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.


The Early Childhood Center at St. Catherine University has a Four Star Parent Aware rating, the highest possible rating.

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
Mailbox# 4050

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.

*We take children 33 months old in the fall (September–December).

The Staff
Both our Montessori teacher and our Montessori Assistant teacher have university degrees, as well as years of teaching experience. They are CPR, AED, and First Aid certified.

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

Enrollment Policy
The Center enrolls children from the University community and the general community. However, there is a preference given to families who are members of the St. Catherine University 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.

Current Enrollment
We encourage families to call us anytime because family situations change. Often we have been able to accommodate families on a last minute basis.

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.

*We take children 33 months old in the fall (September–December).

The Staff
All of our teachers have university degrees and our lead teachers have specific education in early childhood areas as well as years of experience teaching this age group.

All of the teaching staff are CPR, AED, and First Aid certified.

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

School Enrollment Policy

The Center enrolls children from the University community and the general community. However, there is a preference given to families who are members of the St. Catherine University community (students, staff, faculty), 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.

Current Enrollment
We encourage families to call us anytime because family situations change. Often we have been able to accommodate families on a last minute basis.

Our Summer Program is full for 2019.


September 2018–May 2019 Fees

Montessori Children's House

Option Time Weekly Cost
Montessori Children's House 8:45 a.m.–4 p.m. $254
AM Montessori 8:45 a.m.–12 p.m. $146
PM Montessori 1–4 p.m. $144

Early Learning Program

Option Time Weekly Cost MWF T & Th
Early Learning Program 9 a.m.–4 p.m. $253 $203 $141
AM Early Learning 9 a.m.–12 p.m. $144 $116
PM Early Learning 1–4 p.m. $144 $116
Scheduled lunch if added to half-day 12–12:45 p.m. * $31 $22

Extended Hours

Option Time Weekly Cost
Early AM Hours, Montessori 7:30–8:45 a.m. $30
Early AM Hours, Early Learning 7:30–9 a.m. $30
Late PM Hours, Both Programs 4–5:30 p.m. $30
Both AM and PM Extended Hours
$60

*Please Note: Children leaving after lunch need to be picked up at 12:45 as afternoon children enter at 1 p.m.

Additional fee information:

  • Additional non-contracted hours or any part thereof, including lunch, are billed at $12 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 and 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

2019–2020 Calendar

​Date Event​
​Tuesday,
June 4
summer program begins
Thursday and Friday,
July 4–5
Independence Day—closed
Friday,
August 9
summer program ends
Tuesday–Thursday,
August 27–29
8:45 a.m.–12 p.m.
Montessori phase-in for new Montessori children
Wednesday,
August 28
9–12 p.m.
Early Learning Program open house for all EL families
Tuesday,
September 3
ECC opens for all children
Wednesday,
September 11
6–8 p.m.
all parent/staff meeting
Friday,
October 18
professional development day—closed
Wednesday,
October 23
6–8 p.m.
Montessori Kindergarten meeting
Thursday–Friday,
November 28–29
Thanksgiving—closed
Monday–Friday,
December 23–27
winter break—closed
Tuesday–Wednesday,
December 31–January 1
New Year's—closed
Monday,
January 20
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day —closed
Monday,
February 17
professional development day—closed
Friday–Monday,
April 10–13
Good Friday/Easter Monday—closed
May,
Week of May 18 (exact date TBD)
5:30–7 p.m.
family picnic
Monday,
May 25
Memorial Day—closed
Friday,
May 29
last day
Monday,
June 1
professional development day—closed
Tuesday,
June 2
summer program begins
Friday,
August 14
summer program ends

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 2024 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 July 2020.

The ECC Montessori Children's House meet the requirements to be a Full Member School of the American Montessori Society and we renew our membership annually.

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, gender, sexual orientation and economic status.