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Quality Early Childhood Program

Quality Early Childhood Program

Our center, Cathedral Daycare Early Development & Learning Center, has been recognized by the Nebraska Department of Education for our commitment to quality. We have achieved the honor of getting rated step 4 out of 5. Our ‘Step Up to Quality Program’ goes beyond state licensing requirements to better serve the needs of young children and their families and to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Our Story

Our St. Mary’s Cathedral Daycare grew out of the response to the community’s need for high-quality childcare and the gift of space that was afforded to us by our new parish center. Cathedral Daycare is both community service and a ministry of the parish. Cathedral Daycare opened its doors on October 21, 2009, with only two children. Today, we have over 100 children in 10 classrooms. We provide a safe facility with a loving, nurturing environment for children to grow and learn. Our ministry is backed by a congregation with a history of reaching out to meet your needs with the love and humility Christ modeled for us.

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Our Philosophy

At Cathedral Daycare, we believe education is more than learning letters, shapes, and colors and that it is about the whole person, no matter how small. Children are born with unlimited potential. From the moment they are born, children are learning, eagerly exploring, and interacting with the world around them. Our goal is to nurture this eagerness by providing opportunities for growth and exploration in a warm, safe, and loving environment. Join our inspiring team of teachers
and caretakers.

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Cathedral Daycare Early Development & Learning Center

Approach Learning

At Cathedral Daycare, we view early learning as a process requiring a balance of child-initiated and staff-initiated experiences. We support learning in a play-based, developmentally-appropriate environment that incorporates both large-group and small-group activities. Students experience an active learning environment arranged in learning centers, which include art, science, reading, dramatic play, blocks, and math.

We are rooted in early educational theory (including Erik Erikson’s stages of socio-emotional development and Jean Piaget’s theories of how children think and learn) and incorporate the best practices in early childhood education. Our curriculum facilitates learning through play while addressing physical, social, language, cognitive, spiritual and emotional development. Learn More

Cathedral Daycare Early Development & Learning Center

How Children Learn

Children learn best through first-hand experiences. Children learn by doing, using their senses, and exploring their environment of people, things, places, and events. These experiences must be concrete experiences, and children must be active in the experience.

Children do not learn as effectively when they are passive. Active engagement with things and ideas promotes mental activity that helps students retain new learning and integrate it with what they already know. We do not routinely use passive teaching techniques, such as worksheets or flashcards.

Children also learn in a progression. They must accomplish one task before moving on to another. For example, when a child is born, he has little ability to control his arm movements, but as he grows, the muscles strengthen, allowing him to gain better control. Grasping, pinching, and squeezing must be practiced before a child gains enough control to use a writing instrument. The practice of writing through scribbling is an important step in learning how to create written letters and numbers. Learn More


  • Infants

    Cathedral Daycare’s infant program is for children aged 6 weeks to 12 months.

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  • Junior Toddler

    Cathedral Daycare’s Junior Toddler program is for children aged 12 months to 24 months.

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  • Toddler

    Cathedral Daycare’s Toddler program is for children 24-36 months.

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Cathedral Daycare Early Development & Learning Center
  • Cathedral Daycare Early Development & Learning Center

    Early Preschool

    Cathedral Daycare’s Early Preschool program is for children 3 years of age.

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  • Cathedral Daycare Early Development & Learning Center


    Cathedral Daycare’s Preschool program is for children 3 years of age.

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  • Cathedral Daycare Early Development & Learning Center

    School Age Program

    Cathedral School Age Program is for children from kindergarten up to age 12.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are your hours of operation?

Cathedral Daycare is open from 5:30 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday. We are closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day.

We are closed on days when Grand Island Public Schools are closed for snow or other inclement weather. If the school was closed due to school schedule, such as a teacher in-service day, and the weather is bad, Cathedral Daycare has the discretion to close.

Where is the center located?

The daycare center is located on the top floor of Cathedral Square, the St. Mary’s Cathedral parish hall, located across the parking lot from the church. Our physical address is 112 S. Cedar.

What ages do you serve?

Cathedral Daycare serves children ages 6 weeks to 11 years.

What forms do I need to complete enrollment?

For each child, a child enrollment form, a $25 non-refundable enrollment fee, and a copy of immunizations. For each family, a family enrollment form, USDA form, EFT form, handbook acknowledgment, and contract. The contract is to be completed with a director at the time of enrollment.

Do I have to complete the USDA form?

Yes. All families must complete the USDA form. Unlike the public schools, our center receives partial reimbursement for meals for all children who use our center, regardless of their parent’s income. Parents do not, however, have to disclose their income if they choose. They can list the names of household members and write “over guidelines” in the income area.

Do you take Title XX (state-assisted pay)?

Yes. There are a limited number of Title XX spots available. Parents are responsible for notifying their caseworker of their desire to enroll their children at Cathedral Daycare and providing a copy of the authorization before the start date. All enrollment forms must still be completed and the contract signed. A minimum of 6 hours per day and 4 days per week is required.

Do you take part-time?

Yes. Part-time is available for children 30 months or older. There are a limited number of part-time spots available. Part-time enrollment is for 3 or 4 days. Acceptance is based on availability. Weekly fees are based on your child’s regularly scheduled attendance.

Do you take drop-in or occasional care?

No, drop-in care is not offered. Are there discounts?

Members of the Catholic Church using full-time care are eligible for a $10 per week per family discount. A sibling discount is not offered.

When is a payment due?

Payments are made in advance and are due weekly on Monday for that week. If other arrangements are needed, such as a monthly or bi-monthly schedule, please discuss this with a director. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from your checking or savings account is the expected form of payment. This saves the hassle of having to remember to drop off a payment each week. Late payment fees are applied on Fridays. See the handbook for more details. I receive state assistance.

Do I have to do EFT?

Yes. EFT will be used to collect co-pays, late fees, and hours not covered by Title XX.

Do you charge for holidays, absences due to vacations or illness or late pickups?

Cathedral daycare operates on a flat-fee basis. When you sign a contract, you are contracting for a spot and not actual hours used. This means that you will pay for your child’s regularly scheduled attendance, whether they are here or not. This includes absences for vacation, illness, snow days, or holidays. To offset this, however, we offer five vacation days per year of enrollment for full-time families that may be used for vacations, illness, or holidays. Late fees are charged after 6:00 pm and are as follows: 1 minute to 10 minutes $15.00, 11 minutes or more $1.00 per minute. If a parent is more than 30 minutes late, law enforcement will be contacted.

What are the criteria for enrollment?

Cathedral Daycare accepts children on a first-come, first-serve basis. A spot is not guaranteed until an offer has been extended from Cathedral Daycare, and enrollment forms and non-refundable enrollment fees returned. Cathedral Daycare does maintain a waiting list.

What meals do you provide?

Cathedral Daycare has a full-time cook on staff. We provide breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. A monthly menu is provided with the monthly newsletter and is posted near the check-in computer.

What is your illness policy?

Children cannot attend daycare when they have a fever of 100 degrees or higher, have consecutive bouts of diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, have skin infections, undiagnosed rash, infected eyes or any contagious disease, have any parasite-related condition, or have unexplained or undiagnosed pain, have difficulty breathing or a sore throat with trouble swallowing.

Post-treatment, a child may not return to daycare until his/her temperature has been normal for 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication) and the communicable condition has been treated and ceased for 24 hours.

The child must be free from symptoms and no longer infectious. The child should also be well enough to actively participate in daily activities, including going outside. In case of severe or unexplainable illness, a doctor’s medical clearance may be required before admission back into care.