Sprouts is Caity & Ellen. There is no other place like it.

With occasional substitute help from their mother, Claire (“Grammy”), sisters Caity & Ellen perform every other job involved in running a small childcare business. From designing curriculum to teaching it, from ordering groceries & supplies to making lunches, from texting families to making this website.

Sisters Caity & Ellen both grew up in central Champaign, attending Unit 4 schools and the University of Illinois where they each earned Early Childhood teaching degrees and licenses.

Caity lives with her husband, three children, and chickens in central Champaign. In addition to her family she loves crafts, Lake Michigan, and reading.

Ellen lives with her husband and two sons in central Champaign. She loves her family, organizing, plants, and many forms of making art.


Ellen Saathoff

Head Teacher & Art Enrichment

Co-Director

50% Owner Sprouts School

“Ellen is the zest of Sprouts; her energy, creativity, and enthusiasm create a space for imagination to flourish. Her arts and environmental passions are the backbone of our curriculum, and her kindness and joy are the backbone of our program.”    -Caity

Favorite Art Project at Sprouts:

“I won’t lie, this is such a hard question!


Caity Peterson

Head Teacher & Nature Enrichment

Co-Director

50% Owner Sprouts School

“As the Sprouts mastermind, Caity’s passion for learning makes her the knower of all possibilities and solutions.  With patience and warmth, she creates a safe, loving environment where she encourages wonder and engages hearts and minds in every moment.” -Ellen

Favorite Nature Project at Sprouts:

“The spontaneous ones! Within our curriculum we plan a ton of nature projects, but the ones that the kids engineer themselves are the really memorable ones.”

Where did this all begin? Learn the Sprouts history here.