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East Carol Stream KinderCare

Valerie Vazquez, Center Director

140 N. Gary Ave. Carol Stream IL 60188
(630) 665-1441 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds
Open:

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Special Instructions:
"NW corner of North Ave. and Gary behind BP Oil."

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Pleasant Hill, Sandburg, Washington, Carol Stream, Western Trails, Roy De Shane

We know that choosing the right fit for your child's education and care is a difficult decision and that is why we are proud to say, you have come to the right place. At our center we have an excellent reputation within the Carol Stream community and surrounding areas. We have a family like atmosphere and host several functions including our current families and extended members. We are NAEYC Accredited, hold a Gold Circle of Quality with Excellerate of Illinois, and are in excellent standings with the Department of Children and Family Services. We have close relationships with many community resources and agencies such as the Carol Stream Fire Department and Police Department, the Humanitarian Service Project, the public library, and the YWCA of DuPage. It is a great pleasure to be a part of this community and stand out amongst other learning centers and preschools. Currently we are enrolling in several rooms with limited space availability.

  • Accreditation Seal Every Day · Every Child · Excellence · Accreditated · Knowledge Universe
  • NAEYC Accreditation NAEYC

Welcome

Here at the KinderCare Learning Center on Gary Avenue, our staff provides the best in Early Childhood Education to the Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Wheaton and several other surrounding areas. Combined, our staff has over 105 years of childcare experience and speaks many foreign languages including Spanish, Serbian, Italian and Polish. We run high quality programs for infants, toddlers, discovery preschool two's, preschool, pre-kindergarten and school age. Each year, we are excited to present special programs to our families such as Winter Gala, Sweet Heart Luncheon, Spring Gala, Summer Camp, Fall Festival, and a Thanksgiving Luncheon. We invite you to join in on the fun, as well as the learning that happens at KinderCare. Each day is a new adventure!

Valerie Vazquez, Center Director

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Accreditation

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.

Our Programs

Infant Programs (6 weeks - 1 year)

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.

Toddler Programs (1 – 2 Years)

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.

Discovery Preschool Programs (2 – 3 Years)

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.

Preschool Programs (3 – 4 Years)

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.

Prekindergarten Programs (4 – 5 Years)

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.

Before- & After-School Programs (5 – 12 Years)

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.

Summer Programs (preschool, prekindergarten, and school-age)

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.

Participating Child Care Aware Center

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.

Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program

Cooking

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.

Music

Ongoing research proves that early exposure to music helps children think, reason, create, and express themselves. Children will laugh and learn about rhythm, vocal melodies, and a variety of musical genres and instruments, which can lower stress and advance memory. Learning never sounded so good.

Phonics & Reading Adventures

Set your child up for advanced success with literacy through phonics, the study of letters and sounds. Reader books, games, and activity cards help your child understand the basics of vowels and blending syllables, giving him confidence and command of language.

Weekly Mini Camp

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Tuesday August 11, 2015
    1. Community Social-Open House

  2. Thursday August 13, 2015
    1. Prism Lights

      -

      Children making their personal prism light holders to take home and enjoy with family.

Teachers & Staff

The teachers and staff at The East Carol Stream KinderCare are passionate about educating and nurturing children. Our teachers have a range of longevity from one year all the way up to 26 years. All of our teachers have their Child Development Associate's credential, Bachelor’s Degree, or Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, and/or are currently attending school to achieve their degrees or continue their education and training. The East Carol Stream KinderCare team strives for excellence through continuing education from biannual company professional development trainings to seeking additional college courses or seminars in the education field. At the end of the day, the true key to our teachers' success is their passion for teaching and their love of learning.

  • Valerie Vazquez

    Valerie Vazquez, Center Director

    I have had the infinite pleasure of being touched by so many children and families through out my years of educating. I enjoy being able to work closely with families and developing long lasting relationships that work hand in hand to provide every child with the best quality care and education they deserve. Being a part of so many children and families lives gives me a huge sense of accomplishment and is the reason I am so passionate in what I do day to day.

    Valerie has been with KinderCare since 1997. She started her career with KinderCare in Hanover Park as an Infant Teacher Assistant and quickly became a Lead infant teacher within a year. After three years of nurturing our precious babies, she used her on going skills and training to become the Lead Preschool teacher. Preschool was Valerie's home for almost five years when she made her way into management as the Assistant Center Director in Hanover Park. In late 2006 Valerie transferred to the West Carol Stream KinderCare where she continued in her role as Assistant Center Director and assisted in building the centers team. In 2010 Valerie took over as Acting Center Director In West Carol Stream for approximately one year before taking over her current center here in East Carol Stream. Valerie came to East Carol Stream and has built an amazing team of professional and sincere teachers who truly show their passion through caring and educating every child. Valerie thinks of East Carol Stream as her home away from home and wants every child and family who walks into the center to feel the same. Valerie is continuously making improvements to the center to make it the exceptional quality center it has been and continues to be. Valerie has not only been an employee, but has raised her son with KinderCare since he was born in 2001. He continues to attend and grow with KinderCare each day. Valerie is married and lives with her family close by. She is always willing to talk to parents each day and looks forward to her future continuing with KinderCare.

    Year Started:
    10/21/1997
    Tenure:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    17 years
    Education:
    Child Development Associate's credential
  • Nunzia "Nancy" Studinski

    Nunzia "Nancy" Studinski, Assistant Director

    I feel so privileged to be able to assist in creating an environment where children thrive and love to learn. What I love most is being a part of something bigger then what it looks like on the outside. I am making a difference in children's lives and this is something they will carry with them in the future.

    Nancy began her career with the East Carol Stream KinderCare in 2010 as the School Age Teacher. She enjoyed every minute of interacting with the older children and being able to act as a role model in their lives each day. In early 2011 Nancy took on the role of Lead Toddler Teacher where she gave our little ones a memorable early experience to the world of care and education. She was promoted to Assistant Center Director in early 2012 where she was able to put her business credentials to work and assist the Center Director in their continuous improvement of the center. Nancy has direct contact with the children and families and continues to implement the exceptional care and education provided at the center. She started out as a parent in 2007 at the Carol Stream Center once her son was born and after being in and out of the center each day, Nancy believed so much in what was happening at KinderCare, that she couldn't wait to be a part of it. Nancy is also married and lives close by the center with her husband and 3 children.

    Year Started:
    3/1/2010
    Tenure:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Business, Child Development Associate's credential
  • Ms. Kimberly Molenda

    Ms. Kimberly Molenda, Program Specialist

    Coming to work is such a pleasure each day. I enjoy getting to know all of the children and families in all the different age groups. Being able to build these relationships is such an important part of my job at the center. I love being able to work with the children as a group and one on one.

    Kimberly has a BA in Special Education, graduating from Illinois State University. Kimberly also holds her Illinois teaching certificate for ages prekindergarten-12th grade. Kimberly started with our center in 2012 as a Schoolage teacher. Since then, Kimberly has assisted in each age group. Kimberly is the center's Program Specialist which allows her to not only assist in classrooms, but also teaching Phonics, cooking and supporting teachers with quality curriculum in the classrooms. Kimberly grew up in the Carol Stream area and continues to reside here, making her a resource for families in the area.

    Previous Experience:
    Kimberly did student teaching in grades K-12. Kimberly also was a private nanny for 2 years.
    Year Started:
    5/21/2012
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6
    Education:
    BA Special Education
  • Ms. Colleen Jones

    Ms. Colleen Jones, Infant Classroom

    Seeing the children's faces and warm smiles when they are in my classroom each day validates the passion I have for being a teacher. When a child makes their first sounds, say their first words, and take their first steps, I am overwhelmed with excitement and so proud to be a part of the experience.

    Ms. Colleen has been caring for and nurturing our infants at the East Carol Stream KinderCare since early 2007. She loves being a huge part of the earliest years of the infants lives. She enjoys watching them grow and develop each day. Ms. Colleen is assisting our infants in meeting milestones such as grasping, talking, and walking. Each day she is able to see an infant do something exciting, which in turn makes her career so rewarding. Each morning when the infants come in, they are ready to begin a new day and put a smile on her face. Ms. Colleen comes from a family of four siblings, one which is in the United States Marines and one who is in law enforcement. Ms. Colleen is excited to continue her career at KinderCare and furthering her education. She plans on getting married one day and starting a family of her own.

    Year Started:
    3/25/2007
    Tenure:
    8 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 years
    Education:
    Child Development Associate's credential
  • Miss Trisha

    Miss Trisha, Preschool

    I enjoy getting to build relationships with all of the children in my classroom. Getting to know each of them on a personal level helps me to support their individual needs and assist in their growth and development.

    Hello, my name is Miss Trisha. I joined KinderCare in April 2014. I currently assist in the preschool classroom. I graduated high school in 2009 with several classes in early childhood education. I am currently furthering my education at Rasmussen College to obtain my Child Development Associate. I have had the pleasure in being around children all of my life and enjoy every minute of it. I was previously a private nanny for two families. I love working here at KinderCare because I feel that caring for and educating children is my passion. I love being able to watch them grow and assist in their education. Being able to see the joy on their faces when they have learned something new, makes me feel great about what I am doing in my classroom. I look forward to continuing my career with KinderCare and building long lasting relationships with the children and families.

    Previous Experience:
    Miss Trisha was previously a private nanny for a family for 4 years. Miss Trisha has also taken classes in early childhood education and care.
    Year Started:
    4/1/2014
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    3
    Education:
    CDA Credential
  • Ms. Brittany

    Ms. Brittany, Toddler Classroom

    I love watching the children's reactions once they realize they have accomplished something new. It is truly a privilege to be a part of something so important and meaningful. Knowing I have the ability to touch so many lives gives me fulfilment.

    Ms. Brittany began her journey with us early in April 2012. She comes to us with an immense amount of passion for the young child. Ms. Brittany is our Lead Toddler Teacher, and enjoys having a new experience everyday with the children. In her class the children are in the beginning stages of getting to know what they are truly capable of. Ms. Brittany teaches the toddlers to share, empathy for others, begin following simple instruction and to express their feelings. Her favorite thing about working at KinderCare is being able to help children through their first learning experiences and to see the look on each child's face when they have the ah-ha moment after doing something new.

    Year Started:
    4/1/2012
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Sarah Sarah

    Ms. Sarah Sarah, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    I love to teach because I enjoy watching the children grow and learn new things each day. Working with children is such an amazing opportunity to see the world through their eyes. I do not only teach children, I learn from them as well!

    Ms. Sarah joined our team in 2011 after moving from Charleston, South Carolina to Carol Stream with her husband. She comes an extremely close family and this is exactly how Ms. Sarah treats and thinks of the students in her class. To Ms. Sarah, the children are her family and she supports them the way a family supports each other. She instils independence in the young two years olds, by assisting them in potty training, family style meal times, and the start of problem resolutions with others. The Discovery Preschool is where our two year olds are really getting the foundation of school laid at their feet, and Ms. Sarah loves being able to be a part of it. She sits with the children during group time working on colors, shapes, and letters. They sing songs, read books, and begin thinking skills in math and science by sorting, counting and exploring.

    Year Started:
    10/6/2011
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Human Services
  • Ms. Dajana

    Ms. Dajana, Pre-K Classroom

    I love being able to sit down and engage in great conversations with the children. They have so many stories and experiences to speak about, and I love to hear them each day.

    Ms. Dajana came to our center in 2006 and became the Co-Preschool teaching while continuing her education in early childhood. She moved with her family to the USA in 1997 from Serbia. In 2010 Ms. Dajana achieved her goal of graduating fro the College Of DuPage with her Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Dajana assists in leading our prekindergartner's through independence and supporting their learning in math, science and literacy. Ms. Dajana enjoys listening to the children converse and hearing all the wonderful stories they tell. She feels that the children are like sponges and she is always excited to teach them something new and then watch them take the next steps. Reading to and with the preschoolers is one of Ms. Dajana's favorite things to do. Watching the children get so excited over books shows their love for learning.

    Year Started:
    10/1/2006
    Tenure:
    8 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 years
    Education:
    Associate's Degee in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Dalilia Dalila

    Ms. Dalilia Dalila, Preschool Classroom

    I love hearing the funny stories the children tell me each day. The reactions on their faces are priceless when they learn something new.

    Ms. Dalila has been a part of our center since 1994 and has truly made this her home. She is our Lead Teacher in the Preschool classroom here at KinderCare. Ms. Dalila loves to implement our researched based curriculum while encouraging the children to develop their independence. Ms. Dalila has raised her three children who have also grown up as a part of KinderCare. In Ms. Dalila's classroom the children are learning to spell their names, beginning to write familiar words and using sound recognition to form words. Ms. Dalila has a variety activities happening each day that challenge the children's minds in math, science and literacy. She also assists in management when needed as she is Director qualified and assists in translating to our Spanish speaking families.

    Year Started:
    9/1/1994
    Tenure:
    20 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Donna

    Ms. Donna, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love the eureka moments when a task you have been working on clicks with the children, and then seeing their eyes light up with pride and accomplishment.

    Ms. Donna is by far our longest term teacher having started with the center in 1986. She is a strong believer in the education and care that happens within our center. Ms. Donna is married and has children of her own, who grew up with KinderCare until they were age 12. She is an amazing Prekindergarten teacher who truly has 100% passion in what she does in her classroom daily. Our Prekindergarten classroom is continuously busy doing large and small group activities that focus on getting each child ready for their Kindergarten experience. Through math, literacy, science and independence, Ms. Donna is highly confident that she is assisting the children with skills they will need to pursue a successful future.

    Year Started:
    10/13/1986
    Tenure:
    28 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    25 years
  • Ms. Katherine (Katie)

    Ms. Katherine (Katie), School Age Classroom

    Aside from my co-workers, and the positive working atmosphere, I love my job because of the children and their families. I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to educate children. It is amazing to see the creativity that each child brings, and heartwarming to witness their progress and growth together, as well as individually. Each family brings something special each day, which makes my job interesting, fun, and truly a once in a lifetime experience.

    Ms. Katie joined our center in early 2011. She currently assists as a social worker in a high school working with children who have special needs or behavioral disorders. Ms. Katie brings a lot of knowledge and suggestions to our center. She is a perfect example of what KinderCare can do for the children and families in our care, as she attended KinderCare as a child and believes that KinderCare is where she began her love for learning and teaching. Ms. Katie exhibits the professionalism that KinderCare stands for and always upholds our educational philosophy and standards. She loves being a part of a dedicated team who always does the right thing for children.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Katie spent eight years working in a multicultural daycare and summer camp.
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Social Work
  • Ms. Cassandra (Cassie)

    Ms. Cassandra (Cassie), School Age Classroom

    I love everything about teaching children. Some of my favorite moments are seeing the joy on the children's faces when they accomplish something new like when they learn to tie their shoes, write their names or even how to count for the first time.

    Ms. Cassie started with us in 2012, and is already making a huge impact on the lives of our children and families. She truly shows just how much she cares for the children by greeting each one of them with a smile and a hug. Ms. Cassie is someone very special to us here at the Carol Stream KinderCare, as she once was a student here for many years. Although Ms. Cassie has not been teaching at our center for very long, she comes with amazing knowledge as her mother has been with our sister center in the area for almost 30 years. Ms. Cassie is currently attending the college of DuPage, majoring in Elementary Education. She enjoys her time with the preschoolers and encouraging their development and growth.

    Year Started:
    8/1/2012
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2 years

August 2015 Events

August Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Tuesday August 04, 2015
    1. Summer Votive Holders

      -

      Children are given the opportunity to make summer themed vases to bring home and enjoy with family.

  2. Tuesday August 11, 2015
    1. Community Social-Open House

  3. Thursday August 13, 2015
    1. Prism Lights

      -

      Children making their personal prism light holders to take home and enjoy with family.

  4. Monday August 17, 2015
    1. Personalized Soap

      -

      Children get to make their own personal soaps and top it off in a clear bottle with their picture in it.

  5. Wednesday August 19, 2015
    1. Summer Vases

      -

      Classrooms are making vases themed for summer, growing their own flowers and sharing at home with families.

  6. Tuesday August 25, 2015
    1. Brownie Parfaits in a Jar

      Children will enjoy making their very own brownie parfaits in a jar.

About Our Center

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.

Awards and Recognition

  • Valerie Vazquez  Best in Class 2014

    Valerie Vazquez Best in Class 2014

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • Spanish
  • Serbian, Italian, Polish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian
  • Special diets

Holidays Observed

We observe the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

Please note that because holidays observed may vary between centers, please be sure to check with your Center Director for specific closures.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of each child is our #1 priority at the center. Your mind will be put at ease as we discuss our health and safety procedures during the orientation process. Some of the key procedures we provide are: Key Pad entry where only parents or guardians have access to the center, fenced outdoor play area for the children, center identification system, every staff member First Aid & CPR certified, a health and safety coordinator on site, and an Illinois Health Nurse that visits and observes monthly. Our Health nurse is licensed and helps train our staff in continuous changes and procedures happening within the world of health and safety. Every staff member is finger printed along with a state and national background check clearance, before having individual contact with children. Carol Stream KinderCare is also overseen by many state and local agencies such as Carol Stream Fire, Police and Health Department, Illinois State Health Department, and DCFS of Illinois.

At KinderCare, what families say about us means a lot. Read below some of the great experiences our families have had with us.

Share Your Story
If you have a story about your experience at KinderCare, please share your story with us.

We've always felt welcome at KinderCare. The staff has been awesome working around my son and his allergies, and keeping in touch with us during the day. When he comes home every day he's showing us new things he has learned at 'school.' It is obvious that he is cared for and comfortable, resulting in him always having a great day.

- Mother

This center is 'AMAZING.' The center is extremely family-oriented, and my children get the best care possible. I would recommend this center to everyone. Ms. Sarah, Ms. Brittany, and Ms. Colleen are wonderful and caring with all three of my children, and Valerie the Center Director and Nancy the Assistant Director are a great management team who go above and beyond for all of the families in the center.

- Mother

When I started at this center I was extremely nervous leaving my child in the hands of what I called 'strangers.' But after a few short days, I felt as though the teachers were family and I had a peace of mind when leaving my child. I am now a mother of two and have both of my children in this center. There is no question that my children will grow up at this center and all of the teachers will continue to be our family.

- Mother

I refer to this center as 'My KinderCare.' I love the teachers, and my children adore the teachers and spending time at the center. I am very comfortable with the care my children receive and consider the teachers and staff to be my children's second parents.

- Mother
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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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Resources for Parents

Download helpful guides and other resources to make your child care decisions easy.