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Milestones set at Stepping Stones

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Stepping Stones Children’s Center is all about loyalty

Posted: February 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Master's College Chorale conductor, Dr. Paul Plew, leads his chorus during a rehearsal.

 

When Nancy Grunbok purchased the center in 1995, her goal was to provide the Santa Clarita Valley a safe and enriching environment for children of the community to learn and play during child care services, as well as working one-on-one with families to meet their needs.

“It has always been our policy to help children and families who didn’t necessarily fit into other programs,” Grunbok said.

The children’s center is a preschool that serves children from 2 years old through kindergarten. It is also open for day care, as well as before and after school care.

Offering affordable rates, Grunbok said the facility has the ability to aid families in need of financial help.

Grunbok states that ability stems from her staff and that “many of the teachers have been with them between 6 and 20 years.”

“We can often meet their needs because, I think, we connect on a really personal basis with the families,” Grunbok explained.

With that personal connection, a sense of loyalty grows among their staff and families.

That loyalty is a lifelong relation for Grunbok, who said that she and her staff keep in touch with children who graduate from the center.

“Oh yeah! We keep in touch. We see them, and they come to visit us,” Grunbok said.

Grunbok understands the importance of that loyalty, and tries to adapt the services she offers to meet the families’ requests.

“One thing that I’ve learned is to remain flexible,” Grunbok said. “We need to accommodate the needs — the changing needs — of families.”

Grunbok strives to keep the families happy even during hard times.

“During the economic crisis, when a lot of families were having trouble affording child care, I kept my rates low,” Grunbok said.

Because she understands that families need help, Grunbok doesn’t turn them away. Instead, she’ll work with her staff to create different plans and services.

“I make schedules that, maybe, could accommodate them,” Grunbok explained. “Maybe a couple days a week or half days for the child, just something that they could continue to attend school and get their education.”

On the occasion that families need even more assistance, the sense of loyalty brings in help from other members of the children’s center.

“I have many families whohelp out,” Grunbok said. “They do the cleaning for the school, or they do repairs for me.”
Grunbok even allows families who can’t afford the full rates to exchange services, so their children can continue attending the school.

Aside from child care, the school endeavors to educate the children, as well.

“We work hard to find out what sparks the child’s interest and use those interests to foster learning,” Grunbok said.

Stepping Stones Children’s Center has two locations in the Santa Clarita Valley: one in Santa Clarita and the second in Canyon Country.

“During the fall, winter and spring months, our curriculum follows traditional kindergarten preparation themes, as well as themes that help us explore our world from the tiniest insect to the wide universe,” Grunbok said.

Both locations provide full child care services, including a preschool.

During summer, the centers offer more activities such as “special theme programs that include special visitors, such as Funny Eddie, Mad Science and Captain Carl and his Mobile Tide Pools.”

Grunbok hopes to continue helping families and children in the community find what they’re looking for.

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