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Essex KinderCare

Heather Kjos, Center Director

158 Westbrook Rd. Essex CT 06426
(860) 767-1072 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 8 YEAR-OLDS
Open:

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Updated Information on Credit Cards

When you come to us with a need for something to make your experience with KinderCare easier, not only do we listen, but we take action. That's why you can now take care of your KinderCare tuition payments online using a checking or savings account, debit card or Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card. Log in each week to pay or set up a recurring payment and your payments will be deducted automatically. Contact the office to discuss online payment options and how to sign up at a time that's convenient for you.
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Welcome

Hello and welcome to our KinderCare page! We are so excited you took the time to look around our school and can't wait to have you come and tour in person. We have a wonderful team who is passionate about children. Please come in to see us, we cant wait to meet you and your child.

Heather Kjos, Center Director

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Accreditation

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.

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

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. 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

Welcome to our team page! Our teachers are all dedicated to helping your child grow and learn. We are excited to meet you!

  • Heather Kjos

    Heather Kjos, Center Director

    Children and caring for families is my passion. I am so grateful that I get to come to work every day and paint, sing, and play. I can't think of one thing I'd rather be doing. The children greet me everyday with smiles and hugs. Who wouldn't want to work in that environment?

    Heather has been with KinderCare for 20 years. She started her work here as a teacher. She can still remember the first time that she saw a child learn something new. That moment is something Heather wants to keep creating. She loves providing new experiences for children and feels lucky that everyday she gets to laugh and play.

    Year Started:
    4/1/1991
    Tenure:
    25 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    24 Years
    Education:
    Child Development Associate's Credential
  • Robin Appleby

    Robin Appleby, Assistant Director

    I love that I feel like a rock star every day I go into the classroom. The children run up to me and scream my name because they are happy to see me.

    Robin is a very important part of our team here at KinderCare. There is always a child looking for her in the morning or the afternoon to get daily hug. She is kind, patient, fun, and always has a smile on her face! Robin gets to spend time in every classroom, and she is able to build relationships with every child. Robin has just received her Child Development Associates Degree. Something that most people do not know is that she used to run her own home daycare, so she has a lot of experience within the industry. Personally, Robin has five children of her own. She also has three grandchildren with whom she enjoys getting to see.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to starting at KinderCare Robin ran her own in-home daycare.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2002
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 Years
    Education:
    Child Development Associate's Credential
  • Ms. Evelyn

    Ms. Evelyn, Infant Classroom

    Every day is filled with comedy, joy, and laughter! Who wouldn't want to experience that?

    Ms. Evelyn is a mother of two, and a grandmother, albeit a very young grandmother, of four. She has spent most of her adult life working with children, mainly in a volunteer capacity. She approaches each day with humor, quick wit, and immeasurable patience. Her favorite quote is from Cesar Pelli, who said, "We don't remember days - we remember moments." Her goal is to provide the children with many memorable moments. Because Ms. Evelyn has worked with children for so long, she realizes that a small smile can sometimes be the best reward.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Evelyn was a Girl Scout Leader and a nanny.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2012
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 Years
  • Ms. Michelle

    Ms. Michelle, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Michelle has worked both in our infant and one-year-old classrooms. She had previously taught toddlers at her other center. She helps to ease parents' minds when they are headed off to work with her attention to detail and her consistent and loving mannerisms. You can find her singing, reading and hugging on a daily basis.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Michelle worked at another center before coming to KinderCare.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2004
    Tenure:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Child Development Associate's Credential, Head Teacher Certification
  • Ms. Angela

    Ms. Angela, Toddler Classroom

    I love coming in each morning being greeted by these smiling faces knowing that I get to be a part of helping them become the wonderful learners they are.

    Ms. Angela comes in each day with a smile and is ready to start the day. She is always bringing in different materials to use for art or sensory. Her favorite thing to do in the classroom is be creative. She uses new materials and loves to make a mess, and her kids love it too! Ms. Angela is patient and kind and the children respond well to her quiet mannerism. Outside of work Ms. Angela loves to be outdoors and doing crafts.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Angela has experience in all age groups, and as a Head Teacher in all age groups.
    Year Started:
    12/29/2009
    Tenure:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Head Teacher certification
  • Ms. Kim

    Ms. Kim, Preschool Classroom

    To walk in and see big smiles on the children's faces and warm embraces makes a great start to each day. To know that I am helping them become their own person through my guidance, patience and love is the biggest reward.

    Ms. Kim is a mother of two children. Her passion is educating and interacting with children. Ms. Kim is a hard working and energetic person who comes to work with a smile and a positive attitude. She has over ten years experience in childcare and always embraces the opportunity to have a positive impact on the children's lives.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Kim spent ten years working at a YMCA Preschool year for three to five-year-old children, a Girl Scout Leader, a summer school aide and babysitting.
    Year Started:
    9/1/2013
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Business Administration
  • Ms. Danielle

    Ms. Danielle, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    The second I walk in the door I am greeted with bright smiling facves, hugs, and excitement from my students. They instantly make my day filled with joy. I can honestly say that they teach me so much more than I could ever hope to teach them about life and learning.

    Ms. Dani has worked with children of all ages in a variety of different settings. She started out coahing soccer and quickly realized she was passionate about teaching children. She interned at the Boys an Girls Club of Ridgefield where she was able to gain expeirence in program planning and lesson planning. She brings a lot of energy into her classroom and works to make every toddler feel comfortable and excited about learning. Her patience and love for teaching make her a great member of the Essex KinderCare team! 

    Previous Experience:
    Taught at Goddered School, and coached ages 4-8 for Danbury Youth Soccer Club.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2016
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    Education:
    BA of Science in Health Promotional Studies
  • Ms. Alane

    Ms. Alane, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love watching the children grow into who they were created to be.

    Ms. Alane has recently started teaching our Pre-K classroom. She previously taught at the Haddam Co-op for four years. She also owned and operated her own dance studio for 22 years. Her first love has always been children and the growth and developmemt of preschoolers is the most rewarding. 

    Previous Experience:
    Taught preschool for four years and owned her own dance studio for 22 years.
    Year Started:
    8/1/2016
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 Years
    Education:
    Associates in Interior Design
  • Ms. Robyn

    Ms. Robyn, Floater

    Nothing in the world compares to the look on a child's face when they learn something new or overcome a challenging obstacle. I enter the classroom each day excited to help my students learn and grow!

    Ms. Robyn has been working with children, in a school setting, since the age of seventeen. In college, Ms. Robyn studied elementary education and psychology courses focused on child growth and development. Upon completion of graduate school, Robyn used her education degree to work in schools around New Haven County. Ms. Robyn came to KinderCare in May of 2012 and is currently the lead teacher of our preschool class. Ms. Robyn uses her elementary education background when planning and implementing lessons and activities for her students. She devotes a great deal of time and effort to ensure her students develop a love of learning and school!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Robyn has worked as an after-school teacher, student teacher, and substitute teacher in various school districts, and as a lead preschool teacher.
    Year Started:
    5/8/2012
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Master's of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Psychology
  • Ms. Lindsay

    Ms. Lindsay, Learning Adventures Classroom

    Ms. Lindsay has been at our center for over ten years as a toddler, preschool, and Prekindergarten teacher. For the past few years she has been the center's Preschool Program Specialist, lending her experience and expertise to her fellow staff when needed and ensuring a top notch program quality with our older children. Ms. Lindsay's primary role at the center is our Learning Adventures teacher. She teaches Math, Phonics, and Music classes. She observes each child's learning styles, and tailors the classes for each child so they can meet his or her maximum potential. Have you ever seen a three and four-year-old reading? We do all the time in Ms. Lindsay's class. Over the years she has organized charity events at our school to raise money for the March of Dimes including staff versus parent volleyball games, art shows, coin races and even an event where Ms. Heather and Ms. Robin got a cake in the face by the kids in the center! Her creativity , dedication and experience make her a pillar to our center and an asset to our children's growth and development.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Lindsay has experience babysitting, teaching an elementary computer class, coaching soccer, junior camp counselor for Virgina parks and recreation.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2002
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in General Studies, Head Teacher certification
  • Ms. Enisa

    Children are the most precious people in our lives and I am glad to have the opportunity to work with them.

    Ms. Enisa has just started here with us at KinderCare. She is currently attending Gateway Community Collage pursuing her Associate's degree and Early Childhood Education Certification. She is very patient and kind and the children respond well to her gentle approach.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Enisa taught Preschool age children in Bosnia.
    Year Started:
    3/12/2013
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    Education:
    Pursuing Child Development Associate's Credential, Early Childhood Teacher Certificate
  • Ms. Joyce

    Ms. Joyce, Floating Teacher

    My job provides a safe environment in which children have the opportunity to enrich their lives through social interaction and creative expression. To watch them grow and become unique individuals is what I love most about my job.

    Ms. Joyce studied at the American University in Rome and received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Connecticut. She received lead teacher certification from the state of Connecticut and has had educational trainings throughout the course of her career. Ms. Joyce has worked in all classrooms at the center and taught classes in the Learning Adventures program. She promotes positive social interactions and creative expression through play and language.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Joyce has been employed as a Montessori teacher and an English teacher in Japan.
    Year Started:
    6/2/1997
    Tenure:
    19 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    18 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree
  • Ms. Samantha

    Ms. Samantha, Floating Teacher

    I love getting to watch all the kids grow and blossom into their personalities over the years.

    Ms. Samantha is a KinderCare alumni and is teaching in the center where she actually attended! She spent many hours volunteering at the center and became an official staff member as soon as she was old enough! Ms. Samantha currently attends the University of Connecticut majoring in Special Education. She comes to work when she is on vacation and during the summer. Her favorite thing to do in the classroom is let the children explore new things, from sticky paper to shaving cream and goop.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Samantha has experience babysitting and volunteering at the center.
    Year Started:
    6/1/2009
    Tenure:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    Education:
    Pursuing Bachelor's Degree in Special Education

December 2016 Events

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  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

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.

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • AM Snack
  • 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

All teachers and assistants have their CPR and First Aid certifications. They are also trained in DCF and Mandated Reporter training. Many teachers are medication certified, as well as have Epi-Pen training. We have fenced-in playgrounds, our building is secure, and parents each use their own code on our keypad to enter the center.

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.

KinderCare's Phonics program was a great way to prepare my son for Kindergarten. The Phonics' learning environment is creative and fun for the kids - I don't think they realize they are learning. My son started the program when he was 3 years old. By the time he went to Kindergarten he had mastered recognizing and writing all the letters. He was deep into recognizing and writing words. In addition to the phonics, my son was given extra help with his fine motor skills. This program definitely built his confidence for Kindergarten. It was one of the best things we could have done for him.

- Parent
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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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