Stepping Stone Schoolhouse

El Cerrito, CA

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Home-Based Daycare/Preschool
Tew Pakawongse
914 255-0688
teachertew [at]
El Cerrito
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Language(s) Spoken: 

Parent Reviews

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I wish I would have found Stepping Stone Schoolhouse sooner! My son started attending SSS when he was four and soon had to venture off to Kindergarten the following year. I believe he would have been much more prepared for K had he been able to spend more time with Tew. Tew sets a time aside for the older kids to work in a small group to introduce them to reading, she doesn’t push this work on the kids so they don’t feel like they “have” to do it, they actually want to! Although my son doesn’t attend SSS anymore, he still asks to go back all the time. Lucky for my 2 yr old daughter, she gets to attend at a much earlier age. Since she’s still young, she only goes 1-2x a week but if it were up to her, she would want to go every day (soon enough!). I am looking forward to seeing how much she picks up when she begins to attend more regularly. I really love the home-like environment, paired with a gentle but firm structure with lots of outdoor play (water-table, sand-table, climbing structure, cycles, balance beam, etc.), art, books, and fine-gross motor skill activities. I highly recommend SSS. Tew is absolutely amazing with all the children and knows how bring out the best in your child, she's patient, caring, and very loving. She not only cares about your child's well-being but also about you as the parent and does everything in her power to help you if/when needed. You really feel the sense of community at SSS and couldn't ask for a better place to send your little one to learn and grow. *You’ll also love the parents nights out events that they offer monthly. My son still goes to these and really looks forward to them. ~Veronica
Archived Reviews: 

Sept 2014

There is still an opening at my son's Montessori-based preschool in El Cerrito. Stepping Stones Schoolhouse is a small, nurturing school and we've grown to love the teachers as well as the school community. The head teacher, Tew, has extensive experience with young children and plans monthly themed curriculum with activities for all the various developmental levels. We could not as for a more dedicated and supportive teacher for our son. She is equally dedicated to fostering community among the parents and families and hosts regular backyard social events and 'parents night out' opportunities. There are also two assistant teachers who are both native Spanish speakers and help incorporate Spanish into the curriculum. My son will be more than ready for Kindergarten next year after his time at SSS. Contact Tew if you are interested at teachertew [at]

June 2014

My son started Stepping Stones Schoolhouse in the Fall of 2013. I fell for Tew in the first moments of meeting her. Our introduction was a lesson about how seeds grow, and I observed the children opening their seeds to discover what was inside. The children were fixated on her every soft word. Stepping Stones Schoolhouse is a sweet little house nestled on a cute block in El Cerrito. It has a great yard with tons to do and my son loves it there. To say he was thriving would be an understatement. Tew and her staff have far surpassed my expectation of preschool in their curriculum and love and compassion for the children. they also offer several parent's nights out and special field trips, and ''activities'' each season like swim lessons, music class, soccer, etc. We have also had two community parties at the school. It is a lovely setting and a lovely community.

June 2013

My son (now almost 5 and about to start kindergarten) has been attending Stepping Stone Schoolhouse in El Cerrito for 2 years and everything about the school has been fantastic, from the core approach to teaching and the dedicated teachers to the supportive community, great environment, and wonderful kids. My son has learned about astronomy, biology, botany, geography, art, music, cooking, sports, and more. And the best part is that he has loved every minute of it. I highly recommend Stepping Stone Schoolhouse to anyone looking for a great preschool experience for their child. Doug

Oct 2012

My son has been attending Stepping Stone Schoolhouse for a year now. At SSS, each student is loved and appreciated for his/her strength while the teachers are gently working on their weaknesses with patience and unique approach based on the child's needs. They learn through the themes as they are exploring each theme using science, art etc. This is a great school for kids with curious minds that love to learn while having fun. It's also a school that created great community among parents - we know each other well and organize activities outside the school as well. If you're looking for a school in El Cerrito/Albany area, this is a lovely little school that I would recommend with all my heart. Ali

July 2012

I wanted to pass along my strong recommendation for Stepping Stone Schoolhouse in El Cerrito. Tew is an absolutely amazing teacher and our 4-year-old daughter loves getting up to go to school each day. She's grown so much at Stepping and is surrounded by a great group of kids. I normally don't post reviews like this at all but this place has been such a wonderful force in my daughter's life that I want other people to check it out. If you are looking for a great preschool in the El Cerrito area you can't beat Stepping Stone. Justin

Feb 2012

Re: Need Montessori Preschool Now!
You don't mention what part of the East Bay you are in, but if El Cerrito is convenient for you, you should definitely check out Stepping Stone Schoolhouse, which is Montessori-based. While it is brand new (opened last fall), the Director/Teacher, Tew, has been teaching preschool in this area for many years (including at Growing Light Montessori in Oakland). My 3.5 year old son was a student of Tew's for a year at another preschool and now attends Stepping Stone and we could not be happier with it. Tew is an amazing teacher. My son is very high energy and I think he has really benefited from the structure of Montessori. I also like that Tew isn't rigid in her philosophy, incorporating lots of other methods and ideas in her teaching. There is a magical sense of both peace and joy when the school is full of kids. I know Tew has a few spots left and right now she has mostly boys, so she would love to have more girls. You can find information about the school Feel free to email me, as well, if you have other questions. Robin