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Hillcrest Drive KinderCare

Randi Olson, Center Director

207 E Hillcrest Dr. Dekalb IL 60115
(815) 758-1541 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds
Open:

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Special Instructions:
at First St & Hillcrest Dr

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Malta, Jefferson, Brooks, Tyler and Cortland bus picks up and drops off.

Welcome

Welcome to the Dekalb KinderCare. I would like to thank you for your interest in this center. I hope to be able to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have. I realize this is one of the  most  important decisions you will make concerning your child's care and development. The Dekalb KinderCare serves the Dekalb School District #428, NIU, and Kishwaukee College faculty and students, as well as the surrounding areas of Dekalb, Sycamore, Malta, Cortland and Genoa. 

We provide safe, nurturing, fun and educational environment. We enroll children between the ages of six weeks to 12 years. Our preschool and Prekindergarten program provides a strong educational foundation, which will prepare your child for success in school. Each classroom and activity is designed to help your child learn, grow and succeed for the future. At the Dekalb KinderCare, we want to build an education environment in a family friendly setting. Your child's desire to return everyday is very important to us.
 

Randi Olson, Center Director

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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

Math

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.

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.

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Tuesday September 08, 2015
    1. Fall Curriculum Starts

  2. Wednesday September 09, 2015
    1. Teddy Bear Day

      Bring your teddy bear to school day!

Teachers & Staff

The teachers and staff at the DeKalb KinderCare are passionate about educating and nurturing children.  Our teachers have an average tenure of ten years in Early Childhood Education. Our center has five staff members with fifteen plus years with KinderCare. Our teachers hold degrees ranging from Childhood Development Associate's Credentials to Bachelor's Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. The DeKalb KinderCare team strives for excellence through continuing education from bi-annual trainings to seeking additional college courses or seminars in the educational field. Our center has an open door policy and we strongly encourage open communication daily through informal meetings, notes to our families and parent-teacher conferences throughout the year. The true key to our teachers' success is their passion for teaching and a love for learning.

  • Randi Olson

    Randi Olson, Center Director

    I love being a part of  the KinderCare family in Dekalb. I have seen many children grow in our center, and enjoy the opportunity to see them grow as young adults. Doing whatever I can to aide a family thrive as a unit, and help the children reach their fullest potential, makes my career at KinderCare priceless.

    Randi has been employed at KinderCare Dekalb since May of 1991. She started as a part-time substitute to earn extra money, and enjoyed it so much she turned it into her career. She became the preschool teacher, then the Assistant Director, and then the Director in July of 2013. 

    Randi currently resides in Cortland with her husband and son. Her son is a KinderCare graduate who is in accelerated classes. He may often be heard bragging to his friends and family that he is smart because he attended KinderCare.

    Previous Experience:
    Randi previously worked as a Restaurant Manager.
    Year Started:
    5/1/1991
    Tenure:
    24 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    25 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Art in English
  • Heather Hentschel

    Heather Hentschel, Assistant Director

    A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.

    Heather is the Assistant Director here at KinderCare.  She has been with Knowledge Universe  for over 4 years now and has loved every minute of it!  Heather has been in the Early Childhood field for over 15 years and 8 years in the management field.  She loves getting to know everyone of the families and is very excited about her journey here at the DeKalb KinderCare!!  

    Year Started:
    2/22/2011
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    18 years
    Education:
    Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education; Associate Degree in Arts
  • Ms. Elizabeth

    Ms. Elizabeth, Infant Classroom

    I feel lucky to work at the Dekalb center where we have families from many different cultures. I get to learn many interesting facts and customs from their countries, while providing a fun, safe, caring atmosphere in which 'our babies' can grow.

    Ms. Elizabeth started working at the DeKalb KinderCare in 1987, two days before her daughter turned two years old. After working here eight and half years, she transferred to centers in Minnesota and Texas as her family moved around. Ms. Elizabeth was thrilled to be welcomed back to DeKalb in 2003.  She feels that achieving her BS of Fine Arts, Early Childhood Classes, and her previous career of working at a hospital has helped her do well in this field, which is now her new career.  It also helped that she is a mom and a grandma.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Elizabeth spent two years working in a private daycare/Preschool in Quincy, Illinois.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Wheels on the Bus and Raffi's Version
    Year Started:
    8/24/1987
    Tenure:
    28 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    28 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree
  • Ms. Karyn

    Ms. Karyn, Infant Classroom

    A child's smile or laughter can light up the world.

    Ms. Karyn started her career in the medical field and soon decided to change to the Early Childhood Education field. She spent many years caring for children after school and in the summer. She became a qualified teacher through the Child Development Associate's Credential program, and then earned an Early Childhood Degree from Kishwaukee Junior College in 2004. Ms. Karyn also became a Department of Children and Family Services foster parent in 2004. Many years later, she adopted her son. She feels the things that make her continue in this field are knowing she is a part of creating the future and the joy of seeing her babies smile, laugh and discover new things every day.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Karyn has experience working as a Nurse's assistant and is a foster parent.
    Year Started:
    3/1/1999
    Tenure:
    16 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    14 Years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Natalie

    Ms. Natalie, Infant & Toddler Classrooms

    I love watching children learn, grow and develop their own personality.

    Ms. Natalie has been with KinderCare for five years. She has a daughter, Elizabeth, who is two, and is expecting another baby in March. Ms. Natalie enjoys working at KinderCare and looks forward to many more exciting years to come.

    Year Started:
    9/1/2008
    Tenure:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 Years
    Education:
    Early Childhood Development Credits
  • Ms. Lauri

    Ms. Lauri, Toddler Classroom

    Imagination is more important than Knowledge.  For Knowledge is limited to all we know now and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

    When Ms. Lauri joined the center in 2001, she was our Nursery teacher. After subbing for a bit in the Toddler room, Ms. Lauri found that while she loved the babies, she really enjoyed her interactions with the Toddlers and requested a room change. Since then she has run a great Toddler program, and has enjoyed teaching the children basic sign language to increase their communication skills.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Lauri spent time caring for adults with disabilities.
    Year Started:
    1/2/2001
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    12 Years
    Education:
    General Associate's Degree
  • Ms. Laura

    Ms. Laura, Toddler Classroom

    Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

    Laura has worked for KinderCare for over 4 years now and has worked in the Early Childhood field for 9.  She has worked with every age group including preschoolers, two year olds and is currently is the Toddler teacher.  She really enjoys working with the younger children and watching them grow and learn everyday.  Laura has a 7 year old and a 3 month old daughter who also attend KinderCare and they both love it.

    Year Started:
    8/30/2010
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 years
    Education:
    CDA
  • Ms. Bridget

    Ms. Bridget, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Even the smallest little thing you can teach the children can brighten their day and make a difference.

    Ms. Bridget currently resides in DeKalb, Illinois with her husband and two children, Savannah and Jacob. She grew up in Aurora, Illinois and graduated in 2002 from East Aurora High School. She attended Aurora University for three years studying Elementary Education. Ms. Bridget also has taken several classes at Waubonsee Community College to further her education along the way. She started working in childcare in 2004 and has worked in the field ever since. Ms. Bridget has worked with all ages but the two-year-old children are her favorite. Along with working in childcare, she has had many other opportunities working with children such as, starting a Girl Scout troop, teaching Sunday School at her church and participating in various activities through school volunteering with children. She looks forward to coming to work each day and seeing all the smiling faces and knowing she can make a difference in their little lives.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Bridget started a Girl Scout troop, taught Sunday School and volunteers at the public school.
    Year Started:
    6/17/2011
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 Years
  • Ms. Angela, Discovery Preschool

    Live life to the fullest and you never know what might happen next.

    Angela was born and raised in Rockford, IL.  She recently graduated from Rasmussen College with a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education.  She loves spending time with family and friends.  She also has a love for books and watching movie.

    Year Started:
    5/19/2014
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 years
    Education:
    BS in Early Childhood Education-Leadership
  • Ms. Paulette

    Ms. Paulette, Preschool Classroom

    I really enjoy seeing all of the children excited to be a school and helping them learn new skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.

    Ms. Paulette is a teacher in the Preschool room. She started with KinderCare in August 2012. Ms. Paulette has six years in the Early Childhood Education field and has an Associate's Degree in Elementary Education. She is fluent in American Sign Language. She has experience from Spectrum Early Childhood and Special Education Program with the Rantoul City School District, Growing Place and was a Girl Scout Leader for multi-age children in Rantoul and DeKalb.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Paulette worked at the Spectrum Early Childhood and Special Education Program in the Rantoul City School District, Growing Place and was a Girl Scout Leader.
    Year Started:
    8/1/2012
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 Years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Alex

    Ms. Alex, Preschool

    Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.

    Alex has been in the Early Childhood field for over 20 years.  She really enjoys working and watching children grow.  She has a teenage son that keeps her very busy when she is not working with her Preschoolers.  Alex is currently going to NIU to get her BS in Family and Child Services.

    Year Started:
    8/1/2011
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 years
    Education:
    Associates in Art
  • Ms. Maribel, Preschool

    Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss you'll land among the stars.

    Maribel grew up in Chicago and studies at Northern Illinois University where she is currently in the process of getting her BS in Family and Child Studies.  She is Mexican American and speaks fluent Spanish.  She loves working with children and is excited for her journey here at the DeKalb KinderCare.

    Year Started:
    4/1/2015
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 years
    Education:
    Bachelors in family and child studies
  • Ms. Jacki

    Ms. Jacki, Prekindergarten Classroom

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

    Ms. Jackie has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. She has been teaching four and five-year-old children for more than a decade with the first six years being at a private facility in Coralville, Iowa and the last five years being here at DeKalb KinderCare. Ms. Jacki believes that a structured classroom with many learning activities mixed with plenty of play time is the best way to keep children interested and involved. She wants all of the kids to leave her class having enjoyed their time and all of their parents to feel like their child has been well-prepared for kindergarten. In her spare time outside of the classroom, Ms. Jacki enjoys family time with her husband Jake and their daughter Isabella in her hometown of Rochelle.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Jacki worked as a Private Prekindergarten teacher, Sunday School teacher and a Girl Scout Leader.
    Year Started:
    9/1/2008
    Tenure:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science Degree in Psychology
  • Ms. Beth

    Ms. Beth, Learning Adventures Specialist

    Life's a journey.

    Ms. Beth is a mother of four with a passion for teaching. She began her career in 1998 and has taught in a variety of centers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. After work, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and three dogs, and writing about her experiences.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Beth worked at other Childcare centers.
    Year Started:
    9/1/2011
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science Degree in Human Development

August 2015 Events

August Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Tuesday August 04, 2015
    1. National Night Out

      Come see DeKalb KinderCare at the National Night Out Event.It will be a fun night of music, food, games, crafts, you can meet the local police and firefighter, see safety demonstrations and much more.Come find us at our KinderCare table and say hi!!Hope to see you there!!

  2. Tuesday August 18, 2015
    1. 30th Anniversary Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House

      Please come join us in celebrating our 30th anniversary with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a open house.The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 5:15 PM, followed by an Open House.This is open to everyone!! We will be serving snacks and refreshments.Please feel free to invite your friends and family!!Hope to see you there.

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

Center Menu

Holidays Observed

New Years Day: Closed
Presidents Day: Closed for teacher in service
Memorial Day: Closed
4th of July: Closed
Labor Day: Closed
Columbus Day: Closed for teacher in service
Thanksgiving Day: Closed
Day after Thanksgiving: Closed
Christmas Eve: Closed at 3:00pm
Christmas Day: Closed

Health and Safety

The health and safety of each child is our number one priority at the DeKalb center. Your mind will be put at ease in our care with our health and safety procedures. Some of the key procedures we provide are: Keypad entry where only parents or guardians have access to the center, fenced outdoor play area for the children, center identification system, staff members are First Aid and CPR certified, a Health and Safety Coordinator on site, and an Illinois Health Nurse that visits and observes monthly. Every staff member is finger printed along with a state and national background clearance check. DeKalb KinderCare is also overseen by many state and local agencies such as DeKalb Fire, Police and 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.

My son went here for a couple years and these caregivers are incredible people! I will always appreciate them for their love of learning they passed along to my son. Unfortunately, we had to move, but I would recommend this center to anyone!! We miss you all and thank you for all you do!

- Mother

My daughter has been going here since she was three. And she loves going everyday; loves her teachers as well she has learned a lot from this school.

- Mother

We are very grateful for the wonderful care you give to our children. We are very impressed by your professionalism and courtesy. It is obvious that you really, truly care about our children, and we are truly thankful. You are by far the best daycare we have ever experienced! Keep up the great work!

- Parents

My son has been going to KinderCare for about a year now and he absolutely loves it. He comes home everyday telling me everything he did and how he loves playing with his two teachers.

- 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

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