About Us



Our mission is to provide a play-based early childhood program that utilizes best practices while nurturing the uniqueness of each child. 



PLaying at St.PaulsSt. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School was founded in 1957 by The Rev. Dale Doren, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, along with a group of parishioners interested in starting a progressive nursery school based on sound knowledge and understanding of child development and early childhood education. As a result of our founders' strong belief and advocacy of the importance of a high quality early childhood education, St. Paul’s was one of the first nursery schools in Pennsylvania to be licensed by the state in 1957. We were also one of the first nursery schools to be accredited by NAEYC in the Pittsburgh area and have successfully maintained our national accreditation since 1988.


Our Philosophy

Welcome to St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School, a vibrant and nurturing place for young children and their families. Since its beginning, St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School has been committed to providing a warm and enriching environment for preschoolers in Mt. Lebanon and surrounding neighborhoods. We thrive on a strong relationship between the school and our parents, which allows us to put the needs of each unique child first. Our philosophy has always been based on the concept that education should guide and challenge children toward developing lives of genuine meaning, purpose and service in the world they will inherit. Our curriculum is designed to prepare children for the active work of life…all in the spirit of play.

It is the purpose of the nursery school to provide a secure and happy environment in which children will flourish. Therefore, our focus strikes a balance between each child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. We strive to develop self-confident, independent, caring and inquisitive young people who feel comfortable attempting new challenges that will lead to pleasure in learning and respect for others in their world.

Our program is led by Playing children an outstanding staff that encourages an exchange of ideas with each child through questions, observations and reactions. There is fluid interaction between teachers and children that gives the children the opportunity to lead and to be led throughout their school day. St. Paul’s places primary importance on creating opportunities for children to satisfy their natural curiosity and to find fulfilling outlets through music, art, literature, and fine and gross motor activity through dramatic and other forms of play.



NAEYCNAEYC Accreditation: St. Paul’s was the first preschool to be accredited in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh (1988), and one of the first in the nation. We were once again, nationally in 2007, one of the first preschools to maintain our reaccreditation under the new, more demanding NAEYC standards. In May 2012, we received our reaccreditation through 2017.



Staff Profiles

Staff Background

The staff is one of the most important and valued aspects of St. Paul's. The Director oversees a staff that includes classroom teachers and assistants, a music teacher, an art teacher, and an accountant/office manager.

St. Paul’s teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development and some of them hold Master's degrees. Over 50% of the staff have taught at St. Paul’s for ten years or more, and 40% have taught for over fifteen years.

All staff members belong to the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children. They have been trained in infant/child CPR and other first aid techniques and have obtained their Act 33 Clearances to work with children.

One of the most significant determinants of quality in a school is the staff-to-child ratio. The lower the number of children assigned to one teacher, the higher the quality of education. St. Paul’s historically has one of the lowest staff-to-child ratios in the area.