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Grayslake KinderCare

Ms. Dawn Blackwood, Center Director

790 N Lake St. Grayslake IL 60030
(847) 548-9374 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Close to Metra Train Station

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Grayslake School DIstrict, Lake Villa School District, Round Lake School District Woodland Schools, and St. Gilbert


At KinderCare Grayslake, our educators come to work everyday with a desire to love and teach children. We are proud to serve the Grayslake, Hainesville, and Round Lake communities with our convenient location for Metra train routes. Each age and child is special.  We make it our mission to prepare your child for a journey of life long learning.  Our Infant and Toddler programs involve sensory exploration, while our Preschool programs, 2- 5 years of age, ensure Kindergarten readiness for every child. Before and After school programs are available throughout the school year, and our Summer Camp program provide perfect solutions for families who need fun and adventure during all school breaks. We are eager to meet you, so give us a call!

Ms. Dawn Blackwood, Center Director

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

Image Gallery

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


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.


Spanish Adventures provides young learners with a foundation for later success with the Spanish language. Music, games, children's Spanish literature, and other tools give children multiple opportunities to hear, practice, and see Spanish language for vocabulary and conversational development. Curriculum includes lessons on greetings, numbers, colors, animals, family, body parts and pets as well as how to get engage conversationally during common scenarios at home, a restaurant, or at the zoo. Qué pasa?

American Sign Language

Teachers & Staff

We appreciate that you have put your trust in us to take care of your most adored treasures. We are committed to introducing a variety of fun and educational experiences to your child daily. We welcome you to come and spend time getting to know us, you will be glad you did.
Our team is made up of teachers who care about learning. Over 90% of our teachers have degrees in the education field and experience working in classrooms. Together our team has over 80 years of teaching and it is important to all of us that we work hard to make this a great experience for your child and your family.

  • Ms. Dawn Blackwood

    Ms. Dawn Blackwood, Center Director

    Play is the work of childhood.

    Dawn has been in the Early Childhood Education field for over fourteen years. She has worked as a lead teacher as well as an Assistant Director at a privately owned center. She also has experience with management in the retail industry.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare, Dawn worked as an early childhood teacher and Director at a privately owned center.
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    14 Years
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Jenny Dye

    Jenny Dye, Assistant Director

    Play allows the children to practice and implement what they are learning. My goal as an early childhood educator is to activate their natural desire to learn.

    Jenny has been with the company for over five years.  She was the Discovery Preschool teacher for three years and then became the Assistant Director after completing her Bachelor’s Degree.  She enjoys spending time with her two children and crafting.

    Year Started:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 years
    Bachelors in Child Development with a concentration in Infants and Toddlers
  • Ms. Nicole, Infant Classroom

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    2 Years
    Bachelors in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Meghan, Preschool Classroom

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    Bachelors in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Allison, Toddler Classroom

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 Years
    Associated Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Ciara

    Ms. Ciara, Learning Adventures Teacher

    Learning should be a joy and full of excitement. It is life's greatest adventure.

    Ms. Ciara is currently enrolled at the College of Lake County and is pursuing her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.  She has several years of experience as a nanny, babysitter, and pediatric optometric technician.  She is very passionate about dance, art, and cooking.  Her goal as our Learning Adventures teacher is to help child build confidence through fun activities.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son, daughter, and husband.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 Years
    Working Towards an Associates in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Erin

    Ms. Erin, Infant Classroom

    Watch what you say and so because little eyes are watching you.

    Ms. Erin is the lead teacher in our infant classroom and has been working with children of all ages for the past 15 years.  She is actively involved as a board member for Busy Brains Children's Museum, she volunteers for her daughter's cheerleading squad, and is also a Daisy Girl Scout Leader.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her daughter.

    Previous Experience:
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 Years
    Currently Completing her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with a focus in Special Education
  • Ms. Lauren, Infant Classroom

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

    Ms. Kristin, Preschool Teacher

    Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

    Ms. Kristin is so excited to be a part of our KinderCare team.  She loves spending time with our preschoolers.  She enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 years
    Child Development Associate
  • Ms. Ana

    Ms. Ana, Prekindergarten

    My goal as the Prekindergarten teacher is to give the best possible start for a lifetime of learning, creating an opportunity for all children who are in my care.

    Ms. Ana is a teacher in our prekindergarten classroom and has been with KinderCare since 1995. Her educational experience is vast with a total of 39 years in the early childhood education industry; 17 years as prekindergarten teacher, 22 years as kindergarten teacher, as well as sometime as a school Principal. Ms. Ana has her Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

    Year Started:
    22 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    42 years
    Masters in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Taylor

    Ms. Taylor, School Age

    Children are our future. It is our job to support their growth and development.

    Prior to working at KinderCare, Ms. Taylor was was a lifegaurd and taught private swim lessons.  She is currently working towards obtaining her Child Development Associates.  She likes spending time with her family.

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2 years
    Working towards her Child Development Associate Certificate
  • Ms. Julie

    Ms. Julie, School Age/Van Driver/Cook

    Children do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.

    Ms. Julie has been in the field of child development for over 16 years.  She also has experience and schooling in the culinary field.  She loves spending time with her two boys and in her free time she enjoys making people happy through food.

    Year Started:
    10 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 years
    Working towards her Child Development Associates Certificate

Upcoming Center Activities

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August's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: All About Me and Dinosaurs
Infants and toddlers will learn all about themselves while kids in Discovery Preschool will take a look at our favorite extinct creatures: dinosaurs! Infants will look at their reflections in mirrors, listen to voices through cardboard tubes to encourage babbling, and practice self-expression as they move while listening to music. Toddlers will create body-related artwork (like paintings of their faces) and imagine the future as they pretend to be all grown up while playing dress-up. Meanwhile, children in Discovery Preschool are in for a “dinomite” time learning all about dinosaurs and their habitats, and they’ll build essential skills through fun, theme-related activities—like counting dinosaur eggs and going on pretend fossil hunts!  

Children 4 to 5 years old: Foods and Flavors, Shapes and Colors, and Alphabet Letters/Review
For the first two weeks of August, older children will be learning all about the basic food groups, where food comes from, and how to make healthful food choices. After that, preschoolers will be getting artsy as they explore shapes and colors using materials like blocks, paint, play dough, and colored water—and they’ll even take their knowledge outdoors with scavenger hunts for colors and shapes! Their older friends in Pre-K and Transitional Kindergarten will be getting up close and personal with the alphabet as they learn uppercase and lowercase letters, the sounds the letters make, and how those sounds can be combined to make words—all culminating with the creation of a classroom alphabet book. 

Monday August 14, 2017
Open House

It's not too late to join us! Summer is almost over. Time for new friends and new learning. Now is the perfect time to attend a KinderCare Open House. You'll be able to see what a day at our center is like, meet other parents, and see the fun our students are having. We'll answer all your questions and tell you about our teaching philosophy. And you'll experience learning and laughter happening in a caring, loving environment.  

Tuesday August 15, 2017
Open House

It's not too late to join us! Summer is almost over. Time for new friends and new learning. Now is the perfect time to attend a KinderCare Open House. You'll be able to see what a day at our center is like, meet other parents, and see the fun our students are having. We'll answer all your questions and tell you about our teaching philosophy. And you'll experience learning and laughter happening in a caring, loving environment.  

Wednesday August 16, 2017
Open House

It's not too late to join us! Summer is almost over. Time for new friends and new learning. Now is the perfect time to attend a KinderCare Open House. You'll be able to see what a day at our center is like, meet other parents, and see the fun our students are having. We'll answer all your questions and tell you about our teaching philosophy. And you'll experience learning and laughter happening in a caring, loving environment.  

Thursday August 17, 2017
Open House

It's not too late to join us! Summer is almost over. Time for new friends and new learning. Now is the perfect time to attend a KinderCare Open House. You'll be able to see what a day at our center is like, meet other parents, and see the fun our students are having. We'll answer all your questions and tell you about our teaching philosophy. And you'll experience learning and laughter happening in a caring, loving environment.  

Friday August 18, 2017
Open House

It's not too late to join us! Summer is almost over. Time for new friends and new learning. Now is the perfect time to attend a KinderCare Open House. You'll be able to see what a day at our center is like, meet other parents, and see the fun our students are having. We'll answer all your questions and tell you about our teaching philosophy. And you'll experience learning and laughter happening in a caring, loving environment.  

About Our Center

Our school is an exciting place!  We are so proud to be a part of the Grayslake community!  Whether it is your child's first word or they're off to first grade, our KinderCare helps to prepare your child for their next step. 

Make sure you come see us at the Grayslake Farmer's Market on Wednesday, July 27th, August 24th, and September 14th.  We hope to see you there!

Awards and Recognition

  • NAEYC Accrediation

    NAEYC Accrediation

  • Gold Circle of Quality

    Gold Circle of Quality

  • Excellence in Customer Service

    Excellence in Customer Service

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • American Sign Language
  • Spanish
  • Hungarian Romanian

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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

We take the safety of children very seriously. From daily parent and teacher sign in,single keypad access, emeregency procedures reviewed quarterly. We believe maintaining a rigorous standard of safety will provide a sense of peace to our families. Suggestions are always welcome!
Our teachers are so prideful in maintaining a clean and healthy environment.  We have specific standards daily, weekly, and monthly by all staff, including after-hour professional cleaning vendors.  
Additionally, we celebrate our Health and Safety Coordinator, Miss Julie.  She helps assist to provide monthly trainings and ensure all procedures are implemented to a high standard!
Lastly,we work together with our families to maintain a safe and healthy environment of all of our children. Please call our school to get more information. We look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have.

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.

I’m writing to share my family’s experience attending the Grayslake KinderCare.  My husband and I selected KinderCare when we had our son in 2011.  Going back to work was the hardest thing I have even done.  Leaving my son with strangers was well… painful.  I wouldn’t have been able to make it through my first year as a working Mom without Ms. Nikki.  Then we were blessed with our daughter.  As soon as I arrived at KinderCare with my daughter it was like coming home to family.  Ms. Nikki wanted to know everything about her.  It was instantly evident that she genuinely cared about her.  The center director and staff made every accommodation for us – even with short notice.  I can’t say I loved returning to work.  I can say I never once worried about my children while they were in their care.  Communication was terrific.  I am so incredibly grateful for my experience with the Grayslake KinderCare.  I would certainly recommend them to anyone looking for high quality, kind, compassionate care.

- Parent

I wanted to take a minute to let you know how wonderful Dawn and ALL of your staff have been to my daughter Willow at your Grayslake KinderCare!  Our family moved to Grayslake in May and we transferred from another center.  I completely expected Willow (15 months) to have a really hard time with the transition to a new center.  I have been amazed with how easy it has been!  Willow LOVES her new school!  She is thriving there in just a few weeks!  The teachers are warm and friendly.  I’ve gotten to bring home some of her art projects and even have framed some pictures… Such a joy!

- Parent

Callie has interacted with just about every teacher at this Kinder Care facility. You have all made a profound impact on the way Callie has grown and developed a love of learning over the last 2 years and 8 months. She adores coming to school every day and interacting with her friends and teachers. Of course we always knew Callie was special, as every parent says about their own child, but Steve and I never imagined that our little girl could be so smart and so socially engaged. We honestly believe that Kinder Care gives her advantages that no other daycare could even come close to providing. Every one of her teachers has taken care of her and loved her, just as we would have, every day. You have given us peace of mind, and for that we are truly grateful to you all. Sincerely, Melissa and Steve P.S.: Callie says she likes all her teachers because they teach her lots of songs and her ABC's.

- Parents

Miss Anna – Thank you so much for all of the time and attention you’ given to Ava. Just last week she was telling me how she missed being in your class! As a parent, you made drop-offs for us very easy because she enjoyed going to your class so much!

Miss Carly – We just wanted to say thank you for being so wonderful with Ava. She absolutely adores you and feels so comfortable with you. As a working mom who can’t always be there for Ava, this puts me at ease and is how we know we have chosen the right daycare with the right people such as yourself to care for our children. 

- Parent

I wanted to recognize another very special moment at your center. As you know, recently Rya started attending your center. It's always a bit challenging for me to leave my kids especially being that both of them were premature babies. On Rya's first day, Ms. Nikki took some adorable pictures documenting her "first day" and also took the time to call me and let me know how Rya was doing. This was so thoughtful and reminded me of the great care my daughter was receiving. It was certainly above and beyond what I expected. In addition the fact that Ms. Nikki is still the teacher in the Infant room after five years is terrific. To know that she will care for my daughter as she did my son five years ago is great.

- 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.

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Resources for Parents

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