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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

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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
  • NAEYC Accreditation NAEYC
  • NECPA Accreditation NECPA


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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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


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?


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 out 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. 

    Traci and her husband actually met at KinderCare. They have four children together who have since grown up, but originally attended KinderCare. Her childrens' experiences have each been unique and fantastic. She attributes their strong personalities, independence and love for learning to their early developmental years spent at KinderCare Learning Centers. 

    Education has always been very important to Ms. Traci. She 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.

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

  • 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:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 Years
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Psychology
  • 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 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7 Years
    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:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years

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.

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

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.