At the Mattoon Center we have 5 classrooms that a child will grow through from 6 weeks to 12 years. We strive to make the most comfortable environment for you and your child. We understand how hard it is for parents to find that special place for their child while they are at work or school and here at Stepping Stones, we do all that we can to make this a home away from home for you and your child.
Our infant room ranges from 6 weeks of age until 15 months. There is a ratio in this room of 1 teacher for every 4 babies. We have two wonderful teachers in our infant room, Miss Heather and Miss Rachel. Rachel and Heather work with the babies on growth and development through play. They plan activities for the babies to help them grow and learn. They truly enjoy watching the babies develop both academically and physically. Each infant has their own cubby space for their bottles and nutritional needs, there is also a cubby for each child to hold their diapering belongings. There is also eight cribs in order for each child to have their own sleeping area, where sheets are changed twice a week for cleanliness.
Around the age of 15 months children start to transition into our toddler room. Our toddler room is for children 15 months of age to 2 years. This room has a ratio of 1 teacher for every 5 students. Our toddler room is filled with activities and toys for the children to use throughout their learning process. This room is very hands on and learning very rapidly. The teachers are wonderful about sitting down with the children and helping them expand on their play. The children have a door that leads to the playground where children spend at least one hour each day, weather permitting, outdoors. The children in this room each have a cot that they sleep on, along with their cot each child will purchase a Cubby Cot that will stay with the child throughout their stay here at Stepping Stones.
Here at the Mattoon Stepping Stones we are able to accommodate 16 children from the age of two till around their third birthday. We have a climber for the children to be able to participate in gross motor activities to help with their physical development. The two year old classroom has a ratio of 1 teacher for every 8 students. There is primarily two teachers in this classroom, who help the children by guiding them through their play in order for them to grow and develop. This room helps the children with beginning to recognize letters, numbers, colors and shapes. All of this is done through daily play and art. By talking about these subjects and pointing them out to the students we feel they have a better understanding of the world around them. This room is equipped with it's own restroom in order for the children to start being potty trained. The children are able to use the bathroom throughout the day with teacher assistant in order to make the transition from diapers more smooth. The children in this classroom will continue to use their cubby cot for nap time.
Preschool is one of the most important times in a child's life. During preschool children learn to self regulate themselves and begin to understand that learning can be fun! With this in mind we base our curriculum around play, in order to create the best possible learning environment for each child. We have two preschool classrooms for the children at our facility. In the 1st room there is around 20 children and 2 teachers and in the 2nd room there are 10 children and 1 teacher. These will be the last classrooms for children before they enter kindergarten. With this being said there is a little more expected from each child and they are more in charge of how their day will be run. The children will begin writing and recognizing their letters in this room. We hope that the children will be able to write their name and recognize most of their letters when leaving the classroom. But, most of all we think that it is important for a preschooler to learn boundaries and how to make good decisions.
When a child begins kindergarten they will be moved to our School Age Classroom. This room is for children from the age of 5 until their 12th birthday. We offer before and after school bus service for children attending Riddle, Williams or St. Mary's. We also have full day service for days when children do not have school. Our school room can have up to 20 children! We provide quiet time for children to complete homework and a snack for the children. On days when children do not have school lunch is provided like the rest of the center. We also have a WONDERFUL summer program for the children. We take field trips every other week. We attend places like EIU for art classes and bowling, we watch movies at the local Lifespan Center, we play in the fountain at Lytle Park and even go to Lincoln Log Cabin. There are so many activities that the children participate in. When the children are not attending field trips we have water days and game days. The children pick a theme each summer to learn about and do hundreds of activities around the topic.