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Columbia KinderCare

Mindy Mantlo, Center Director

2416 West Ash St. Columbia MO 65203
(573) 445-9488 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Center is located off W. Ash St. behind Old Navy

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Fairview Elementary, Paxton-Keely Elementary, Russell Elementary, Mill Creek Elementary, West Elementary, Grant Elementary, Columbia Independent School, Beulah Ralph Elementary

All of us at the Columbia KinderCare would like to invite you to stop by our center for a tour. With our family friendly focus, you can stop by any time that is convenient for you. We would love to show you what a nationally accredited center has to offer your child and your family. 


Welcome to the KinderCare Learning Center in Columbia, MO! We are conveniently located two blocks west of Stadium Blvd. on West Ash Street behind Old Navy. When families walk into KinderCare, they will find a safe, clean, and fun early learning program that invokes a feeling of family and sparks a love of lifelong learning. Come see our nationally accredited classrooms and discover how your child will learn and grow from infancy through the school-age years. Our teachers and staff are passionate about each child’s success! Families who want the best for their children will love what we have to offer.

Mindy Mantlo, Center Director

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

Image Gallery

children with teacher


We’re so proud!

Nationally only 10% of daycares are accredited–nearly 100% of our learning centers are. That’s a big difference, and that means KinderCare kids are getting the very best. Here’s why.

illustrated bear in rocketship


Our kids are taking off!

By kindergarten, our kids are testing ahead of their peers. Read all about it.


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


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

Please meet our wonderful team of teachers. We are all dedicated to ensuring your child has a fun day full of learning!

  • Mindy Mantlo

    Mindy Mantlo, Center Director

    If a child cannot learn in the way we teach, we must teach in the way the child can learn.

    I teach because I have a true passion for working with children and training high-quality early childhood teachers. I strive to provide you and your child with the best early childhood experience possible.

    Previous Experience:
    I have 25 years of experience working in early childhood education.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Year Started:
    22 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Early Childhood/Elementary Educaction
  • Stacey Jones

    Stacey Jones, Assistant Director

    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. -Benjamin Franklin

    I teach because I truly enjoy being part of the learning and growth of so many children.

    Previous Experience:
    I have 26 years experience working in early childhood education including five years as a prekindergarten teacher and 8 years as a center director.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!
    Year Started:
    22 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Emily

    Ms. Emily, Prekindergarten

    Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world. -Nelson Mandela

    I teach because I get to educate children and watch them grow while developing the skills they need to be successful later in life.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 years
    Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Malinda

    Ms. Malinda, Infant Room

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. -Albert Einstein

    I teach to see the "ah-ha" moments sparkle in the children's eyes when they learn something new.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    My Monster Mama Loves Me So!
  • Ms. Gabbi

    Ms. Gabbi, Infant Classroom

    A smile from a child is packaged sunshine and rainbows.

    I love watching as my students explore and grow.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Oh the Places You Will Go
  • Ms. Sydney

    Ms. Sydney, Infant Room

    The best things in life are not things, it's the people in life who make you feel loved and cared for.

    I love teaching for the feeling of accomplishment, to witness my students grow in knowledge, confidence and skills is very rewarding.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Kissing Hand
  • Ms. Katie

    Ms. Katie, Infant Classroom

    Think left, think right, think low, and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if you only try." -Dr.Seuss

    I have always wanted to be a teacher because I want to make a difference in the generations to come.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Green Eggs & Ham
  • Ms. Emily

    Ms. Emily, Transitional Infant Room

    Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." -Margaret Mead

    I love taking an old experience and seeing it through the eyes of a child. Each child can experience the same thing differently and then I get to learn something new, too!

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Book With No Pictures
  • Ms. Courtney

    Ms. Courtney, Toddler Classroom/ Health and Safety Coordinator

    Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever. -Walt Disney

    I teach because I love of watching the children grow and knowing that I've made an impact on their lives.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Lorax by: Dr. Seuss
  • Ms. Sarah

    Ms. Sarah, Toddlers Classroom

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

    I love teaching to be a positive role model in children's lives and to see them grow in their education.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Harry Potter Series
  • Ms. Jasmae

    Ms. Jasmae, Toddler Classroom

    A person's a person, no matter how small." -Dr. Suess

    I love making a positive impact on a child's life and watching them grow!
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Horton Hears a Who!
  • Ms. Isabelle

    Ms. Isabelle, Toddler Classroom

    Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

    I love seeing the difference that I can make in a kid's life.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Officer Buckle and Gloria
  • Ms. Jackie

    Ms. Jackie, Discovery Preschool

    Don't be afraid of silly ideas. -Paul Ardew

    I teach because I love seeing children learn new things and helping them retain that information is one of the best feelings ever. I know I help them.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Fireman Small
  • Ms. Morgan

    Ms. Morgan, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    I teach because I have many talents, and only teaching allows me to use them all to help children be inspired.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Giving Tree

  • Ms. Bri

    Ms. Bri, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    The sky is the limit.

    I love teaching because I have the ability to make a positive impression on a child's life at an early, yet crucial, age.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom
  • Ms. Molly

    Ms. Molly, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Why fit in when you were born to stand out? -Dr. Seuss

    I teach for the love of watching children grow and learn. I love seeing their development from day-to-day and month-to-month. I teach knowing that I have an impact on their lives.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    One Fish, Two Fish by: Dr. Seuss
  • Ms. Amanda

    Ms. Amanda, Preschool Classroom

    It's okay to stand out and be different.

    I love children in general. There is something about seeing them grow that is very rewarding. It is hard to put into words.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Ms. Brittanie

    Ms. Brittanie, Preschool Preschool

    So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life's a great balancing act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

    Knowing that I can help children get excited about learning and that they will carry that excitement through their life is amazing.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    I Love You Forever
  • Ms. Connie

    Ms. Connie, Prekindergarten Classroom

    We could all do random acts of kindness everyday.

    I became a teacher to hopefully have the same positive impact on children's lives that I had from teachers. I gained a desire to read, explore and always want to learn more even at my age because of teachers.

    Favorite Children's Book:
  • Ms. Kath

    Ms. Kath, School Age Classroom

    Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it." -Danny Kaye

    I love watching kids learn and discover the passions that will stay with them for life.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    A Bad Case of Stripes
  • Ms. Kathern

    Ms. Kathern, Center Cook

Upcoming Center Activities

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Filter Center Calendar
April's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Growing Gardens

What better time to explore the beauty and science of flowers and gardens than the spring? Infants’ learning will focus on sensory experiences with different plants and flowers, while toddlers and three-year-olds have the opportunity to learn how to care for plants. We’ll plant seeds in soil, water the plants, observe bugs and discover how they help plants grow, and even plant a butterfly garden outside! We’ll build math skills by counting seeds, learn new vocabulary words related to flowers and plants, and as always, sing songs and read books involving gardens. 

Children 4–5 years old: In the Spring + Wild Animals

For children in the Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten Classrooms, April is about exploring all things spring and discovering wild animals! Preschoolers will look for signs of spring outdoors, make mud cakes and count the twigs placed in them, and paint still-life paintings of things related to spring. When our learning turns to wild animals, we’ll learn about the habitats and habits of creatures big and small while maintaining a focus on learning lowercase letters. 

The older children in Transitional Kindergarten will focus on project-related work and pick something to work on together. In years past, children have painted a mural, made spring parade floats, painted wild animal masks, and created a model of a wild animal’s habitat. Both of these units focus on expanding the children’s understanding of the natural world around them.

Monday April 10, 2017
Come get a sneak peek of summer at KinderCare during our Open House event, from April 10th – 14th.

At KinderCare, our summer adventures are designed for learning and fun. We love taking our experiments outside, having special guests visit our centers, and even exploring our senses on walks outside or by rolling around in the cool grass. We can’t wait to meet you and show you what makes our centers special and why we would love to spend our summer with you!

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.

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Vegetarian
  • Special diets

Center Menu

Holidays Observed

New Year's Day
President's Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Thanksgiving Day
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day

Health and Safety

The Columbia KinderCare places the health and safety of their children first at all times. We have a health and safety coordinator on staff Monday through Friday who ensures the safety requirements and compliance of state regulations. The center is locked at all times, and there is a single entrance in and out of the building requiring keypad entry. Each and every teacher has been CPR and First Aid certified.

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.

When we were pregnant we did some rigorous interviewing and touring of daycare facilities, just as you are now, so I understand your concerns. We were impressed by staff, the lesson plans and the philosophy of KinderCare. The location is thirty minutes out of our way each day but we felt it was worth the additional drive time and we have not been disappointed. Our daughter started attending when she was eight weeks old and has been there ever since. The teachers have exceeded our expectations! We have been exceptionally happy with her care and our daughter is excited to go to school every day so we know she loves it too! The education is outstanding and the teachers are willing to share with you the lesson plans  so you can continue the learning process at home. I strongly recommend you give KinderCare a try. We are expecting our second daughter in the fall and there is nowhere else we would want to take her!

KinderCare family since 2012

- Father

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.

What should I look for when choosing a childcare center?:

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