Early Childhood Center

We assist children in their physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional development, that they may become future peaceful leaders in a diverse society.


Early childhood education is a tradition at St. Catherine University.

Founded in 1931 by Sister Ann Harvey, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Center meets a vital need for quality care and education of the young children of St. Catherine University students, faculty, staff and surrounding community. Many second-generation children find their way back to the Center.

We offer full and part-time educational services for children ages 33 months to six years.

contact us

St. Paul Campus
St. Mary Hall
2004 Randolph Avenue
Mailbox# 4050
St. Paul, MN 55105

651.690.6608
ecc@stkate.edu


Programs

We provide two authentic educational models: a Montessori Children's House and an Early Learning Program.

The St. Catherine University Montessori Children's House is based on the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori and uses her method and materials with the idea that education should be an aid to life. Children develop independence through choice of purposeful work. The teacher gives individual presentations guided by the interests and development of the child, providing the dynamic link between the child and the carefully prepared environment.

Children make choices daily as to what they will do. They feel at home where they are able to follow an interest to completion without interruption, further developing concentration, calmness, and joy. This joy is embodied through your child's expressed desire to connect with others and to participate in community and caring for the environment with contentment and peace. Montessori's methods prepare the child for life, allowing the process of self-construction to flourish.

This three-year program includes Kindergarten; serving children ages 33 months to 6 years of age. We ask that parents enroll their children with this three-year commitment in mind. The first two years aid the development of independence, concentration, competence and consciousness through purposeful activity and serve as a foundation for third year. The third (and sometimes fourth) year is the kindergarten year, when a very broad range of academic work is eagerly pursued by your child. Learning throughout the three years comes naturally and spontaneously with joy, confidence and ease. Upon completion of the kindergarten year, your child is ready for first grade and to continue with a love of learning about others, the world and themselves.

The Staff
Our Montessori teachers have university degrees, Montessori Level I Certifications from the Association Montessori Internationale and the American Montessori Society. They have been teaching here for more than ten years and all are certified in CPR and First Aid.

St Catherine students assist during transition times in the early mornings, lunch time, and late afternoons.

Enrollment Policy
The Center enrolls children on a first come, first serve basis. However, there is a preference given to families who are members of the St. Catherine community (students, staff, faculty), and siblings of children currently enrolled.

The school accepts children with special needs when we can meet their needs in the opinion of staff, parents and appropriate professionals.

Parents or guardians interested in enrolling their children are encouraged to call the Center. A visit can be scheduled by calling or emailing the Center and setting up an appointment with the Director.

The Early Learning Program is an educational program for children 33 months to 5 years of age. Children experience group learning joyfully. They make new discoveries through self-directed activities and small group explorations about themes that have been carefully developed by the teaching staff. The various learning centers of Math, Science, Language, Socialization and Play are integrated into the theme work.

Sensitivity and respect characterize our approach for your child: respect for the whole child as a person, for individual differences and learning style, for each child's right for intellectual and social growth, and to have the support of concerned adult when needed.

As a staff, we work hard to be responsive to the needs and interests of each child. Throughout the program, emphasis is placed on fostering self-esteem, developing social awareness and a sense of community, encouraging independence, promoting language development, developing problem-solving skills and providing challenging stimulation within a nurturing environment.



The Staff
Our teachers have university degrees, previous classroom teaching experience and our lead teachers have been here for ten years or more. All of our teachers are certified in CPR and First Aid.

St. Catherine students assist us during transition times in the early mornings, lunch time, and late afternoons.

School Enrollment Policy

The Center enrolls children on a first come, first serve basis. However, there is a preference given to families who are members of the St. Catherine community (students, staff, faculty), children who are enrolled in our Montessori class who need additional hours of care, and siblings of children currently enrolled.

The Center accepts children with special needs when we can meet their needs in the opinion of the staff, parents and appropriate professionals.
Parents or guardians interested in enrolling their children are encouraged to visit the Center. A visit can be scheduled by calling or emailing the Center and setting up an appointment with the Director.

Our Summer Program is full for 2016.


June 2015–May 2016 Fees

Montessori Children's House

Option Time Weekly Cost
Montessori Children's House plus Extended Hours 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. $256
Montessori Children's House 8:45 a.m.–4:00 p.m. $227
AM Montessori 8:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. $136
PM Montessori 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. $129
AM Montessori plus Early AM 7:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. $143
PM Montessori plus Late PM 1:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. $143
AM Montessori, PM Early Learning plus Extended Hours (for nappers) 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. $256

Early Learning Program

Option Time Weekly Cost MWF T & Th
Early Learning Program plus Extended Hours 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. $256 $201 $139
Early Learning 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. $226 $181 $126
AM Early Learning 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. $129 $104
PM Early Learning 1:00–4:00 p.m. $129 $104
AM Early Learning plus Early AM 7:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. $143 $114
PM Early Learning plus Late PM 1:00–5:30 p.m. $143 $114
Lunch if added to a half day Noon–12:45 p.m.* $30 $18

*Please Note: Children leaving after lunch need to be picked up at 12:45. This is to avoid congestion in the hallway as children switch classrooms at 12:55 p.m.

Additional Fee Information:

  • Spring Break is optional, coincides with the University calendar, March 21–25, 2016, and is billed separately if used.
  • Unscheduled lunch or additional non-contracted hours are billed at $10 per hour on a space-available basis. Requests should be made to the director.
  • Late pick-up fee is $1 per minute (after 5:30 this charge continues for as long as you are in the building).

June 2016–May 2017 Fees

Montessori Children's House

Option Time Weekly Cost
Montessori plus Extended Hours 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. $264
Montessori Children’s House 8:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m. $234
AM Montessori 8:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. $140
PM Montessori 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. $133
AM Montessori plus Early AM 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. $147
PM Montessori plus Late PM 1:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. $147
AM Montessori, PM Early Learning plus Extended Hours (for children who nap) 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. $264

Early Learning Program

Option Time Weekly Cost MWF T & Th
Early Learning plus Extended Hours 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. $264 $207 $143
Early Learning Program 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. $233 $186 $130
AM Early Learning 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. $133 $107 $80
PM Early Learning 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. $133 $107 $80
AM Early Learning plus Early AM 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. $147 $117 $84
PM Early Learning plus Late PM 1:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. $147 $117 $84
Scheduled Lunch if added to half-day Noon-12:45 p.m. * $30 $21 $7 per day

*Please Note: Children leaving after lunch need to be picked up at 12:45. This is to avoid congestion in the hallway as children switch classrooms at 12:55 p.m.

Additional fee information:

  • Spring Break is optional, coincides with University calendar, March 20-24, 2017, and is billed separately.
  • Unscheduled Lunch or Additional non-contracted hours are billed at $11 per hour on a space available basis; requests should be made to the Director.
  • Late Pick-up Fee is $1 per minute after scheduled pick-up (after 5:30, for as long as you are in the building).

Make a Payment

You can now make your tuition payments online. You can use your credit card, check card, checking or savings account to make a payment anytime; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We accept American Express, Discover, Mastercard or Visa, as well as Electronic Checks from your checking or savings account.


Our Schedule

2016–2017

​Date Event​
​Tuesday, June 7 Summer Program Begins
Monday, July 4 Independence Day--Closed
Friday, August 19 Summer Program Ends
Monday-Friday, August 22-26 Center Closed to prepare for 2016 – 2017
Tuesday, August 30, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. New Parent Meeting
Monday-Wednesday, August 29-31, 8:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Montessori Phase-in for New Fall Children
Wednesday, August 31 Early Learning Program Orientation
ECC Opens for All Children
Tuesday, September 13, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. All Parent/Staff Meeting
Friday, October 21 Prof. Dev. Day--Center Closed
Wednesday, October 26, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Montessori Kindergarten Meeting
Thursday-Friday, November 24-25 Thanksgiving--Center Closed
Thursday-Tuesday, Dec. 22-Jan 2, 2017 Winter Break--Center Closed
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 Center Re-opens
Monday, January 16 Martin Luther King, Jr.--Center Closed
Monday, February 20 Prof. Dev. Day--Center Closed
Monday-Friday, March 20-24 Spring Break Week Optional, Center Open
Friday and Monday, April 14 and April 17 Good Friday/Easter Monday--Center Closed
May, Week of May 22 (exact date TBD) Family Picnic
Monday, May 29 Memorial Day--Center Closed
Friday, June 2 Last Day
Monday, June 5 Prof. Dev. Day--Center Closed
Tuesday, June 6 Summer Program Begins
Friday, August 18 Summer Program Ends

Please note that we are closed on Friday, April 14 and Monday, April 17, 2017.


About Us

Lab School
Our Center offers two distinct approaches to early childhood education and provides opportunities for St. Catherine University students from many academic departments to observe, do fieldwork, and research. Additionally, we have University student staff supporting both programs and giving students work experience in a professional setting.

License and Accreditation
The Early Childhood Center is licensed by the State Department of Human Services and meets or exceeds its requirements. We are also accredited by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) until the year 2019 when we will be up for renewal.

We have a four star rating from Parent Aware, the state of Minnesota's Quality Rating System. It is good for two years, and renewal for us will be September 2018.

Diversity Statement
The Early Childhood Center honors, supports and celebrates the diversity of its children, families, and staff. Diversity is interpreted in the broadest sense and includes race, language, faith background, family structure, sexual orientation and economic status.