diapers to using the potty.

Preschoolers Ages 3–5

Preschoolers are beginning to understand the world around them. The student teacher ratio is 1:8 for three year olds and 1:10 for 4 year olds. Teachers introduce them to academic subjects along with helping them practice decision-making and self-help skills. Preschoolers learn through active exploration building a strong foundation to build on.

Our curriculum for preschool is based on the following:

  • Creative Curriculum
  • Hands on Learning that addresses all areas of development:
    • Social, emotional, physical and intellectual
  • Handwriting Without Tears Program
  • Iowa Early Learning Standards
  • NAEYC Accreditation Expectations

Our curriculum is a balance of academics and socialization that will provide a “stepping stone” to a positive school experience.

School Age Program K–5

Our school age program is called “Kids Klub.”  It is located at West Elementary, the address is 306 South Park Lane. Their phone number is 641-891-2550 or you can call Stepping Stones Early Learning Center at 641-828-STEP. Kids Klub meets the licensing requirements set by the Department of Human Services. The program offers before and after school care, care during vacation days and early outs and summer child care. The Knoxville School Bus System provides transportation from Northstar Elementary school to West Elementary.

Activities include the following:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Games
  • Cooking
  • Computers
  • Nutritious snacks and meals
  • Field trips
  • Assistance with homework

Admission & Tuition

The cost of services provided is based on the age of the child and their needs.

Download application forms below.

What Our Families are Saying

“Stepping Stones has continually provided outstanding care and outstanding curriculum for my kids. I know that when I drop them off, that they’re going to have a day during which they are engaged with both adults and children and will learn as much as they play. There’s no question that my son was ready for kindergarten because of the quality care and education he received there.

Adrienne Erazo 
Adrienne Erazo

“Little did we know, the hardest part of becoming parents would be the decision on who would get the privilege of caring, teaching, nurturing and guiding our three most treasured life accomplishments (our babies) alongside us. After multiple phone and face-to-face interviews at different centers and in-home facilities, we walked out of SSELC with no question where our children were going. The team of teachers are the best of the best and have become family. From teaching lessons to instilling amazing qualities in our children, they always go above and beyond. Our children love “school,” and all of the teachers make us feel blessed we chose the right facility on the first try! All three of our children started between 2–3 months old and will continue through the preschool program, finishing more than prepared for Kindergarten. Not one minute of one day have we regretted the decision or worried about our children’s growth or well-being while at SSELC, making it so much easier to be a 2-working parent home. In one word—PHENOMENAL!”

T.J. and Amie Blain 
T.J. and Amie Blain

“We were incredibly blessed with the opportunity to send our children to Stepping Stones Early Learning center over the last 4+ years (including the Kids Klub program) until just recently with our move out-of-state. From our own experience, we can attest to the love and care that every member of the staff exhibited to our children on a daily basis. Their education programs are a huge reason that our oldest is excelling with her studies now in elementary school. We cannot say enough positive things about Pam, the staff and Stepping Stones, and we will miss everyone.”

Jim and Reagan Faust 
Jim and Reagan Faust

“We enrolled our daughter at Stepping Stones when she was 18 months. We chose Stepping Stones because of the convenient hours, certified staff, and the nurturing environment. Prior to Stepping Stones, we were using an in-home daycare and weren’t pleased with the inconvenient hours and lack of curriculum. We felt that Stepping Stones provided the structure we desired for our daughter, without feeling sterile. We feel that the environment has benefited our daughter in language development, social skills, and early literacy. While it is a “center,” we always feel welcomed by the staff and trust that our daughter is in good hands. I would absolutely recommend Stepping Stones to any parent that is looking for quality childcare and preschool. We look forward to how she will grow over the next few years in the program.”

Ben and Elly Shaw 
Ben and Elly Shaw

“We are so pleased with the quality of care Stepping Stones Early Learning Center has provided to our children. Three of our four boys have at some point attended the Early Learning or Kids Klub programs. Not only do we feel comfortable knowing that they are being taken care of, they are receiving a quality education at the same time. The curriculum is absolutely amazing, it is definitely giving the children an advantage when they get to Kindergarten. We cannot thank Stepping Stones Early Learning Center and the fantastic support of staff enough for all they do for our children.”

Amy and Ritchie Reidel 
Amy and Ritchie Reidel

“Stepping Stones is hands down the best at what they do. Our son, Sam (18 months old), absolutely loves “school” and begs to go every morning (even on the weekends–HA!). The staff is always very knowledgeable, polite and is exceptional with the kids. Sam is in the Grasshopper room (1-year-olds), and they have so many fun activities and crafts that are sent home (which make Mom and Dad very proud). We feel Sam’s development and social skills are noticeably more developed than many other children his age. We attribute this to Stepping Stones’ early learning curriculum. To say we are impressed is an understatement. They’ve far exceeded our expectations, and we both rest easy knowing our child is getting the very best.”

Ben and Katie Truetken 
Ben and Katie Truetken