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South Square KinderCare

Thomas Wilson, Center Director

3703 University Dr. Durham NC 27707
(919) 489-7269 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
Behind South Square shopping center Next to Pinnacle Ridge Apartments

Hope Valley

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Hope Valley Elementary, Forest View Elementary

NOW ENROLLING for the 2015-2016 School year. We currently have openings in our School Age Program, Discovery Preschool and Early Foundations Preschool.
Have you made plans for the Fall? We are now enrolling for Fall.
Schedule a tour with us today! Call us at (919) 489-7269

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


Thank you for choosing University Drive KinderCare! We know that the first five years of life are the most important to build a strong, healthy foundation and we are committed to meet your child’s early childhood educational, social and developmental needs in our nurturing environment! The information you find here will help you to become familiar with all the great things that are happening at our school. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 919-489-7269 or stop by our school any time. Once again, thank you for choosing KinderCare, we look forward to seeing with you soon.

Thomas Wilson, 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.

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 October 13, 2015
    1. Wear Fall Colors

  2. Wednesday October 14, 2015
    1. National Dessert Day! Eat a cookie or two

Teachers & Staff

The University Drive KinderCare gains strength from helping each other and most of all empowers each other. Our common goal is to make our school the BEST educational environment for children and to support our families and our community.

  • Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson, Center Director

    I appreciate the age old quote, "Each one, teach one." We should pass on the knowledge and wisdom to the ones in our care.

    Tom has worked in the field of early childhood education and elementary school education for many years. One of his most exciting jobs was a Teacher/Counselor with the Eckerd Family Youth Alternatives program, working with troubled youth. He worked in the wilderness for 2 and 1/2 years, helping build the campsites and living quarters with the youth and taking them on hikes and 3 week long canoe / camping trips. He has two wonderful sons and loves playing soccer and basketball with them.

    Previous Experience:
    Tom previously worked as a Youth Director with the YMCA and as a Master Counselor / Teacher with Eckered Family Youth Alternatives, Inc.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Edwina, the Dinosaur That Didn't Know She Was Extinct" by Mo Willems "Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great" by Bob Shea
    Year Started:
    11 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Early Childhood Credentials, Admin. Level II, Bachelor's of Arts in Business Administration, Master's Level coursework in Social Work and Education
  • Kimberly Hersey

    Kimberly Hersey, Assistant Director

    I love my job because I have always been called to work with children and build relationships to support them.

    Kim has been working with children for as long as she can remember. With experience and training ranging from the Girl Scouts of America, private child care work and university training, she is thrilled to be doing this work. In her free time, Kim likes to knit and crochet and is a voracious consumer of books, music and coffee.

    Previous Experience:
    Kim most recently worked as the Assistant Center Director of the KinderCare school on Millbrook Road in Raleigh, and previously as the school age lead teacher at the same school.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Pippi Longstocking" by Astrid Lindgren "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Theater; K-12 Teaching License in Theater Arts
  • Ms. Crystal

    Ms. Crystal, Infant Classroom - Early Foundations

    I love my job because I love knowing that each day I teach, I am making a significant impact to the lives of my students.

    Ms. Crystal was born and raised in North Carolina. She has two children, and one beautiful grandchild. Outside of our school, she enjoys traveling, singing, and meeting new people.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Crystal joins us with two years of previous experience at our sister school, KinderCare of Knightdale, as well as seven years in other centers as a lead teacher and Assistant Director. She also owned and operated her own in-home child care center for seven years.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Goodnight, Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 1996
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, Early Childhood Credentials I and II, Administration Credentials Level I
  • Ms. Rosalyn

    Ms. Rosalyn, Infant Classroom

    I love my job because I love to watch children grow and develop.

    Ms. Rosalyn raised her four children on her own before she saw the need for childcare in her community. She pursued her training and credentials in Early Childhood Education so that she could open her in home daycare center to serve her community. Seven years later, Ms. Rosalyn is still serving the children and families of Durham, now in our Infant classroom.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Rosalyn has experience as the owner and operator of an in- home child care center.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do YOu See? by Eric Carle. " The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 2013
    North Carolina Credentials I and II, Early Childhood Education Credits
  • Ms. Katrina

    Ms. Katrina, Toddler Classroom

    I love my job because I love to see children grow and develop into wonderful human beings!

    Ms. Katrina loves her job, she can't imagine doing anything other than teaching and helping children. She likes to play, run, grow and teach along with her students.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Katrina worked for one year in a group care setting before starting he career at South Square KinderCare.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. "Peter's Chair" by Ezra Jack Keats
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 2011
    Bachelor's Degree in Family & Consumer Sciences
  • Ms. Stephanie

    Ms. Stephanie, Discovery Preschool

    Enriching children by educating them to treat others the way they would like to be treated.

    Ms. Stephanie has an 11 year old son, who is her absolute pride and joy. She was born and raised in the Daytona Beach, FL area.
    She has worked in childcare for the last 16 years. Ms. Stephanie has done everything from teaching in a classroom, tutoring to running children’s fitness classes. Ms. Stephanie earned her Associates of the Arts degree in Elementary Education at Daytona State College and is continuing her education further in early childhood development. Her favorite things to do are hiking, swimming and trying new foods, fortunately Durham has a ton of fun new restaurants to explore. Ms. Stephanie's philosophy in childcare is to teach children by setting the example of treating others the way you would like to be treated.
    Ms. Stephanie transferred to South Square KinderCare from Ormond Beach, FL KinderCare where she held the position of Assistant Director.
    She is extremely excited to be a part of this school and cannot wait to meet all of you!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Stephanie has transferred from another KinderCare school in Florida.
    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 1999
    Associates of Arts degree in Elementary Education.
  • Ms. Erica

    Ms. Erica, Discovery Preschool

    In the end we only regret the chances we didn't take. Never give up

    Ms. Erica is from Durham, NC. She attended North Carolina Central University where she received her BS Family & Consumer Science with a concentration in Child Development & Family Relations. After she graduated, she moved to Greensboro and worked in Head Start for 6 years. She worked there for 6 years. She then moved back to Durham where she continued working in head start for 1 more year.
    She joined KinderCare in August of 2015 and is very excited to be working with the Two year olds!
    Ms. Erica has a great passion for working with children and enjoyes using her creativity to enhance childrens' learning and development.
    Her greatest pleasure is seeing children grow and hit milestones. She also enjoys spending time with her son and family. On her spare time, Ms. Erica enjoys writing stories and poems, coloring, shopping, traveling, going to church and just enjoying life!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Erica has experience working in different Head Start programs in Greensboro and Durham.
    Year Started:
    Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Science Concentration in Child Development & Family Relations.
  • Ms. Elise

    Ms. Elise, Preschool

    Play is the highest form of research.
    -Albert Einstein

    Ms. Elise is from Maryland. She attended NC Central University where she received her Bachelor's in Consumer Science with a Concentration in Family Relations. She has been teaching since 2011 and she has worked with all age groups from 6 weeks to Pre Kindergarten.
    Ms. Elise enjoys being in a key role to help foster your child's development. She is thankful for the children she has in her care and is very excited to be a member of the KinderCare family!

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 2010
    Bachelor's of Science in Family & Consumer Science with a Concentration in Child Development & Family Relations.
  • Ms. Jessica

    Ms. Jessica, Pre- Kindergarten

    Teaching my students gives me a purpose!

    Ms. Jessica's approach to teaching is showing a tremendous amount of passion. Children respond to the curriculum when the educator is excited about the children's learning process. Ms. Jessica feels is her obligation everyday to change lives, and to ensure her students that they are safe and share a positive attitude throughout her classroom.
    The Pre- kindergarten classroom culture is based on a creative free expression of each student. As their teacher, it is her objective to provide the students with an environment that enhances and promotes that expression.

    Previous Experience:
    Customer Service Manager
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 2014
    Bachelor's of Science in Child Development and Family Relations
  • Ms. Linda

    Ms. Linda, Floater

    Helping the children adjust to school and seeing their smiling faces inspires me to come to work each day!

    Ms. Linda joins us from KinderCare in Chapel Hill, where she prepared and served healthy and delicious meals for 7 years. She is energetic and always has a smile for all of her students.

    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 2005
    North Carolina Credentials I & II
  • Ms. De- Idra

    Ms. De- Idra, Cook

    Life has a way of testing our anchors and tempting us to drift. Nevertheless, if our anchors are correctly places they will hold no matter the force of the wind or strength of the tide.
    -Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

    Ms. De-Idra is a native of New Jersey who loves spending time with family and friends. When she is not here serving up delicious meals or giving a warm hug, she is probably with her nieces whom she adores very much! She loves to sing during circle time and creating new songs and dances. She enjoyes making unique and different crafts at home.
    Ms. De-Idra finds joy in cooking. It makes her happy to feed children and to know her nutritious meals are helping them grow!
    Ms. De-Idra loves teaching her children new things. She feels she is learning while teaching the children.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Since 1999
    Pursuing Associate's Degree

October 2015 Events

October Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Thursday October 01, 2015
    1. Lupus Awareness Month- Wear Purple

  2. Monday October 05, 2015
    1. Fire Prevention week

  3. Tuesday October 06, 2015
    1. Breast Cancer Awareness- Wear Pink

  4. Thursday October 08, 2015
    1. Pajama Day

  5. Friday October 09, 2015
    1. Crazy Hair day

  6. Monday October 12, 2015
    1. Professional Development Day

  7. Tuesday October 13, 2015
    1. Wear Fall Colors

  8. Wednesday October 14, 2015
    1. National Dessert Day! Eat a cookie or two

  9. Thursday October 15, 2015
    1. Bring a Fall book to share

  10. Friday October 16, 2015
    1. Fall Festival

  11. Monday October 19, 2015
    1. Dress like your Favorite Super Hero Day!

  12. Tuesday October 20, 2015
    1. Let's Talk About Fall: Community Social!

  13. Wednesday October 21, 2015
    1. Fall Leaf Collage

  14. Thursday October 22, 2015
    1. Wear Your Favorite Sport Team Jersey!

  15. Friday October 23, 2015
    1. Bring Teddy Bear to School

  16. Monday October 26, 2015
    1. Bake Pumpkin Seeds

  17. Tuesday October 27, 2015
    1. Wacky Sock Day

  18. Wednesday October 28, 2015
    1. National Oatmeal Day

  19. Thursday October 29, 2015
    1. Tell a Story Day

  20. Friday October 30, 2015
    1. Carve a Pumpkin Day!

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

  • French

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Holidays Observed

New Year's Day
President's Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Day before Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Eve (closing at 3:00 pm)
Christmas Day

Health and Safety

Your family's health and safety is our primary concern. Our school offers a secure keypad entry, fenced in playgrounds and staff members are certified in CPR, First Aid and SIDS prevention.

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.

A little over a year ago, we took on the role (by surprise and out of necessity) of foster parents to our FOUR nieces and nephews! It was a major life changing event, especially this late stage in our life, that was not anticipated nor were we prepared. We have not had kids at this young age in our life for almost 15 years. Immediately, we began searching for a reputable child care facility. We heard positive things about KinderCare and decided to try it for ourselves. It was the right decision!
KinderCare has helped us in so many ways. It has been TREMENDOUS factor in the development of the kids. The environment is friendly and safe. The children enjoy the company of the staff. They facilitate class work that prepared children for elementary, to include other skills such as social, fine motor, and speech skills. KinderCare is always flexible in helping us with our specific needs. Mr. Tom, Ms. Kim and Ms. Jessica are awesome! They give us words of advice on age appropriate development to academic issues and even how to address behavior issues appropriately. They genuinely love and care for our children and the children who come into their care. We don't know where we would be without their help. We cannot imagine how our lives would be if it was not for their help and guidance in our daily life. Either my wife or I regularly say to each other and to people we know, "I cannot do this without their help." We have noticed such a difference in the children since coming to KinderCare. We truly appreciate the KinderCare and its staff.

- Parent

My three-year old daughter and I started at KinderCare the same week the director, Tom Wilson, started. During my interview process with him, he was very candid and passionate about changes that were needed, and changes he felt would greatly serve our community. For whatever reason, I choose to believe him immediately. Whatever the situation was, it was better than where I had been.
With Mr. Tom’s honest approach, I felt he deserved to know what my honest expectations were for my growing and busy two-year old. I had a list of things that I wanted and expected, because at two, I wanted my daughter to find and learn success at her tender age. After doing some research, I felt that KinderCare had amazing age appropriate tools for success, including assistance with potty training, a soft introduction into second languages, and a cooking class!
We have been there for nine months now. My daughter speaks very well. Her vocabulary still shocks me. She is adjusted, well-rounded, and does very well with other children. She has adapted to the classroom setting very easily. Most importantly, she loves it there! She knows all of the teachers by name; she has been given opportunities to experience the four-year old class. As when she transitions, it will not be new for her. She has blossomed, under the care of Mr. Tom and his wonderful staff.
She very proudly will let you know that’s her ‘scooool’. We are still working on getting the H in there. It’s such a wonderful thing, when we are at the doctor’s office, grocery store, or park, and I am stopped and asked how old she is and where does she go to school, because she speaks so well. After I proudly let them know, we are a Kinder Baby, it’s just that much more reassuring that I made the right decision, when the response is, “mom, you should be very proud, because they have done right by you.”

- 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.

View More

Resources for Parents

Download helpful guides and other resources to make your child care decisions easy.