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Highland Avenue KinderCare

Jillian Cius, Center Director

3905 South Highland Ave. Downers Grove IL 60515
(630) 963-4020 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 YEAR-OLDS

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Special Instructions:
at Highland & 39th St

Located next to Highland School, Good Samaritan Hospital and Downers Grove Fire Dept.

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Highland, Henry Puffer, Hillcrest, Lester, Belle Aire

Please note we have drop in availiabity for all Spring Break and Public School Breaks!

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


Welcome to our Downers Grove KinderCare.  Our center has attained NAEYC accreditation and the Gold Circle of Quality through ExceleRate Illinois.  The staff together have over 100 years of experience in education of young children.   Our philosophy is to educate and provide a safe and nurturing environment for all children.  We are an active part in the Downers Grove community.  Our focus is to build strong relationships with families.  We would love to see your family grow with us.
Our program has been created by a team of experts, and designed to help aid each milestone in their development. Our highly-trained staff is compassionate and eager to help aid your child with the skills they will need for a successful future. We also offer Learning Adventures which includes programs in cooking, phonics, and music for a small additional fee. These are wonderful tutorial experience where you turn learning into fun.
Jillian Cius – Center Director

Jillian Cius, 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.

  • Visit Naeyc
  • Excellerate Illinois Gold Circle 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.

Private Kindergarten Programs (5 – 6 Years)

As children reach school age, our comprehensive full-day kindergarten program helps them explore, communicate, and create – all in a nurturing, small-class setting. Our team of expert educators has created a unique curriculum of reading, language, arts, math, science, and physical fitness that’s presented in a fun way to encourage a lifelong love of learning. Plus, our program is aligned with local and state elementary school standards, so children will be prepared to confidently enter first grade.

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

The staff at Downers Grove welcome all families. We pride ourselves on great family connections and making sure all families leave happy and satisfied. We drive great curriculum and fantastic learning experiences.

  • Jillian Cius

    Jillian Cius, Center Director

    Jillian is currently the Center Director in Downers Grove and has been with KinderCare for eight years. Before coming to KinderCare, she ran a center with Head Start, Chicago Public Schools and was National Association for the Education of Young Children accredited. She came to KinderCare as an Assistant Director and was quickly promoted to Director. She has run multiple centers, but Downer's Grove has been her home center for five years now.

    Previous Experience:
    Jillian previously spent nine years in Head Start and a CPS facility.
    Year Started:
    8 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 Years
    Master's Degree Psychology, Bachelor's of Arts Degree, Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Sarah Forillo

    Sarah Forillo, Assistant Director

    Sarah has worked in child care for over fifteen years. She has previous experience in daycare and as a private nanny. She has worked with KinderCare for over six years. Her time with KinderCare started in 1999 and then she went on to pursue her Nurse Assistant Certification. Sarah returned to KinderCare in 2012 and was quickly promoted to Assistant Director of the Downers Grove center in 2013.

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 Years
  • Ms. Judy

    Ms. Judy, Infant

    Ms. Judy is a treasured asset at our center. She opens the building every morning at 5:45 am with a smile on her face. Parents in the infant room look forward to talking to her in the morning about the progress of their child. She is always full of great advice and happy to learn about the children each day. She spends the morning and early afternoon with the children and loves her time with them!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Judy has raised three children and four grandchildren in addition to her experience at KinderCare.
    Year Started:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11 Years
    Child Development Associate's Credential
  • Ms. Michelle

    Ms. Michelle, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Michelle is sweet and very loving teacher. She cares for each child at the center as if they were her own. As the lead infant teacher, she plans the curriculum and has a great rapport with parents. She loves the infant and toddler rooms because the energy of the children keep her young!

    Year Started:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 Years
    Bachelor's of the Arts Degree in Spanish Language, Child Development Associate's Credential
  • Ms. Asima

    Ms. Asima, Toddler Classroom

    Asima has been with KinderCare for over 7 years. She has always bonded with the toddler age. Ms. Asima came from Pakistan where she has studied early childhood. She has brought her skills with her and enjoys to be in a classroom. Her soft approach settles the room and brings her class together.  Asima has great communication skills with all of her parents and makes sure the core learning is showing thru there child.  Her love for the classroom and the toddlers she has shows at our center. Asima is a great segway from leaving our infant program to transitioning to our toddler program.
    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Education
  • Ms. Kelly

    Ms. Kelly, Preschool

    Ms. Kelly has transfered from our St. Louis Missouri location. She has been a teacher with KinderCare for 2 years now. Ms. Kelly is our preschool teacher and has adjusted so well. Her passion for teaching shows thru her students eyes. Her best part of the day is singing songs and making it a learning experience. Kelly has been teaching her preschool class a blend of early foundations preschool and our pre-kindergarten program. Kelly has brought many new ideas to this team and we are very greatful to have her join our team.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Bachelors in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Aubrey

    Ms. Aubrey, Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Aubrey is new to our Downers Grove location. She has been a nanny for several years and decided she would like to teach. Ms. Aubrey is in our preschool classroom and works well with her co-teacher. Aubrey looks forward to coming into work and opening the door and see the excitement of the children. She always is opened armed and welcomes all of her students. Aubrey loves to see how much the children learn in her class. She has definitely enjoyed the transition from being a nanny to a co teacher!
    Year Started:
  • Ms. Lisa

    Ms. Lisa, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Lisa has been with KinderCare for 26 years. Lisa has studied at College of Dupage and received her Child Development Associate certificate in 1992. In 2009 Lisa was awarded Knowledge Universe's Educator of the year award. Lisa has also represented KinderCare at the NAEYC conference in Washington D.C and met many members from our Senate offices to discuss Early Childhood education issues. Lisa has been interviewed for two parenting magazines and sat on an early childhood education panel at a Mom Congress Conference at Georgetown University

    Year Started:
    26 Years
    Child Development Associate certificate
  • Ms. Caryn

    Ms. Caryn, Kindergarten Classroom

    Learning is an adventure!

    Ms. Caryn is a cornerstone of our center. She has been here since the center opened and has actually seen children she had when she started bring their own children now! She loves watching the children grow in her classroom throughout the year and move on to first grade.

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

November 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.

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • German
  • Hindi
  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Special diets

Holidays Observed

New Years Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day 
After Thanksgiving
Christmas Day

Health and Safety

Health and Safety Co-ordinator: Sarah Forillo

All staff at the Highland KinderCare are First Aid and CPR trained.  Health and Safety is a high priority at our center.  Staff are trained and up to date on all state requirements as well as DuPage County.  We also are partnered with the CACFP Federal Food Program.  This program plays a vital role in improving the quality of child care. 


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.

Jada and I are so blessed to have Ms. Brittany as her teacher. Ms. Brittany comes up in a lot of Jada's conversations, even on the weekends! She is an amazing teacher with the biggest heart!

- Mother

Our son Zachary seems to split much of his time between Ms. Dee and Ms. Merisa's rooms. We think they are both great Preschool teachers. Zachie is always doing fun projects, working through interesting lesson plans. I'm constantly surprised at the things he suddenly "knows" and I realize these are things he is learning from his teachers at school. His imagination is wonderful and I think he enjoys being at school.

- Father

I want to especially thank Ms. Judy for her guidance on Delaney's food preference. D is a hearty and happy little eater, and we have been able to experiment at home with a variety of solid foods based on the feedback received from Ms. Judy.

- Mother

Ms. Michelle is always mild-mannered, patient, and kind. She makes a point to tell me cute stories about Samatha (how she carried a baby doll around all day...or how she liked to go down the slide she likes to play with her friend Jayden). It always makes me so happy to hear stories about Samantha having fun at school, since I don't get to be with her much of the day.

- Mother

I started my daughter at this center when she was in the infant classroom, and now she is in the school age program. I have worked with this center for about eight years, and I will be sad when it comes time to move on. The care my daughter receives is fantastic! I am greeted each morning and feel that my daughter is a part of a family here. Over the years my daughter has learned so much, and I have KinderCare to thank for that! I highly recommend this center to other families.

- 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

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