Stepping Stones Montessori is a small, privately owned preschool licensed by the State of New York that incorporates the philosophy and methods of Maria Montessori.The trained and certified staff are devoted to the nurturing and education of three, four and five year old children.  Our goal is to help children grow into individuals who are confident, respectful, responsible, kind, and compassionate. 

Stepping Stones is within walking distance to the library, post office, fire station, playgrounds, and parks.  Our location allows us opportunities to take spontaneous field trips and enjoy all that downtown Ithaca has to offer.  

The classroom environment is bright and open, and the school has both indoor and outdoor play areas. A whimsically painted indoor play area allows for gross motor and imaginary play in cold, wet weather. The outdoor play area includes a weeping cherry tree and four garden boxes for tending and planting. There is also an area for climbing, digging, basketball, hopscotch and more!  When weather permits, you will find students exploring nature in their outdoor classroom.    

Children explore classroom activities individually and in small groups.  Teachers give one-on-one attention to each child to help them progress at their own level of interest and ability. Small and whole group lessons are given to introduce new activities and to encourage and foster cooperation and patience with a lovely balance of learning and play!

Stepping Stones Montessori strives to create and maintain a diverse student body and welcomes families without regard to race, creed, color or gender.

"The sign of an exceptional educator is one who meets each child where the child is developmentally, and helps the child learn to help themselves. We, as parents, and our three children, were so fortunate to have had Meg as our guide and teacher over the past nearly seven years. As lead teacher in a multi-age (2.5 to almost 6) preschool classroom, Meg blew us away with her ability to identify what motivated each child, encourage curiosity and get kids to be self-empowered – all while also developing empathy. Our three children left preschool confident, competent, and with an amazing awareness of how their actions affected others."

  -Karen and Stephen, Seattle
Stepping Stones Montessori
Your child's journey begins here...

What makes Stepping Stones unique?

  • Stepping Stones is a small, exclusive preschool, providing a hands-on approach to learning. 
  • Centrally located just minutes from Cornell University and Ithaca College. 
  • Class size is small, and teacher to student ratio is 1:7, providing many opportunities for one-on-one lessons.
  • Montessori curriculum enriched by performance and fine arts, yoga, music, American Sign Language and Spanish.
  • Half-day and full-day options available.
  • After-school care until 5 p.m.
  • Weekly newsletters keep parents informed and connected. 
​Stepping Stones Montessori is a warm, safe, nurturing space where children feel they are an equal and important part of their community and where, in accordance with the teachings of Maria Montessori, they facilitate their own learning in a carefully prepared environment that lays the foundation for a life-long love of learning.