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Hunt Club KinderCare

Traci Melnick, Center Director

6480 Gurnee Mills Circle W Gurnee IL 60031
(847) 360-1135 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds
Open:

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Special Instructions:
across from Gurnee Mills Mall past Huntclub Rd & Grand Ave

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Bussing is provide to our school by District 50. We gladly transport to and from: Spaulding, O'Plaine, as well as Gurnee Grade. We are willing to bus to other schools as well, please contact us for more information.

Join us for Summer Camp!  We have fun filled activities for ages 2 years and up!  Call today, space is limited!

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

Welcome

Welcome to the Hunt Club KinderCare serving families in the Gurnee, Lindenhurst, Grayslake, Wadsworth and Waukegan communities. We offer an amazing curriculum and educational tools for each age group to support learning and development. Our preschool curriculum works in alignment with our local schools to ensure kindergarten readiness for every child. Private, full-day Kindergarten is also available highlighting small class size, and meeting national and state standards. Before and After School Program is offered 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. At our school, we have exceptional dedicated teachers who are passionate about teaching and caring for children. It is very important to all of us at KinderCare to encourage strong family and community involvement through: Open Houses, Parent Events, Parent-Teacher Conferences, Curriculum Nights, and Special Programs designed for children. We are proudly accredited by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) since 2012. Please visit the accreditation tab below to view more information on high quality programs. We hope to see you soon!

Traci Melnick, 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.

Private Kindergarten Programs (5 – 6 Years)

As children reach school age, our comprehensive full-day kindergarten program helps them explore, communicate, and create – all in a nurturing, small-class setting. Our team of expert educators has created a unique curriculum of reading, language, arts, math, science, and physical fitness that’s presented in a fun way to encourage a lifelong love of learning. Plus, our program is aligned with local and state elementary school standards, so children will be prepared to confidently enter first grade.

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.

Participating Child Care Aware Center

KinderCare has partnered with Child Care Aware® of America in an effort to offer fee assistance for Active Duty military families and solutions to their child care needs when care at a Child Development Center on the installation is not available.

Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program

Cooking

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.

Math

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.

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.

Spanish

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?

Reading

Teachers & Staff

Our teachers are dedicated to providing an environment for your child that supports their overall well-being. We treat each child as our own to instill your confidence with the kind of care we provide. The teachers at our Hunt Club KinderCare family are here for you and can't wait to meet with you!

  • Traci Melnick

    Traci Melnick, Center Director

    Early Childhood Education is the basis for every child's future. I believe in KinderCare's philosophy and that my staff carries our our mission every day. I know that by choosing this KinderCare Learning Center, you will have chosen a school of warmth to become an extension of your family.

    KinderCare Learning Center has been Ms. Traci's home away from home since 1987. Her career began with the company in Palatine, Illinois. Since then, she has worked throughout the Chicago area for many centers. With these experiences, she has had the pleasure of meeting incredible families and acquired some amazing friends along the way.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Traci and her husband actually met at KinderCare. They now have four children together who have since grown up, but they originally attended KinderCare. Her children's experiences have each been unique and fantastic. She contributes their strong personalities, independence and love for learning to their early developmental years that they spent at KinderCare Learning Centers.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> As you can see, education has always been very important to Ms. Traci. She even has her Elementary Education Degree and taught fifth grade in the public school system before joining KinderCare. She returned to school to enhance her knowledge about early childhood education. Her passion for learning hopes to inspire others that they are never too old or young to learn!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Traci gained early childhood education experience while working as a public school teacher and daycare teacher.
    Year Started:
    2/3/1987
    Tenure:
    28 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    27 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Associate's of Arts Degree
  • Karli Lee

    Karli Lee, Assistant Director

    Working with young children each day puts a smile on my face. A young child is at their most impressionable time in their life. The lessons children learn and activities they participate in will make a mark on their lives forever. I love to help make these impressionable years the best ones that they can have.

    Karli has worked with children for over nine years. Karli started her journey at the College of Lake County taking Early Childhood Education courses and then moved onto Eastern Illinois University to earn a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Prior to Knowledge Learning Corporation, Karli taught and supervised children in the Public School system and for a YMCA. Karli has worked at KinderCare as a Preschool, Prekindergarten, and Kindergarten teacher. She has since been promoted to be our Assistant Director due to her hard work, dedication, love, and passion for educating children.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Karli gained early childhood education experience while working as a public school teacher and daycare teacher.
    Year Started:
    11/1/2010
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Associate's of Arts Degree
  • Ms. Ashley

    Ms. Ashley, Infant & Toddler Classrooms

    Providing a safe environment, encouraging learning and guidance from a trusted teacher can help a child grow in positive ways.

    Ms. Ashley decided to go to school for Early Childhood Education because she enjoys being around children. She has patience for children and encourages them to learn through interaction and communication. Ms. Ashley works with children on a one-on-one bases and through group activities. She also has a wonderful daughter.

    Year Started:
    1/1/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 Years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Ellie

    Ms. Ellie, Infant Classroom

    The way you talk to your child becomes their inner voice." - Peggy O'Mara

    Ms. Ellie has many years of experience working with children, varying from newborn through Toddler to School Age. She is certified for infant, young child and adult CPR and Heimlich maneuver. Her weekdays are also filled with active instruction for children with cognitive learning disorders, speech delays and physical challenges including muscle control and nerve disorders. Ms. Ellie believes through a musical environment, dance can be a medium.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Ellie worked as a private nanny and private dance instructor.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 Years
  • Ms. Tara

    Ms. Tara, Infant Classroom

    I love watching the kids smile and laugh when they learn they can do something that they were not able to do before.

    Ms. Tara has been babysitting since she was 12 years old. After going to college and earning a Bachelor's degree in Psychology she became a nanny. Ms. Tara loved working closely with children and wanted to do more. It was then that she decided to apply for a position at KinderCare. She has really enjoyed my time working with our smallest children!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Tara was a nanny for three years.
    Year Started:
    4/1/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Psychology
  • Ms. Felice

    Ms. Felice, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Just keep swimming" from Finding Nemo.<br /> "As long as a child keeps trying, they will always learn something new!

    Ms. Felice has been at Hunt Club KinderCare for almost a year. Prior to this she has had extensive experience working with children of all ages. She has even been a director of a before and after school program, although she is most comfortable working with young children. Ms. Felice enjoys teacher directed activities, however, feels that child directed activities are how children learn. These activities help them to become independent and gain self confidence. She enjoys watching children learn through self discovery. Ms. Felice is also a mother to four fantastic children.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Felice has previous experience working with children of all ages, from Infants to after school programs.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2012
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    14 Years
  • Ms. Jessica

    Ms. Jessica, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    There is nothing better in this world than seeing a child succeed and knowing I helped this child develop. That’s why I love my job!

    Ms. Jessica earned her degree from Penn Foster Career School. She has worked at our KinderCare for a year. During this time she has become the lead Discovery Preschool teacher and has filled the room with beautiful pieces of artwork, helped the children learn letters, numbers and songs. She also has helped several families in the potty training process! Ms. Jessica also is a mother of a Preschooler.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Jessica has experience working in other daycare centers, babysitting and being a mother.
    Year Started:
    2/1/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7 Years
    Education:
    Child Development Associate's Degree
  • Ms. Amber

    Ms. Amber, Preschool Classroom

    I love my job because I love watching the children grow up to become such smart children.

    Ms. Amber has been working with children and babysitting since the age of nine. She has several years of experience. Ms. Amber is often teaching the Preschool children letters and numbers or getting messy in the art center or sensory table!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Amber has prior experience working in other daycare centers and babysitting.
    Year Started:
    8/1/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
  • Ms. Marcee

    Ms. Marcee, Preschool Classroom

    What I love most about my job as a Lead Teacher is the opportunity to help children learn, create and grow. Working at KinderCare gives me the flexibility to showcase my teaching skills and creativity. Working at Hunt Club KinderCare has been rewarding. Having the opportunity to be influential with my three-year-old class makes me smile. Seeing them learn their numbers, the alphabet, times we read stories, learn songs and play together has been a gift for me. I leave every day with a smile on my face, knowing that I had spent a tremendous impact on these children and their growth. I spent my youth dreaming of becoming a teacher and went to college to pursue that dream.

    Ms. Marcee has spent many years in various positions working with children. She has been a teacher in a public school, a youth director, camp counselor, and director, Kindergarten teacher at a daycare center and a site director for Champions most recently. Ms. Marcee loves to cook, sew, play tennis and board games. She enjoys going to the movies and the theater. Ms. Marcee has two children and grandson. Her grandson is a toddler.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Marcee has previous experience working with our sister company Champions, as a Kindergarten Teacher, in After School Programs, a Summer Camp Director, Youth Director, Private School Teacher and Public School Teacher.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Education
  • Mr. Jim

    Mr. Jim, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I am here to bring solid commitment to helping children discover the joy of learning and their own unique genius. Being in the classroom is amazing; one moment I'm leading lessons and the next I'm playing super hero, house or dinosaur. I enjoy crafts and bring a genuine sense of fun to each and every lesson.

    Mr. Jim came to KinderCare after an extensive history of working with adults and troubled adolescents in residential care. His educational background includes a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology, an Master's of Arts Degree in Managerial Leadership and over 300 credit hours in human growth, development and advanced communication techniques. Mr. Jim is currently completing his second graduate degree in Early Childhood Education. Mr. Jim and his wife Connie reside in Lake County and enjoy spending time with their dogs, children and granddaughter Bella.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to his current position, Mr. Jim has experience working in schools and over 300 credit hours in human growth, development and advanced communication.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2014
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology and Early Childhood Education, Master's Degree in Managerial Leadership
  • Ms. Jency

    Ms. Jency, School Age Classroom, Driver, Cook

    I love my job because I get to see the kids grow!

    Ms. Jency is a huge asset to our team of care givers. She has been at our KinderCare for three years. She helps in many ways including, driving the KinderCare Van, supervising School Age field trips and cooking the tasty meals! She is also a mother of two children, both of which attend our school.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Jency has prior experience babysitting and being a mother.
    Year Started:
    3/1/2011
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
  • Ms. Michele

    Ms. Michele, Learning Adventures Classroom

    There is nothing more rewarding, or exciting to me, than seeing a child learn, and being able to play a part in that process. To witness that light bulb go off, that 'a-ha moment', when it happens, is why I do this, and what I love most about teaching!

    Ms. Michele has been with KinderCare since 2013, first as a Kindergarten teacher and now as the Learning Adventures teacher. Her skills have helped numerous children excel in the areas of phonics, math, reading, music and cooking. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, and has completed graduate coursework in the area of Reading and Literacy. Outside of school, Ms. Michele loves to read, write and spend time with her family.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Michele has been a teacher at a variety of levels for many years, from Kindergarten through Middle School, both in her own classroom, as well as substitute teaching.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, State Certified Type 03 Illinois Standard Elementary Education K-5, Graduate course work in Reading and Literacy

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

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

The Center has a coded entry door and other doors are locked to the outside. The Center Director and Assistant Center Director conduct monthly fire and tornado drills. Classrooms are checked daily for safe toys and equipment (along with sanitization). The playground is completely fenced in. Staff has monthly meetings to ensure all safety precautions are in place and being followed.

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, I brought my 2 year old to KinderCare. There were really rough changes going on in her life at the time. Hunt Club KinderCare staff was kind, supportive, and understanding. They took a crying child from my arms and within a few short months, her demeanor had changed two-fold. Today, with the guidance from the staff, she has become a happy, more confident, ready-to-learn child.
 
When a family member leaves an uneasy child in the hands of KinderCare staff, it is reassuring that when you pick them up and the daily reports they complete on each child explains what they did and what type of day they had.  It makes the worries you had when dropping them off seem to go away quickly. Monthly curriculum sheets distributed at the beginning of each month helps parents/guardians prepare their child for each day and allows for conversation at the end of the day. This is a structured, well nurtured environment for all children.
 
 
 

- Grandmother
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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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Resources for Parents

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