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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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Special Instructions:
Corner of Lake Street and Washington St. West of Rt. 83

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Avon, Meadowview, Praireview, Woodview, Park, Fredrick, Murphy, Early Education Center, Beach; Village, Indian Hill, Woodland Primary, Woodland Elementary, Woodland Intermediate, Pleviak, Thompson, St. Gilbert (Round Lake District, Lake Villa District, Grayslake District)

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


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. Our Preschool programs ensure Kindergarten readiness for every child. Before and After school programs are available throughout the school year, while our Summer Camp program for ages Preschool and up provide perfect solutions for families who need care during school break. For a full listing of schools that we transport, please see our Map and Directions tab.

Ms. Dawn Blackwood, 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.


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:
    1 Year
    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:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 years
    Bachelors in Child Development with a concentration in Infants and Toddlers
  • Ms. Erin

    Ms. Erin, Infant Classroom

    Year Started:
  • Ms. Lindsey

    Ms. Lindsey, Infant Classroom

    Year Started:
  • Ms. Ciara

    Ms. Ciara, Learning Adventures Teacher

  • Ms. Haley

    Ms. Haley, Toddler Classroom

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Kristin

    Ms. Kristin, Toddler Classroom

    Year Started:
  • Ms. Kaitlyn

    Ms. Kaitlyn, Toddler Room

    Children should be taught how to think, not how to think.

    Kaitlyn has been working at the Grayslake KinderCare for over 3 years and has experience in a variety of classrooms.  She is currently working towards her Bachelors in Elementary Education at Southern Illinois University.  Kaitlyn loves being the toddler teacher because she is able to see the amazement on their faces when they discover something new.  She also enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband.

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    13 years
    Associates in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Pam

    Ms. Pam, Discovery Preschool

    Every child in your class is someone's whole world.

    Ms. Pam has experience with many age groups.  Her background in early childhood education has been influential to our center.  She has worked as a lead teacher and as an assistant director.  She has fun spending time with her daughter and husband.

    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    28 years
  • Ms. Kristin

    Ms. Kristin, Preschool

    Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning.  But for children, play IS serious learning.  Play is really the work of childhood. –Fred Rogers

    Kristin has been at our location for 2 years and with the company for over 5.  She has 3 teenagers and enjoys scrapbooking and attending sporting events. 

    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11 years
    BA in Liberal Arts/Psychology with a concentration in Human Development
  • 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.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Ana has a great deal of previous experience - 17 years teaching prekindergarten, 22 years as a kindergarten teacher, and time as a school Principal.
    Year Started:
    20 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:
    2 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:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 years
    Working towards her Child Development Associates Certificate

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.

Awards and Recognition

  • NAEYC Accrediation

    NAEYC Accrediation

  • 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 all the children in our care very seriously at our school. From daily parent and teacher sign in, to strict parent or guardian identification and single keypad access, we maintain a rigorous standard for safety so that our families can have true piece of mind.
Maintaining a healthy and clean environment is of upmost importance. Our teachers are very proud to keep their classrooms clean by using a cleaning checklist daily. After hours, we also have the support of a professional cleaning crew.
Our school has a designated person to make sure that all health and safety rules and policies are being followed. This Health and Safety Coordinator provides training and follows a monthly safety calendar to ensure that each classroom is up to date.
We ask that our families help keep all children safe and healthy by only bringing well children to school and picking up promptly if children show illness symptoms at school. We work together as a team 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 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

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

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

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

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.

View More

Resources for Parents

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