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East Cedar Rapids KinderCare

Laura Cook, Center Director

5351 North Park Place North East Cedar Rapids IA 52402
(319) 377-8607 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 5 YEARS

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Special Instructions:
S of Blairs Ferry Rd

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
We are not currently providing transportation to any schools.

We are now currently enrolling all ages! Come in and see what our center has to offer you and your family!

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


Our experts designed our classrooms — and every activity and lesson — to help prepare your child for success in school and beyond. With designated learning centers such as dramatic play and blocks in every classroom, children have the opportunity for rich social play and child-initiated discovery. You’ll also find that our classrooms feature a print-rich environment full of carefully selected materials, written charts and labels, and children’s literature. By helping your child connect spoken words and print, we’re helping develop early literacy and writing skills. Whether your child has first words or first grade on the horizon, we’re excited to show you how everything in our center is designed for learning!

Laura Cook, Center Director

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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.

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.

Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program


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.


The Math Adventures enrichment program is designed to teach important mathematics concepts such as geometry, numbers, measurement, and probability. Your child will learn about length, height, and weight. He will learn about shapes and solids. He will learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and count money. Math is everywhere and giving your child every advantage now will add up to success later in life.


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.

Teachers & Staff

The teachers at KinderCare East are passionate about educating and providing quality care for each child. The teachers are provided with two Professional Development Days annually to further their knowledge on educating young children. The team at KinderCare East knows that meaningful moments with each child and their family is the key to their success in their early childhood development.

  • Laura Cook

    Laura Cook, Center Director

    I love watching how quickly the children learn and grow. They absorb everything aground them. I love making a difference in the lives of the children, families, staff and community.

    Laura began her career at KinderCare as a Prekindergarten teacher. She has served as a co-lead teacher at the Prekindergarten level, lead teacher for School Age summer camp and a Health and Safety Coordinator for her center and the district. She enjoys her role as the Center Director because she loves to help the teachers combine their knowledge with KinderCare's curriculum to create the best education possible. She also enjoys spending time in the classroom and getting to know all of the children and their families.

    Previous Experience:
    Laura has been a Preschool and Prekindergarten teacher, as well as a Health and Safety Coordinator.
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Mellany

    Ms. Mellany, Discovery Preschool

    I love being able to be a part of each child's learning experiences!

    Ms. Mellany is our Lead Discovery Preschool teacher and enjoys all of the children in her classroom. Each child is important to her and she shows how much she cares about them through her positive interactions.

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    Associate Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Kailee

    Ms. Kailee, Infants

    Working with infants brings me such joy! There is so much to teach!

    Ms. Kailee works in our infant room and does an amazing job. She is passionate about the children, and builds great relationships with our families. She is always making a child smile and giggle, and loves working in the infant classroom!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Kailee has worked at other child care centers, and has found her home here at KinderCare.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Mr. Matt

    Mr. Matt, Preschool

    I love being able to teach every single day!

    Mr. Matt has worked in the Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms, and found his home as a lead teacher in our Preschool classroom. The children love him and he shows a true passion for teaching each child every day.

    Previous Experience:
    Mr. Matt has worked as a substitute teacher in Iowa.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelors Degree in English
  • Ms. Crystal

    Ms. Crystal, Toddler Classroom

    I love my job! When a parent tells me his or her child has repeated something I taught them or asks about a song they sing at home, it means that I really taught them something!

    Ms. Crystal has worked for KinderCare since July of 2009. She attended Kirkwood Community College, eventually earning her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Psychology at Mt. Mercy College. Ms. Crystal believes that every moment is a learning experience.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Crystal has experience working at a juvenile treatment facility.
    Year Started:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 years
    Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Ms. Cathy

    Ms. Cathy, Toddler Classroom and Cook

    What I love most about KinderCare is seeing the smile on the children’s faces when they learn something new. Being about to watch the children grow inspires me to come to work each day.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Cathy has worked in all of the classrooms at the NE KinderCare, and loves working with children. She has worked as a teacher in the infant room for over 5 years and loves seeing the children grow as she continues her journey here at KinderCare!
    Year Started:
    16 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Cindy

    Ms. Cindy, Preschool Teacher

    I have the ability to work with all ages of children, and make connections with how each age group learns best. I have a passion for working with children and love having the opportunity to spend my time teaching every day!

    Ms. Cindy joined the team at KinderCare in the spring of 2014. She has worked with all ages of children, and has a true passion for working with any and all age groups. She has owned her own daycare, and has carried her experience over from there to the KinderCare company standards and curriculum. She is able to adjust her teaching style for any age group, and is able to communicate well with the children and families every day.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Cindy has owned her own daycare, and has worked at the SouthWest KinderCare center in Cedar Rapids before joining our team here.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 Years
  • Ms. Rachel

    Ms. Rachel, Discovery Preschool

    I love knowing that I am teaching children life-long skills that they will use every day!

    Ms. Rachel joined the team at KinderCare in the spring of 2014. She has worked as support staff, and now has found a home in the Discovery Preschool Classroom. Ms. Rachel enjoys all of the interactions and teaching opportunities that she has in the Discovery Preschool Classroom.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Brie

    Ms. Brie, Pre-Kindergarten

    "Everything you can imagine is real. - Pablo Picasso"

    Ms. Brie is such a team player and has an amazing time keeping our Pre-Kindergarten children on track for the following school year. Ms. Brie has had the pleasure of working with all ages. She has a passion for creative arts. She is always coming up with wacky splatter art projects or using card games as form of mathematics to keep the children engaged.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Brie has been a vacation Bible school teacher within the community and she has worked in other learning centers throughout Cedar Rapids.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate's Credential
  • Ms. Makayla

    Ms. Makayla, Infants

    Teaching is discovering something new every day!

    Ms. Makayla works in our Infant classroom and loves encouraging children to grow and develop new and vital skills early on. She has a passion for teaching at the early ages, and thrives on developing children's skills.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Makayla has had her own in home daycare and has worked as a volunteer student teacher at an elementary school.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education

December 2015 Events

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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.

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

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

We have many safety protocols and features at our center. We have a secured entrance with keypad entry, to ensure the safety of all staff and children for any unauthorized visitors entering the building. All of our playgrounds are fenced in, as to keep our children safe, and to not allow the public in. All of our staff are CPR, First Aid, and Mandatory Reporters certified within the first month of employment. We also have a Health and Safety Coordinator on site, who ensures the cleanliness of our center, administers medication, monitors playground safety and emergency procedures being implemented.

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.

My son has been attending KinderCare for the past year. Being around other children and with the help of his teachers, he was potty trained within a month of starting! His teachers do a great job of keeping a structured environment, and giving the one on one attention, as well as group activities to aid in working well with others. My son is better prepared for preschool thanks to KinderCare, and has a better sense of respect for teachers and other children. Thank you to all of the teachers for getting my son on track for his school years to come.

- Mother

We began our adventure with KinderCare a little over three years ago. During that time our son has progressed from the Infant Classroom through the Preschool classroom. I am routinely in awe of the things that he learns in the Preschool classroom. During our car rides home, he will tell me about an art project they did, what sound the letter "M" makes and what other words have that sound (thank you Phonics class!) It is heartwarming to see him say his goodbyes to his teachers. He starts with those in his classroom, then on to his previous teachers and the Directors! Because we have such a strong feeling about the KinderCare curriculum, environment and teachers, we also decided to enroll our little girl when she arrived! The teachers have made her feel comfortable in her new environment, and now they have her smiling and laughing all the time! We feel incredibly fortunate that we found KinderCare and this wonderful group of Teachers and Directors. We have so much gratitude for the kindness, patience, diligence and care they pass on to our little ones!

- Mother

The KinderCare Staff have become a part of our family! As first-time parents, the staff at KinderCare embraced and accepted not only our son, but also us! The teachers have influenced our son's life in more ways than expected by teaching him manners, basic skills, sign language, creativity through art and music. We are forever grateful to their undeniable commitment to teaching our son...and soon our daughter! Thank you, KinderCare staff!

- Mother

I have two children who attend our local KinderCare and there is never a time I have to worry about them. My oldest has been attending KinderCare for about four years, and my youngest started there when she was around seven months (she is now two years old). My kids wake in the morning excited to see their friends and teachers, which as a mother gives me a sense a relief because I know they are being loved and cared for. I didn't have kids to have someone else take care of them, but sadly life doesn't always work the way you want it to. Knowing that there are people are there with such big hearts educating my children when I am not around makes this mommy very happy. I love the group at our KinderCare and wouldn't want my children being lead by anyone else.

- Mother

Our son has advanced so much developmentally since starting at KinderCare! The staff are great and use fun, age-appropriate ways to make learning fun. They make him feel special when he comes each day and are always welcoming when I drop by to check on him. At the age of two he has several friends in his peer group that he talks about at home and enjoys going to see every day. We’re thankful to have a place to drop him off during the day where we know he is loved and cared for; and where he stays busy and is learning new things during the day as well!

- Mother

See what’s happening on the blog

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.

View More

Resources for Parents

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