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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,as well as Gurnee Grade. We also service B.J. Hooper, Milburn Elementary, Prairie Crossing, River Trail, Prairie Trail and Newport Elementary. We are willing to bus to other schools as well. Please contact us for more information.

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


Welcome to the Hunt Club KinderCare serving families in the Gurnee, Lindenhurst, Grayslake, Wadsworth and Waukegan communities. We offer an engaging 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. 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 NAEYC. 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?


Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Sunday January 01, 2017
    1. January's Learning Focus

      Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Light and Dark, plus the Sky and Weather

      Through shadow play, experiments with flashlights, observing the Sun and more, infants and toddlers will enjoy learning about light and dark this month. Infants continue sensory development by looking at contrasting patterns and at objects that are clearly defined by sharp edges and bright colors, while toddlers will build on their understanding of the light and dark concepts with play around daytime and nighttime. The older Discovery Preschool children will turn their attention to the sky as they learn about weather, the Moon, the Sun, and stars.

      Children 4–5 years old: Transportation, Healthy Bodies, and Winter

      For children in the Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms, January is filled with variety! They’ll begin by learning about transportation and studying how things get from “here” to “there.” A few weeks later, the focus will shift to health and bodies, with an emphasis placed on how to make good choices for a growing body. Towards the end of the month, children will be introduced to the transformative nature of the winter season and learn how to dress and take care of themselves when it’s cold outside. 

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

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. 

    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.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Frederick By: Leo Lionni
    Year Started:
    29 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    27 Years
    Bachelor's of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Associate's of Arts Degree
  • Jessica Wacker

    Jessica Wacker, Assistant Director

    Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.

    Ms. Jessica brings more than 12 years of experience to the center.  Prior to becoming the Assistant Director, she spent 10 years working as an infant teacher.  As a mother herself, Jessica understands how important quality child care is to a family.  She dedicates herself to providing the best possible care for each child in the center. 

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Associate in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Martha

    Ms. Martha, Cook

    Favorite Children's Book:
    5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Gaby

    Ms. Gaby, Infant

    Ms. Gaby enjoys taking care of our little ones.  She loves that she gets to cuddle the babies and loves the opportunity to be a part of so many milestones in their lives.  Ms. Gaby is a mother of three and knows how important a safe nurturing environment is to children.  Gaby works hard to make sure that her classroom is an extension of your home.
    Previous Experience:
    Toddlers, Twos
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
    Year Started:
    2 Years
  • Ms. Sarah

    Ms. Sarah, Infant

    I LOVE inspiring Children.

    Ms. Sarah brings a dynamic love of children to our center.  She is often surrounded by babies while she is down on the floor acting out stories or singing songs.  Ms. Sarah enjoys encouraging the children to explore their world.  The babies love it when she has them join her in a dance party. 

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Cat In The Hat
    Year Started:
    2 Years
  • Ms. Miranda

    Ms. Miranda, Infant

    Ms. Miranda enjoys watching children grow.  She believes that each child is unique and finds joy in watching each child develop into their own personality.  Ms. Miranda splits her time between our Infant and School Age Programs. 
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Hop On Pop
    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Amber

    Ms. Amber, Toddler

    Some people are worth melthing for

    Ms. Amber has been working with children and babysitting since the age of nine. She helps takes care of and loves her 4 nieces.  Ms. Amber is often teaching letters and numbers or getting messy in the art center or sensory table!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Amber brings 11 years of experience in daycare and babysitting prior to her work at KinderCare.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Are you my mother?
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
  • Ms. Lizbeth

    Ms. Lizbeth, Toddler

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Megan

    Ms. Megan, Toddler

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Rosie

    Ms. Rosie, Discovery Preschool

    Learn from yesterday, Live for Today, Hope for Tomorrow" - Albert Einstein "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present" Kung Fu Panda

    Rosies has been working with children for 9 years.  When she began her career, she was a floater and gained experience working in every classroom.  Her first teaching experience was at KinderCare.  She was the Pre-School teacher.  She is excited to be working with two year olds full time for the first time in her career.  She says she "can't wait to see the grown two year old children are capable of!"

    Previous Experience:
    Rosie brings several years of child care experience.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Go Dog Go" by: Dr. Suess This Kissing Hand Stone Soup
    Year Started:
    Bachelor's in Early Childhood Child and Family Services, Minor in Rehab
  • Ms. Kyra

    Ms. Kyra, Discovery Preschool

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Jill

    Ms. Jill, Pre School

    Year Started:
  • Ms. Allison

    Ms. Allison, Pre School

    Year Started:
  • Ms. Yoli

    Ms. Yoli, Pre K

    While we try to teach our children about life; our children teach us what life is all about!

    Ms Yoli wanted to be an FBI agent when she was a child, however, she also always loved children and when the opportunity to work with presented itself she took it.  Yoli fell more in love with the job and the opportunity to watch children grown and teach them everyday.  Ms. Yoli believes that not only do you teach children, you learn from them.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Love You Forever By: Robert Munsen
    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Tara

    Ms. Tara, Pre K

    I love watching the kids smile and laugh when they learn they can do something that they were not able to do before." "The things that make me different are the things that make me" -Winnie the Pooh

    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.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Tara joined KinderCare after worling as a nanny for three years.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Little Critter Books
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 Years
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Psychology , CDA
  • Ms. Nayely

    Ms. Nayely, School Age

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Angela

    Ms. Angela, Transitional Kindergarden

    You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

    Angela's family is everything to her.  She is one of 8 children.  She has 6 sisters and one brother as well as 4 nephews and a niece on the way.  Angela loves arts and crafts.  In her free time, she enjoys sewing blankets and pillows and painting a variety of things.  Angela loves children and hopes to have many of her own someday.

    Previous Experience:
    Angela came to KinderCare with three prior years of child care experience.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Rainbow Fish
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Bachelors in Psychology, currently enrolled in a Masters program for School Counseling
  • Ms. Danielle

    Ms. Danielle, Learning Adventures

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Giving Tree
    Year Started:
    11 Years
    Associates in Early Childhood
  • Ms. Janet

    Ms. Janet, Infant

    Year Started:

December 2016 Events

December Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Thursday December 01, 2016
    1. December's Learning Focus

      Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Family, Friends, and Things that Go!

      Infants and toddlers will be exploring family and friends, while three-year-olds will focus on things that go vroom! Social and emotional development is foundational to growth and development in babies, so this month, infants and toddlers will participate in activities that reinforce their connection to family while also exploring connections that exist outside their home, such as friends. Meanwhile, their older friends in Discovery Preschool will learn about and play around with things that move (like bicycles, cars, buses, trains, and airplanes), which are all very exciting for little ones as they continue to explore the world outside their homes. 

      Children 4–5 years old: My Country + Tools and Machines

      The four- and five-year-olds continue exploring the world around them by learning about the state and country they live in! They’ll sings songs, play games based on travel, and learn about flags, state foods, and more. Children will also be introduced to cardinal directions (east, west, north, and south) and gain an appreciation for travel and meeting new friends from different places. 

      Children are naturally fascinated with machines and how things work and are put together. So to encourage that fascination, during the second half of this month children will learn about and play around with tools and machines. In addition to building literacy skills by using the names of machines and tools, children will develop math skills by graphing information, counting wheels, and more.

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

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

  • American Sign Language
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Lingala

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 exterior 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.

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