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We are a Christian Childcare center offering
care for children of ages 6 weeks to twelve years
in Leola Pennsylvania.

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Steps to Success is a Star 4 Center.

Congratulations, Ms. Melissa!
PACCA’s 2007 Educator of the Year

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Monday - Friday 6:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
56 Hillcrest Avenue
Leola, PA 17540
(717) 656-3363

For current activities and events join us on Facebook.

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About Us


Steps to Success was incorporated in January 1995 as a not for profit educational institution. The co-founders were Michelle Straw and Chris Lawson. Steps began service to the Leola community on September 19, 1995 in the basement of the Upper Leacock War Memorial Building. Our beginning enrollment was 21 children. The founders were invited to a round table discussion about state regulations in child care in the Spring of 1996 by the Department of Public Welfare.

In 1999, Steps to Success received a grant to develop separate infant/toddler and preschool/school age playgrounds.

On July 5, 2000, we began child care in the Upper Leacock Township Building with 96 children enrolled.

The Board of Directors voted to add a Christian curriculum in January 2001 with support of families and staff.

During the Summer of 2001, the school age children started a service project to beautify the courtyard in front of the Leola Library. This will be an ongoing project.

A Memorial playground is envisioned with donations made in the memory of Anne Persons Robinson during 2006.

The PA Child Care Association names Mrs. Melissa Readman their 2007 Educator of the Year.

In September 2011, Steps to Success was awarded a STAR 4 rating through the Keystone STARS quality initiative.
A public private partnership is formed with Conestoga Valley School District to offer Pre-Kindergarten to 34 CV families. This program was funded through the five year Keystones to Opportunity grant starting in 2012-2013.


Steps to Success focuses on building character before academic achievement. We provide children with the opportunity to learn respect for all living things, take responsibility for their actions, and reach their goals. A safe, well-defined, and nurturing environment is available for children and staff alike. We seek to help empower children with a foundation of confidence and security from which they can succeed. Steps to Success, Inc. believes that to work with children is to invest in the future.

We have committed to the constant and never-ending improvement of the center and the personnel. Without challenges people grow stagnant and bored. Such individuals do not produce the exemplary results we all desire: happy, healthy children, a highly-motivated and associated staff, and a facility that refused to rest on its laurels. That would be the ultimate disservice to the children.

Serve wholeheartedly; as if you were serving the Lord, not men. Ephesians 6:7

A Commitment to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement

Steps to Success, Inc. was founded to invest in the future. At Steps, we believe the best way to do that is to nurture the children today. By planting good seeds in good soil, we contribute to the present and the future. The founders of Steps believe that children are best served when they are allowed to be children. Regimens of rote learning and grim force-fed lessons have no place with us. We believe that children need love before loose leaf, security before phonics, and fun before homework. A child who grows up knowing that he's loved is more likely to indulge his imagination, allow himself to play, and to dream.

Dreamers often accomplish wonderful things.

We are a non-profit, Christian day care center. The rightful beneficiaries of the center's tuition are the children.

The founders, staff, and board members of Steps to Success, Inc. have committed to the constant and never-ending improvement of the center and its personnel. Our goal is to improve what we do, how we do it, by just 1% every day. All of us welcome the challenges that come with our lofty goals: to create and maintain a center that always looks for ways to grow, to maintain a dedicated staff, and to care for children in the healthiest, happiest environment available.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act
In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, religious creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, or limited English proficiency be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

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School age



  • Dates the Center is Closed

    >Labor Day



    >New Years Day

    >Memorial Day

    >July 4th



All donations go towards improving the quality of programs at Steps to Success. For current activities and events join us on Facebook.

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Mrs. Michelle (Straw) Harbaugh is the founding director of Steps to Success.

After graduating from Millersville University with a BSE in ElEd, Michelle worked as a substitute teacher in Lancaster and then Delaware Counties. Her first full time position was at Wynnefield Academy in Philadelphia. She also worked for Associated Day Care Services on Jackson Street, Philadelphia. It was these experiences & her need for fields, trees & cows that brought her back to Lancaster County.


It was her vision to offer part time fees backed by the belief that parents and families should not be penalized for having time to spend with their children. Another driving belief in the daily operations of the center can be quoted by the staff. "Every day is inspection day." We do it right every day. Michelle also believes in her staff. "Your staff makes your center. They have the most important jobs." In addition to starting Steps to Success, Mrs. Harbaugh also coordinated the relocation of the center in 2000 and the addition of the Christian curriculum in 2001.

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The Board of Directors meet on the third Tuesdays of each month at 6:00 PM.

The Board consists of interested community members.

If you wish to serve, please send a letter of interest to the Board for review.



Please contact the director at 717-656-3363


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