The History of Maple Tree Childcare Center

Benedictine communities are the oldest of all Christian religious communities in the western world. St. Benedict established the first monastery in the 6th century in Italy. Since then, Benedictines have lived in monastic communities focusing upon prayer and work.

The Benedictine community of St. Paul's Monastery was founded in 1948 when 178 Sisters left St. Benedict's Convent in St. Joseph, Minnesota and founded a new community in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. For 17 years, the Sisters lived at 301 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The growth of the community made it necessary for the consideration of a larger home.

The Sisters purchased land in Maplewood as the site for their new facility. As requested by Archbishop John Gregory Murray, a high school was constructed first, opening its doors in 1958. The monastery building was completed in 1965, and the Sisters moved into their new home in January of that year.

The Benedictines are involved in a variety of ministries including spiritual direction, organizing retreats, pastoral ministry, liturgy, social service, education, nursing, care of the elderly, and child care. Prayer is at the center of their communal life and these ministries are an outgrowth of their intercessions.

As the 1990's approached, the Sisters felt the need to respond to the critical shortage of quality childcare in the Maplewood area. The community members believed that high caliber care was critical to the healthy development of young children, and thus the Maple Tree Childcare Center (MTCC) was established in the fall of 1991.

The center is overseen by a board of directors consisting of Benedictine Sisters and lay people who are knowledgeable regarding the field of early childhood education. The day-to-day operations are supervised by an on-site director. Maple Tree is open year-round and offers flexible scheduling for clients. The center primarily serves families living or working in Maplewood and surrounding communities.

What our families say

I like Maple Tree because it is a friendly environment. I love that when you come in, you are acknowledged and you feel welcomed. The staff open doors and helps you when needed. I love the dialogue when it comes to questions or concerns about our baby girl. I love that we don’t feel left out and that I can openly express any concerns or general questions.

We really love Maple Tree – we feel very confident that our child is safe and in loving hands and that he is in an environment that nurtures his growth and development.

I like the loving community Maple Tree has created. I love that kids grow up here and that teachers stay here to see them through. I like how creative and nurturing all of the teachers are when planning lessons and activities. I like how caring and respectful the staff members are to each other. I love that everybody at Maple Tree wants to be there and wants to see it thrive.

I love that there is a lot of outdoor play and field trips over to the monastery! I am lucky to have a safe and fun place to send my children and nephew!

From the day our daughter began attending Maple Tree, we felt a part of the Maple Tree family. Everyone is welcoming and cheerful. The staff members know my child as an individual. Each child is made to feel so special. My child loves Maple Tree, the downside is that she protests taking a vacation day with me; she never wants to miss a day.

We like Maple Tree because of the teachers. The teachers make the difference! Several of the teachers have become like our family! They make Maple Tree and we love them for loving our boys!

We like the caring, consistent staff. There is a thoughtful learning environment. The balance of core curriculum and special events are wonderful and we know our daughter enjoys them very much.

I like Maple Tree because of the people. I feel like I am leaving my daughter with family. Even the teachers in other rooms welcome her. It gives me a great feeling. I like the open communication with teachers and their willingness to work with special requests I have for my child.

We like the daily, consistent structure that Maple Tree provides the kids. We like the different activities and the sensory experiences.

The families are loving and the teachers are committed, making it easy to develop relationships with everyone.

Our child learns every day – socially, academically, and spiritually. Number one: We love all the staff.

We enjoy picking up our child at the end of the day and seeing how much fun she is having with the other children and her teachers. We appreciated how all the teachers knew our child’s name within days of her starting at Maple Tree. We love how our daughter’s eyes light up when she sees her teacher; we can tell her teacher loves her job.

I am always excited to read the newsletter for the month and see what fun activity is planned. I always look forward to looking in my child’s file folder and finding the art projects she has created or finding photos from one of her fun days (petting zoo, pony rides, jumpy castle day, picture day, water play day, crazy hair day, pajama day or the Christmas pageant). Thank you for the wonderful care you provide for my daughter. The peace of mind I have knowing she is there is just wonderful!

Routines are followed and the children understand good expectations for behavior and responsibility. The environment is calm, loving, and happy. I love how the preschool room facilitates the different learning areas. The newsletters, emails, daily notes, and conferences are awesome for keeping us informed.

We like the teachers. The longevity indicates that people are satisfied with their jobs-this is important. The teachers seem friendly and good with the kids. They seem to really care.

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