St. Raphael Principal Beth Steffl, Daycare Director Katie Pierson and Daycare Assistant Maggie Vogel.

St. Raphael Catholic School opens daycare


St. Raphael Catholic School is excited to announce that it has opened a daycare in their school building.  Tiny Saints Daycare opened last month and is at full capacity.  Katie Pierson is the daycare director.

“The idea of opening a daycare at St. Raphael began two years ago,” Beth Steffl, principal at St. Raphael School, stated in a recent interview.  The school was given an opportunity from the Richard M. Schulze Foundation (Schulze is the founder of Best Buy) to apply for a Matching Challenge Grant.  The grant would match up to $25,000 of the school’s funding efforts to help complete a project that helps the school grow in excellence and enrollment.  “Daycare is a huge need in the Springfield community.  I felt that opening a daycare would help us grow in excellence, enrollment and fill a community need,” she said.  “The actual idea came out of one of our Board of Education meetings while we were brainstorming what kind of project to do for the challenge grant,” she added.

Once the funding was in place, the process of setting up the daycare began.  First step was to get licensed through the county or the state—each has a different set of guidelines.  St. Raphael’s chose to get licensure from Brown County.  Brown County licenser, Pauline Holz, guided the school through the whole process.

A huge part of setting up the daycare was getting the whole building up to fire code.  “Private schools are not beholden to strict fire code regulations like public schools are because there are not government funds available for it.  So, unfortunately, many private schools do not have the funding to stay current,” Steffl said. 

See this week's issue in the Springfield Advance-Press for complete story.