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Cottage Grove KinderCare

Lacie Gordon, Center Director

8453 East Point Douglas Rd. Cottage Grove MN 55016
(651) 458-1781 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
off Hwy 61 at Jamaica behind Subway and O'Reilly Auto Parts

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Busing is available TO and FROM Cottage Grove, Pullman, St. Andrews, Hillside, Crestview, Grey Cloud, Pine Hill, Armstrong.

It's that time of year to be thankful for what you have and help those that may not be as fortunate as we are. Please bring any donation of a new, unwrapped gift for children ages newborn through teen to your center to be donated to Toys for Tots. Donations accepted anytime before Friday, December 16, 2016. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to our center leadership team. Thank you for your donation!

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


Welcome to the Cottage Grove KinderCare Learning Center, we serve many communities including Hastings, Cottage Grove, Newport, Woodbury, and St. Paul Park. We offer 3-5 day schedules for all age groups including infants. We are always available for families who need emergency or drop in childcare. Our families come to us with many different needs and are confident in the care we offer. Our children benefit from our safe and secure childcare, one of the best educational programs in the country, and the strong bonds they develop with our teachers and other children. We are looking forward to getting to know you and your child. It would be a privilege to serve your family!

Lacie Gordon, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Sunday January 01, 2017
    1. January's Learning Focus

      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. 

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

Teachers & Staff

The teachers and staff at the Cottage Grove KinderCare are committed to education and nurturing children. Our teachers have an average tenure of 10 years at our school and an average of 15 years in the early childhood field with a combined tenure of 150 years! Many of our teachers have obtained a Child Development Credential or a degree in early childhood as a commitment to the early childhood field and our school. I am confident that you will see your child develop strong bonds with our teachers.

  • Lacie Gordon, Center Director

    Year Started:
  • Ashley Cassens

    Ashley Cassens, Assistant Director

    I truly enjoy getting to know all the children, families and wonderful teachers here at Cottage Grove KinderCare!

    Ms. Ashley is our Assistant Director here at KinderCare.  She has been with us since November of 2014 and has been an assistant director at a neighboring Knowledge Beginnings before joining us here.  Ms. Ashley has her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with minor in Early Childhood Education from UW-River Falls.  She has had many teaching experiences in early childhood education and brings thoses experiences and a passion for learning to our team!

    Previous Experience:
    Ashley has been with KinderCare since 2009. She got her start as a Pre-Kindergaten teacher and then worked her way towards being an Assistant Director a few years later.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with a Early Childhood minor
  • Ms. Barb

    Ms. Barb, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Barb is our infant teacher at the Cottage Grove KinderCare. Barb has been working for KinderCare as a teacher since 1989 and has her Child Development Associate credential. She loves getting to watch the infants in her classroom grow.

    Year Started:
    27 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    23 years
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Kary

    Ms. Kary, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Kary has been working with children for the last 20 years at other facilities along with our own. She likes knowing that she is helping the children learn.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to starting at KinderCare Ms. Kary taught infants at other childcare facilities for over ten years.
    Year Started:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 years
    Associate Degree in Human Services
  • Ms. Kelly, Discovery Preschool

    Ms. Kelly has been working for KinderCare for almost 5 years.  She enjoys working with our Discovery Preschool children beause she loves their smiling faces and their happiness!  She loves walking in each day to the chorus of "Good Mornings" from her welcoming class.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Ms. Michele

    Ms. Michele, Pre-Kindergarten

    It brings me so much joy to see a child accomplish the goal of printing their name for the very first time!

    Ms. Michele knew that she wanted to be a teacher early on, by the time she was in 8th grade. She started working at the Cottage Grove KinderCare in 1985. Ms. Michele took a few years off to try another career path, but returned after realizing this was where she wanted to be. Ms. Michele finds it very rewarding to work with children. She is proud to know that she is making a difference in her student's lives by giving them a variety of experiences each and every day to prepare them for kindergarten and the school years beyond.

    Year Started:
    31 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    18 years
    Child Development Certificate from Ellis College
  • Ms. Lisa, Pre-Kindergarten

    As our longest tenured teacher at KinderCare, Ms. Lisa has worked at KinderCare for almost 30 years!  She has been our Lead Preschool teacher for many of those years.  Ms. Lisa enjoys having creative learning opportunites for her children and loves to keep things new and exciting!

    Year Started:
    31 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    30 years
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Laura, School Age

    Ms. Laura has recenlty joined our Cottage Grove KinderCare teaching team.  She is not new to our company though, as she joined us from an Illinois KinderCare.  She is working hard to establish a true sense of community within the classroom and is excited for all the fun to be had in the School Age classroom!

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education

December 2016 Events

December Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Thursday December 01, 2016
    1. December's Learning Focus

      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.

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

About Our Center

We have been serving the Cottage Grove area for over 30 years!  We have seen many changes as this area has grown and developed!  We continue to provide quality education to this community and hope for you to be a part of it soon!

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

Health and Safety are our number one priority. We have a fenced in playground, keypad entry, and written authorization must be on file at our school prior to us releasing your child to anyone. All of our teachers are CPR and First Aid Certified. We have a Health and Safety Coordinator on staff who conducts fire drills, checks for safety in each classroom weekly and helps us ensure high cleanliness standards. Our school is also visited monthly by a Child Care Health Consultant and Public Health Nurse to assist us in ensuring the health and safety of all the children and staff in our program keeping up with the latest research and and standards.

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.

I have two children that currently attend Cottage Grove KinderCare and one former student of Cottage Grove KinderCare. I have been a KinderCare Mom for over 10 years! One of my children, my five-year-old, has a learning disability and epilepsy. When I discovered that my son had a learning disability all of his teachers and KinderCare were concerned and extremely supportive and helped me work with doctors to get him a correct diagnosis. The entire staff has gone above and beyond to help ease my mind with my child's transition into Kindergarten. Thanks to all of them I go to work and know that my children are being cared for in a loving and compassionate way with teachers that genuinely care about their well being. I can always count on them to keep me informed on how my child's day was and any achievements they have made. I have and always will recommend KinderCare in Cottage Grove to anyone that his looking for a safe, fun, and caring learning environment. I can always go to the Center Director, Liz, with any concerns or questions that I have and she listens and takes actions to solve problems.

- 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.

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Resources for Parents

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