About Us

Step by Step Child Care Center, Inc. started in 1994 in Gardner serving children 2 yrs - 12 yrs. It shared a space in the American Legion Hall, and then built its own facility in 1996. It expanded services to serve children 6 wks - 12 yrs old. The next location was in Diamond. That center was built for children 6 wks - 6 yrs and opened in April of 2000 with a capacity for 103 children. An addition was done the following year to bring the school-age program that was at the Coal City Elementary School to the Diamond center. Morris was the next location in 2002. The center was renting space in a strip mall to start, and then built its own building in 2007 with a capacity of 149 children. Step by Step Child Care Center, Inc. had another expansion in 2006 by adding an Ottawa location. That location is licensed for 59 children ages 6 wks - 6 yrs. In 2012, a second Ottawa location was opened with a capacity of 74 children, ages 6 wks - 12 yrs. old. The Braidwood location was also opened in 2012 with a renovation to a vacant building to care for 83 children. In 2014, Step by Step began a before and after school program for the Coal City School District that is housed at the Early Childhood Center, Elementary School and Intermediate School with a capacity of 80 children. The corporation now has the capacity to care for 548 children at one time.

Awards and Recognitions

  • The Silver Circle of Quality recognizes completion of a rigorous self-assessment and implementation of a continuous quality improvement process, as verified by an independent assessor. Silver Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment and instructional quality, along with selected administrative standards; qualifications; and professional development.
  • The Gold Circle of Quality recognizes programs which have demonstrated quality on all standards, as validated by an independent assessor. Gold Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment, instructional quality, and all administrative standards; group size and ratios; qualifications; and professional development.