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Brookhaven KinderCare

Jessica Stender, Center Director

4574 Brookhaven Rd. Gurnee IL 60031
(847) 360-1122 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
near O'Plaine & Washington St

The Brookhaven Center is located in Gurnee, on Brookhaven Road, next to the public library.

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Woodland Elementary and Primary, Spaulding, Washington, Oakdale, River Trail, Viking and Prairie Trail

At the Brookhaven KinderCare Learning Center everything we do is designed for learning! March is on it way along with Spring!&nbsp; Join us as we start our journey with Animals, Plants, Gardening, and more.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> We are looking forward to a Curriculum&nbsp;update this fall for our Infant, Toddler and Discovery Preschool Programs!

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


We are excited to welcome you to the Brookhaven KinderCare learning Center! We proudly serve the Gurnee and Waukegan area, as well as surrounding neighborhoods. Our center offers exciting and educational hands on curriculum for students age six weeks though twelve years, as well as opportunities to grow socially and emotionally. Our teachers are dedicated to your child's growth and success as learners and individuals. Whether your child is learning to sit up, write their name or learning multiplication, we are honored to practice those skills and build confidence. Everything we do is designed for learning!

Jessica Stender, 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 NECPA
  • Three Start Level by the Quality Rating System

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.

Interactive Kindergarten (5 - 6 Years)

A full-day interactive Kindergarten program that utilizes new curriculum with an interactive smart board making first grade readiness a priority.

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?

Science Adventures

Teachers & Staff

Our teachers are dedicated to helping your child have a great day, every day! With years of experience and education, our teachers have the skills and support to guide your child and create a successful environment for them to learn and grow in.We work hard to create classrooms that focus on developing the whole child while creating a fun and safe learning environment. We look forward to partnering with you in your child's academic success!

  • Jessica Stender

    Jessica Stender, Center Director

    I love being part of the Brookhaven KinderCare Learning Center! Being a part of helping the children learn and grow is a unique experience that I am extremely grateful for. I love to see the excitement on a child's face when they are engaged, happy, safe, and having fun in their classroom. I love having passionate teachers to help facilitate learning in all of our classrooms."

    From a young age Jessica knew she was passionate about two things; education and children. It just made sense for her to turn her passions into a career. Jessica attended Roosevelt University where she obtained her degree in Education. She loves seeing each and every one of the children learn and grow as each year passes.

    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Sociology
  • Andrea Helms

    Andrea Helms, Assistant Director

    I am eager to get to know all of you and your children in order to create the best educational experience possible. I have always been inspired to work with children. I believe that children are the path to a successful future.<br /> By taking an active part in the lives of children we will all have a better future. I wish to be a vital part in the lives of your children here at the Brookhaven KinderCare.

    Andrea Helms is the Assistant Director here at the Brookhaven Location. She started her career with Knowledge Universe in 2000 as a Center Director in the Seattle Market. She was the Assistant Director at the Lindenhurst location for two years. Andrea’s role as Assistant Director is to be a support piece for the families, children, and teachers.<br /> Andrea looks forward to working closely with the teachers in order to assist them with their needs that relate to curriculum and the children. She is excited to join the Lindenhurst family and get back into the childcare field.<br /> Andrea moved to the area with her family as her husband, Tommy, is a Chef in the Navy and stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base. They have a four year old Manchester Terrier and a 17 year-old son, Eric, who is a senior at Zion-Benton High School. Eric is very involved in sports and Andrea enjoys watching him wrestle and play football and baseball. Now that he is older, Andrea feels that she is ready to get back into a center full time.

    Previous Experience:
    Andrea has been working with children for the past twenty two years, ten of those years being with Knowledge Universe. She started as an Assistant Teacher and worked her way up to Center Director.
    Year Started:
    15 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    22 years
    Bachelor's Science Degree in Business Management, Pursuing an Master's of Business Arts Degree
  • Ms. SarahBeth

    Ms. SarahBeth, Discovery Preschool

    “I think this is the only job where I can feel like what I do all day really matters.”<br /> &nbsp;

    I have been working with children in some capacity for most of her life.&nbsp; Ms. SarahBeth babysat, worked as a nanny, and also a tutor.&nbsp; She has spent the better part of 14 years as a tutor.&nbsp; She grew up in Lake County for all of her life.&nbsp; She recently moved to Kenosha and enjoys exploring her new home in her free time.<br /> &nbsp;

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Tatum

    Ms. Tatum, Infant & Toddler Classrooms

    I love working with children! It makes me so happy to see them smile and run to me for a hug when I arrive in the morning. I love to see how excited they are when they learn something new.

    Ms. Tatum has been at the Brookhaven KinderCare Learning center for a total of nine years. In 2001 she began working at the center for seven years, but then decided to stay home for the following two years to care for her young daughter. In 2011 she returned to the job she loves. Ms. Tatum works in both the Infant and Toddler classrooms on a regular basis. She also helps in the older classrooms when needed. Ms. Tatum enjoys moving from class to class as it gives her an opportunity to get to know and spend time with all of the children in the center. Ms. Tatum has a daughter who also attends the center.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Tatum has taken Early Education vocational courses and has experience volunteering in the field.
    Year Started:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 Years
  • Ms. Iris, Infants

    I enjoy working with the children! I love to see their smiles and happy faces. I also enjoy playing together and giving them lots of love. I learn from the children each day.

    Ms. Iris has been at the Brookhaven KinderCare Learning Center since the fall of 2012 and recently renewed her Childhood Development Associate's Credential. She has a great passion for working with our youngest students. She is patient and loving, making sure children in her care are well cared for. Ms. Iris enjoys taking photos of the children to share with parents and display in the classroom. The students in her care participate in art, sensory, gross motor and early language activities. Ms. Iris is very friendly and has great communication with the parents and fellow teachers. She lives in the area and has a son who attends the center.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 Years
    Child Development Associate's Credential (Infant & Toddler)
  • Ms. Sharissa

    Ms. Sharissa, Pre- K

    Ms. Sharissa has always had a passion for working with children. This is my first year working with KinderCare and I am very excited to start exploring and creating with your children.<br /> &nbsp;

    Previous Experience:
    After completing her undergraduate degree in education Ms. Sharissa worked as a case manager with adults with disabilities for 2 years. Throughout college & high school she was able to mentor, tutor, teach, and conduct research with children ages 2-17 years.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    B.S Psychology & Child Development
  • Brittany

    Brittany, Preschool

    “ I love anything with children because they learn something new, their face lights up and they have a great smile.&nbsp; It makes my heart melt!”<br /> &nbsp;

    Ms. Brittany has loved children her whole life.&nbsp; She is just finished with her CDA certification through Rasmussen College.&nbsp; She plans on continuing her education at the College of Lake County to get her Associates in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Applied Management.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Madeline

    Ms. Madeline, Preschool

    “By working with the children in my care with developmental appropriate practices my goal is to increase their growth and development in the physical and intellectual domains”<br /> &nbsp;

    Ms. Madeline has been with KinderCare for just about a year now.&nbsp; She is currently working on getting her CDA.&nbsp; She enjoys coming to work everyday not only to teach but also to be taught by her preschool children.&nbsp; She learns just as much from them as they do from her!<br /> &nbsp;

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11 Years
  • Ms. Jocelyn

    Ms. Jocelyn, Toddler

    I love watching children learn and grow-- and I love that I get to be a part of that process

    Ms. Jocelyn is the newest staff member to join our team.&nbsp; She is currently enrolled in her first CDA program and is excited and eager to learn about children. &nbsp;Ms. Jocelyn assists in our Infant and Toddler classrooms.&nbsp; She loves to do science and art with the children.&nbsp; Her favorite thing about being a teacher is helping all of our children learn new things!<br /> &nbsp;

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Martha

    Ms. Martha, Toddler

    What I love the most is seeing the children's smiling faces every morning, meeting me with hugs and kisses, and eager to start the day!

    Ms. Martha has been working at KinderCare for just over a year now.&nbsp; She loves working with the toddlers but also assists in our other classrooms.&nbsp; Ms. Martha enjoys working will all of the teachers and children!&nbsp; Although she was away from the education field for many years she views it as a privilege to come back and work in a field she truly loves.&nbsp; One of the most important things she wants the children to learn is the fundamental values of life and respect for all.&nbsp; She loves to try and teach the children Spanish words and loves reading to them.<br /> &nbsp;

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Martha worked as an Early Development Teacher as Pegasus Day Care Center.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Associate Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Michelle, Toddler Classroom

    I love coming to work and seeing smiles on the children's faces as well as getting hugs. I always feel special when I hear them call me 'Shell'.

    Ms. Michelle has been at KinderCare Learning Center for seven years and has continued working towards her degree at the College of Lake County. Ms. Michelle lives in Waukegan with her husband and daughter Makala. They have two cats, Angel and Ariel. Ms. Michelle's daughter also attends the center.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Michelle spent five years working at a private school.
    Year Started:
    8 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    12 Years
    Child Development Associate's Credential (Infant & Toddler), Early Childhood Education College Credits
  • Ms. Sara

    Ms. Sara, Discovery Preschool

    I love coming into work every morning to see the warm smiles of the children in my classroom. I always wonder what they will discover today and what we can teach each other.

    Ms. Sara was the lead teacher in a Montessori Toddler class for several years before working in Early Intervention. After working as a Child Development Specialist, Ms. Sara decided to stay home to raise her two young daughters. She then worked at an in-home day care. Now that her children are older, Ms. Sara decided to return to a learning center. By working a part-time schedule Ms. Sara is able to not only provide education and structure for the students but also care for her children and continue her volunteer work. She enjoys spending time with her family and volunteers with the Girl Scouts of America. Ms. Sara also has two dogs.

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Montessori Certification
  • Mr. Tony

    Mr. Tony, Health and Safety Coordinator

    Mr. Tony has worked with KinderCare for over 7 years.&nbsp; He wears many hats at our center.&nbsp; You will see Mr. Tony in all of our classrooms but he calls the School Age classroom home.&nbsp; Mr. Tony also drives our KinderCare bus.

    Year Started:
    7 Years

August 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

  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Vegetarian
  • Special diets

Holidays Observed

Our center is closed for the following Holidays:<br /> New Years Day<br /> Memorial Day<br /> Fourth of July<br /> Labor Day<br /> Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving<br /> Christmas Day<br /> Our Center is closed on the following days for Professional Development<br /> Columbus Day- October<br /> Presidents Day- February

Health and Safety

Health and Safety are of great importance here at KinderCare. Our center offers keypad entry and strict pick-up policies. Only authorized parties are allowed into the building, and must produce photo identification.<br /> We also offer fenced playgrounds. All students enter the playground directly into a fenced area, eliminating the dangers of a parking lot or unsecured area.<br /> All teachers receive annual First Aid and CPR training.<br /> Our center is professionally cleaned and surfaces sanitized multiple times throughout the week. Additionally, the carpets and tile are deep cleaned monthly. Our teachers use both anti-bacterial cleanser and sanitizer to keep surfaces and toys clean. Each day staff members complete a cleaning checklist to insure that all cleaning tasks have been completed.<br /> Our center participates in regularly scheduled fire and tornado drills. All of the fire extinguishers and the sprinkler system are professionally inspected on a regular basis.

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.

Over the past eight years I have had three children attend the KinderCare Learning Center. I have always felt this was the best place for my kids. The staff has always treated my children well and taught them many things along the way. Since my children have been at KinderCare my wife and I have peace of mind knowing they are safe, are in a clean and nurturing environment and are well taken care of.

- Parent

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

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