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Crystal Lake KinderCare

Erin Wood, Center Director

645 Dakota St. Crystal Lake IL 60012
(815) 477-2580 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 YEAR-OLDS

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Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Hussman Elementary, Prairie Grove Elementary North Elementar,y Coventry Elementary

We are so excited to show you all of the great things that are happening this fall at our center!  We offer many scheduling options from one day a week to full time. Give us a call today to learn about them!  Come and check out our new school-age curriculum this fall!  We are now offering Transitional Kindergarten for the children that miss the Kindergarten cutoff date!


Welcome to the beautiful Crystal Lake KinderCare serving Crystal Lake, Prairie Grove, McHenry, Bull Valley, Island Lake and the surrounding communities! We are excited that the teachers at Crystal Lake KinderCare have over 80 years of combined experience in an early childhood setting. At KinderCare, we provide an educational environment that is both safe and nurturing. We believe in developing the whole child with an emphasis on assisting your child's development socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. We are very excited to meet with you and your family!

Erin Wood, Center Director

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

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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.

Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program

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 Crystal Lake KinderCare are passionate about providing quality education for all children in their care. At our center every teacher in the building is teacher qualified and most are director qualified. We strive for excellence through continuing education through teacher professional development days and monthly staff trainings. Stop by and visit our center and see our outstanding educators.

  • Erin Wood

    Erin Wood, Center Director

    Thank you for considering Crystal Lake KinderCare. I am excited about the opportunity to get to know your family. At KinderCare we provide your child with an opportunity to grow, develop and play in a safe and nurturing environment. Thank you for the opportunity to educate your child.

    Erin graduated from Illinois State University in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She started working for KinderCare in February of 1999. She started in Streamwood, and then she opened the Prairie Stone KinderCare, in Hoffman Estates, in early 2000. She worked as the Center Director there for almost 10 years. After moving to Huntley, She transferred to the Algonquin KinderCare as the Center Director. In May of 2010, she was able to become a stay at home mom. She was at home for two and a half years and decided it was time to go back to work. It was an easy decision where she wanted to work. She wanted her son to experience the wonderful curriculum that KinderCare offers. In her spare time she likes to spend time with her husband and two children.

    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 years
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Lisa Friedle

    Lisa Friedle, Assistant Director

    I look forward to walking in the door each day to the bright smiles and laughter of the children.

    Lisa has been with Crystal Lake KinderCare since its opening in 2003. She has been working with children for over twelve years. She helps in the classrooms as needed, works in the office and also drives the bus. Lisa is the mom to three wonderful children who have all attended Crystal Lake KinderCare. She is dedicated to making sure that every child that she cares for has a wonderful experience.

    Previous Experience:
    Previously taught at La Petite Academy, worked for a Veterinarian as an office assistant, and taught religious education at her church
    Year Started:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    12 Years
    Associate's Degree in General Education
  • Ms. Cheryl

    Ms. Cheryl, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Cheryl teaches in the infant classroom along with Ms. Julie and has been with KinderCare since 2001. She lives in Harvard with her husband, Matt and her son, Caden who loves coming to KinderCare. He has learned so much and thinks his teachers are awesome! Ms. Cheryl loves caring and teaching the infants in her classroom. She especially loves watching them grow and develop.

    Year Started:
    16 Years
  • Ms. Julie, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Julie joined KinderCare in 2006 and teaches in the infant classroom, which is her favorite age group to work with. Ms. Julie lives in Harvard with her boyfriend Jesse and her three children Bianca, Jesse, and Makayla. All of her children have attended the Crystal Lake KinderCare - her youngest daughter Makayla is still there. Ms. Julie's hope is to bring the children she teaches as much love as her own children have received while there.

    Year Started:
    11 Years
  • Ms. Pam

    Ms. Pam, Infant and Toddler Classrooms

    I love helping students learn their letters and eventually learn to read!

    Ms. Pam went to school at Bowling Green State University. She loves filling her classroom with the alphabet and pictures to go with each letter. In her free time, she also loves to go hiking with snow shoes and her family.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to KinderCare, Ms. Pam worked as a substitute teacher K-5 for three years.
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Two years
    Degree in Education, Major Speech Therapy
  • Ms. Nicole H.

    Ms. Nicole H., Discovery Preschool Classroom

    What I love most about early childhood education is seeing the excitement on the children's faces when they learn something new.

    Ms. Nicole teaches in the discovery preschool classroom at our center. She does an amazing job executing her curriculum in her classroom. She works in conjunction with parents to provide the best possible potty training experiences for the children in her care. Each day the children inspire Ms. Nicole to come to work!

    Year Started:
    9 Years
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Sara

    Ms. Sara, Preschool Classroom

    What I love most about working at KinderCare Learning Center is watching the children grow and develop daily.

    Year Started:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 years
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Cathy

    Ms. Cathy, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love to watch the children grow!

    Ms. Cathy is one of lead Prekindergarten teachers. She is amazing at preparing the children for Kindergarten. She works with them on literacy, math, science, art and music. Ms. Cathy provides a lot of small group activities that are literacy based. The children spend a lot of time in her classroom mastering the tasks needed to start Kindergarten. In her spare time Ms. Cathy also teaches figure skating lessons! Ms. Cathy just won the "Pride of KinderCare" award for her outstanding curriculum implementation in her classroom.

    Year Started:
    15 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11 years
    Associate's Degree

Upcoming Center Activities

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September's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Spaces and Places and All About Me
As infants and toddlers explore the spaces and places around them, children in Discovery Preschool will learn all about what makes people the same as well as what makes them different. Infants will experiment with moving toy cars around, build block towers and then knock them down, and even take a tour of the center to see what things are like outside of their classroom! Toddlers will get all revved up as they take a closer look at different vehicles and learn more about neighborhoods, communities, and the jobs that grownups have. In Discovery Preschool, children will be learning about themselves as they play games that strengthen their five senses, discuss feelings and emotions, practice self-help skills, and work on learning the names of body parts.

Children 4 to 5 years old: All About Me and My Home and Family
It’s the beginning of the school year—the perfect time to get to know each other better! Older children will be spending time sharing about themselves, their homes, and their families as they learn what makes people the same and what makes them different. Children will bring their own experiences to the drawing board as they create group stories and 3-D collages about families and homes, pantomime different home- and family-related activities, and draw self-portraits. With our curriculum’s project-related learning component, children in Transitional Kindergarten work together to decide on an individual or whole-group project related to the theme. Past projects have included creating a class book about emotions or working together to build a small-scale home, but who knows—the children may come up with a unique idea that’s entirely their own!

Monday September 04, 2017
Center Closed for Labor Day

About Our Center

KinderCare of North Crystal Lake achieved national accreditation from NAEYC in August of 2014.  We also achieved a Gold Circle of Quality from Excellerate Illinois in November of 2014.

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Center Menu

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

At KinderCare Learning center the safety and security of your child is one of our top priorities. We have two locked security doors into which the parents must enter a code to enter the building. Our playgrounds are also fenced and locked. We practice monthly fire and tornado drills and have a center evacuation plan in place.  All of our teachers are trained in First Aid and CPR.

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.

The teachers and staff at KinderCare in Crystal Lake are wonderful.  Erin and Lisa are very welcoming and informative when you walk in; and there’s always coffee available for busy moms & dads on their way to work.  The teachers our son has had over the years have always been very caring and attentive.  Some of his teachers also taught our daughter seven years ago.  The projects and units planned are fun, and also educational.  We always look forward to extra fun like Pajama Day.  Social interaction between peers and teachers is always good, and we love that they have outdoor playtime every day.  I would definitely recommend KinderCare in Crystal Lake!

- Mother

My son Benjamin is almost nine months old. He has been attending KinderCare since he has been seven weeks old. Being a first time mom I was worried about putting him in daycare or leaving him with anyone really. My concerns were put at ease on Ben's first day. The director Erin is always there for any questions I may have and his teachers are all wonderful. If Benjamin isn't feeling well or does something new they always tell me. His teachers always seem interested in his needs and are constantly communicating with me. I love the projects that they do with him and have beautiful art work he has made. This daycare experience has way more than exceeded my expectations.

- Mother

Resources for Parents

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