Shirley Heyer, Center Director
- Every Day · Every Child · Excellence · Accreditated · Knowledge Universe
Welcome to South Willis KinderCare. Thank you for taking time to learn more about our wonderful center and all we have to offer in early childhood education. We are excited to introduce you and your family to our own family of teachers. Our school is designed for your child to learn through play. We hope you will enjoy many years with us as we watch your child grow and learn--together. So come in today to see firsthand how the KinderCare experience will give your child every advantage!
Shirley Heyer, Center Director
Many of our child care centers are accredited by national organizations that require us to meet rigorous early childhood education standards and guidelines for high-quality care and education. Programs that are accredited have demonstrated their commitment to go beyond the state’s minimum licensing requirements to meet and maintain these high standards of quality.
Babies grow and learn every day. Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing "home away from home" where babies can explore and make new discoveries. We know that learning through play is extremely valuable at this age and our Early Foundations® Infant program is designed to give babies the skills that will serve as the building blocks for a lifetime of learning.
As toddlers develop friendships, self-esteem, and curiosity, our Early Foundations® Toddler program will help them explore their world in a safe and nurturing environment. Our unique curriculum is based on the philosophy that children learn best through experiences. So each day is filled with fun activities that excite and develop toddlers, giving them the comfort and confidence to speak those first few important words, as well as make their first friends.
At this age, children are making new discoveries daily. And as two-year olds begin to exert their independence, our Early Foundations® Discovery Preschool program is prepared to open their eyes to a world of learning, sharing, and exploring. Our holistic approach in the classroom engages young minds with a blend of music, art, and movement, as well as the early education fundamentals they'll need as they continue on to preschool.
As preschoolers gain more self-esteem, they may feel ready to take on the world. Our Early Foundations® Preschool program enhances that confidence by providing activities to help children become problem solvers and lifelong learners. Through independent exploration, structured activities, and hands-on learning, children will work on early literacy, math, science, and social studies concepts. A healthy dose of running, jumping, and dancing keeps them active too.
Prekindergartners are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime – school. And our Early Foundations Prekindergarten® program is designed to get them ready by teaching letters and words, math concepts, and valuable social skills. With small group instruction, independent play in an organized atmosphere, and whole-group activities, children will have all the right skills to hop, skip, and jump right into kindergarten.
Even after school's out for the day, children need to be engaged in a comfortable, yet stimulating environment. That's where our Catch the Wave® program comes in. This innovative before – and after-school program allows school-age children to balance learning and fun through a variety of experiences. From homework help to fun physical activities, our program is designed so that everyone goes home happy.
Don’t miss out on KinderCare’s Summer of Wonder: Six themed programs that will make summer exciting, educational and tons of fun. Whether your child is in our preschool, Pre-K or school-age programs, all of it is designed to help children learn while soaking up the fun. We offer flexible scheduling options to meet the needs of busy families like yours so we hope to see you there.
KinderCare has partnered with Child Care Aware® of America in an effort to offer fee assistance for Active Duty military families and solutions to their child care needs when care at a Child Development Center on the installation is not available.
The Cooking Adventures program gives children opportunities to participate in fun, developmentally appropriate cooking experiences. They will learn about recipes, ingredients, cooking vocabulary, and the importance of a healthy diet. The curriculum includes lessons on picnics, pizza, and heart-healthy meals.
Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Light and Dark, plus the Sky and Weather
Through shadow play, experiments with flashlights, observing the Sun and more, infants and toddlers will enjoy learning about light and dark this month. Infants continue sensory development by looking at contrasting patterns and at objects that are clearly defined by sharp edges and bright colors, while toddlers will build on their understanding of the light and dark concepts with play around daytime and nighttime. The older Discovery Preschool children will turn their attention to the sky as they learn about weather, the Moon, the Sun, and stars.
Children 4–5 years old: Transportation, Healthy Bodies, and Winter
For children in the Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms, January is filled with variety! They’ll begin by learning about transportation and studying how things get from “here” to “there.” A few weeks later, the focus will shift to health and bodies, with an emphasis placed on how to make good choices for a growing body. Towards the end of the month, children will be introduced to the transformative nature of the winter season and learn how to dress and take care of themselves when it’s cold outside.
The staff of the South Willis KinderCare Learning Center in Abilene is committed to delivering a high-quality, developmentally appropriate learning environment and is passionate about nurturing each child's physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth. Ms. Shirley and the teachers are continually learning new ways to promote confidence and competence while preparing the children for school.
Shirley has enjoyed working as the Center Director at the South Willis KinderCare since March of 1992. She enjoys having the opportunity to support all of the wonderful children, parents, and teachers here at the center to provide the best educational experience possible. Seeing children learn is her greatest reward in life. She is committed to providing the very best child care for each family!
Tyra started with KinderCare in August of 1992 at the Wenonah KinderCare in New Jersey. She then transfered to the South Willis KinderCare in June of 1993. She has been a teacher, bus driver, cook, and Assistant Director.
I love coming to work each day to see the children eager to learn something new and exciting.
Ms. Lupe's goal is to encourage your child to express individuality through artistic exploration and creativity. She helps infants learn to engage with others. Ms. Lupe talks with your child, communicates verbally and through non-verbal gestures, tells stories and sings songs to model conversational skills, and uses picture books to build association between sounds, objects, and words. She also helps your infant improve mobility and coordination, supporting your baby as he or she rolls from side to side and learns to crawl, stand, and walk. Ms. Lupe supports the development of motor skills with blocks and shape boards, and meets your child's individual needs for rest and nutrition.
Ms. Allie's goal is to provide age-appropriate activities and materials that develop confidence, self-esteem, and a love of learning. She uses storytelling and word games to help your child practice imitating and responding, asking questions, and following simple directions; provides practice naming familiar items; and supports rich vocabulary development. Ms. Allie looks forward to supporting your toddler's growth socially and emotionally.
Ms. Jessie's goal is to create a literacy-rich environment where children enhance their vocabulary through imitation and repetition of words and sentences. In her classroom, children build alphabet recognition through play with letters and writing centers, and strengthen conversation skills with group sharing and reading experiences. Ms. Jessie supports cooperative play; uses whole- and small-group activities to model sharing, communication, and cooperation; and demonstrates how to recognize others' feelings and respond appropriately. She also supports pretend play and role-playing with props and costumes, encourages creative expression through age-appropriate art materials, and stimulates imagination through storytelling and block-building.
Ms. Lupe's goal is to promote vocabulary development and conversational skills through fun, hands-on experiences. In Ms. Lupe's classroom, children will participate in activities such as daily group discussions, fingerplays, songs, and read-alouds, all of which help children develop the fundamental language skills they will continue to build on throughout their lifetime. For many children, preschool is their first experience in a structured setting with teachers and groups of children. It's an opportunity to learn to share, follow instructions, and begin the foundation for learning that will occur in elementary school.
I like being able to come to work each day where I can be a kid at heart!
Ms. Ryanne's goal is to provide a literacy-rich classroom with plenty of opportunities for children to explore books and writing. She uses daily journal activities to practice writing skills, helps your child's early reading skills by connecting sounds to letters through picture and word collages, teaches basic sight words in fun and engaging ways, and encourages phonemic awareness through literacy-based games, books, and puzzles. In Ms. Ryanne's classroom, children will build brain power while making new friends and learning valuable social skills for success in elementary school.
"The new adventures that are encountered every day with children are what inspires me to come to work each day.
Ms. Jennifer's goal is to develop a classroom environment where every student feels respected, accepted, and cherished. She makes sure children have a lot of fun, but also make time for homework during the school year. She provides opportunities to practice active listening, negotiation, compromise, and leadership through the Classroom Council; supports teamwork on long-term projects; and encourages language and communication skills through literacy, drama, and music clubs.
Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Family, Friends, and Things that Go!
Infants and toddlers will be exploring family and friends, while three-year-olds will focus on things that go vroom! Social and emotional development is foundational to growth and development in babies, so this month, infants and toddlers will participate in activities that reinforce their connection to family while also exploring connections that exist outside their home, such as friends. Meanwhile, their older friends in Discovery Preschool will learn about and play around with things that move (like bicycles, cars, buses, trains, and airplanes), which are all very exciting for little ones as they continue to explore the world outside their homes.
Children 4–5 years old: My Country + Tools and Machines
The four- and five-year-olds continue exploring the world around them by learning about the state and country they live in! They’ll sings songs, play games based on travel, and learn about flags, state foods, and more. Children will also be introduced to cardinal directions (east, west, north, and south) and gain an appreciation for travel and meeting new friends from different places.
Children are naturally fascinated with machines and how things work and are put together. So to encourage that fascination, during the second half of this month children will learn about and play around with tools and machines. In addition to building literacy skills by using the names of machines and tools, children will develop math skills by graphing information, counting wheels, and more.
Our staff would like to welcome you to visit our center. The staff takes pride in keeping up to date with the latest trends in early childhood education. Ongoing training is offered to the staff during the year at the center and through the various training opportunities in the community.
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Our center has a keypad entry system for the front door; door codes are only given to enrolled families and staff. A child will only be released to someone listed on the child's pick-up authorization form, and identification is checked before a child is allowed to leave the center. Our playgrounds are completely fenced in and are specifically designed with safety in mind for each age group. We conduct monthly fire drills and quarterly disaster drills. Our staff members all have CPR and First Aid training, and receive a minimum of 20 child development-related training hours each year.
Our staff would like to welcome you to visit our center. The staff takes pride in keeping up to date with the latest trends in Early Childhood Education. Ongoing training is offered to the staff during the year at the center and though the various training opportunities in the community.
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