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Hopkins KinderCare

Caron Ihde, Center Director

101 Blake Rd. N. Hopkins MN 55343
(952) 935-4410 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 10 YEARS

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Special Instructions:
On corner of Blake Rd. and Excelsior Blvd. in the middle of Westside Village Apts.

Once you have turned into the Apartment Complex drive straight until you see our buses on the left hand side.

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Hopkins Schools include Alice Smith and Eisenhower Elementary Schools and ISLA Spanish Immersion School. Saint Louis Park School District is Aquila Elementary School.

We are proud to be nationally accredited by NAEYC and have received a 4 star rating from Minnesota's Parent Aware organization.

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


When you walk through the door at our center you will find a very special team of dedicated teachers who love what they do and are passionate about sharing what your child learns each day!  Our top priority is providing your family with a warm and nurturing learning environment where the indiviual needs of each child are met and each family has the support of experts in early childhood education. 

Visit our center today and you will see why families in the Hopkins community have been choosing our program to provide high-quality child care and early childhood education for 40 years!!

Caron Ihde, 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.

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.


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.

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Thursday November 24, 2016
    1. Thanksgiving Break - Center Closed

      Our center is closed Thanksgiving Day and the day after.

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

Teachers & Staff

  • Caron Ihde

    Caron Ihde, Center Director

    I am excited to share with you all of the wonderful things our program has to offer your family!  I am dedicated to providing the best possible environment for your child to learn and grow.

    Caron has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for almost 20 years as both a Preschool Teacher and Center Director at a variety of programs.  She started with KinderCare in 2004 as a Center Director and in February of 2015 joined the team at the Hopkins KinderCare.  Caron has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. 

    Caron's passion for high-quality learning environments for young children is evident each day throughout the center.  She strives for consistently strong communication with families and builds partnerships with them to best meet the needs of their children. 


    Previous Experience:
    Caron was a Preschool Teacher for several years before taking on her first Center Director role. She was a director of a non-profit early childhood program prior to joining KinderCare.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
    Year Started:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    19 years
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Tracy Brunick

    Tracy Brunick, Assistant Center Director

    I am excited to help our center be the best place for children to learn and grow and am proud to be a leader of our amazing team.  I love that as the Assistant Director I get to spend time in all of the classrooms and get to know all of the children in our center!

    Tracy has been the Discovery Preschool teacher at the Hopkins KinderCare since June of 2011.  In January of 2015, she was promoted to the role of Assistant Center Director.  Tracy has a degree in Child and Adult Education from St. Cloud Technical College.  She has a passion for learning sign language and loves to teach young children new signs!

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Chicka Chick Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Degree in Child and Adult Education
  • Ms. Irene

    Ms. Irene, Infant Classroom

    As an experienced grandma I offer a warm hug, open arms and a big lap to snuggle into. As a part of the KinderCare team I strive to be a consistant part of the infant room. I'm proud of the infant room, our team approach to learning offers the best from all teachers. From art, to singing, to dance I hope each child leaves happy and well cared for.

    After working at the Mayo Clinic for 25 years, Irene pursued her passion and became a teacher.  She had her own in-home child care for several years to gain experience working with children of different ages.  Irene went to Rasmussen College and completed the Child Development Associate Credential program.  She began working for our program in July of 2012 as the lead Infant Room teacher. 

    Irene's care and passion for working with babies shows each and every day by the personal attention she gives to each child and family!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Irene previously ran her own in-home childcare.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Five Little Ducks
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7 years
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Sarah

    Ms. Sarah, Toddler Classroom

    At KinderCare I hope the children remember my warm and gentle heart. I hope the children remember my laughter and smile through play. As a KinderCare employee I have learned what it means to be flexible and the willingness to be able to help someone out at any time. I hope that the parents know they can feel safe by leaving their child in my care.

    Sarah has been working at KinderCare since March of 2013. She started with us as an Assistant Teacher in our Infant Classroom and is now the Lead Toddler Teacher.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Child Psychology. Sarah uses her creative skills and love for children to make an impact on the infants' lives. Her passion and warm heart are contagious not only with the Toddler children but around the entire center. She absolutely loves her job and you can tell!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Sarah has previous experience teaching children dance and volunteering at an elementary school.
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Year
    Bachelor's of Science Degree in Child Psychology
  • Ms. Ladina

    Ms. Ladina, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Ladina joined our team in May of 2015 as the Assistant Teacher in the Discovery Preschool classroom.  She has experience working with young children in early childhood programs and as a mom!  Ladina loves the Toddler and Two Year Old age groups because they are fun, full of energy and always learning new things.

    Previous Experience:
    Ladina has worked as an aide in a Montessori program prior to joining our team.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Heather

    Ms. Heather, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    I try very hard to make connections with parents and bring out children's individual strengths.  I love the children in my class and would do anthing for them!

    Heather joined our team in June of 2015 to co-teach our Discovery Preschool class.  Her favorite thing to do with the children is to sing songs and act out some of the stories they read in their classroom.  Heather went to the University of Saint Mary's and studied Elementary Education and Special Education.  She is passionate about helping every child reach their full potential and giving her students all of the love and care they need.

    Previous Experience:
    Heather was a special education paraprofessional with a local school district prior to coming to work for KinderCare.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    You are Special by Max Lucado
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Elementary and Special Educational Studies
  • Ms. Ilce

    Ms. Ilce, Preschool Classroom

    I love to see the children experiment and learn new things!

    Ilce joined the KinderCare team in November of 2014.  While working with us she has been going to school for Early Childhood Education at Rasmussen College.  Ilce is a fun and energetic teacher who has created a warm and caring learning environment for the Preschool Room.  Ilce is fluent in Spanish and loves to incorporate the Spanish language into the children's learning in the classroom!

    Ilce's willingness to learn new things and positive attitude have made her a great addition to our team!!

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Anything by Dr. Seuss
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Lauren

    Ms. Lauren, Pre K Classroom

    There is learning happening everywhere in our classroom!  The children are learning not only academically but socially too.  I love seeing the light in their eyes when they learn something new!

    Lauren joined the team at Hopkins KinderCare in May of 2014 as a multi-age specialist.  After graduating in December 2014 with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Lauren took over our Preschool Room and has now moved with those children to be our Pre K teacher. 

    Lauren has a passion for Science activities and loves to add extra activities to the curriculum in her classroom.  The inviting and fun environment Lauren has created in the Pre K Room is sure to make your child an engaged and happy learner!!

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Art and Max by David Wiesner
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Anna

    Ms. Anna, Pre K Classroom

    I love teaching children new things that will benefit them down the road of their education.  Our classroom environment is filled with learning all around.  It is in every corner of our classroom!

    Anna joined our team in April of 2015 as the Assistant Teacher of our Pre K class.  She has an Associate of Arts Degree from Normandale Community College. 

    Anna is passionate about preparing the children in her class for Kindergarten.  Every aspect of the classroom has opportunities for children to learn new things.  Anna not only helps to educate the children, but helps to make learning fun for them!

    Previous Experience:
    Anna was a volunteer in the Hopkins School District with several First Grade classrooms.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Associate of Arts
  • Ms. Christy

    Ms. Christy, School Age Classroom

    I love getting to know each child on an individual level.  I love listening to all of their stories and ideas they have!

    Christy joined our team in June of 2015 as the teacher for our Learning Adventures special programs and has now gone on to be our School Age teacher for our Before & After School program and Summer Camp.  She has an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Child Development Associate credential from Rasmussen College.  Christy works hard to engage each child by learning the child's interests and tailoring her teaching style to fit the child's needs and interests.

    Previous Experience:
    Christy has been working with children in the early childhood special education program in the Minnepolis Schools for the past several years prior to joining our team.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Brianna

    Ms. Brianna, Multi-Age Specialist

    Brianna is a part-time Multi-Age Specialist in our program.  She works afternoons in various classrooms throughout the week to help provide consistency, stability and good communication during pick up times of the day.  Brianna came to work for us part-time after having her daughter attend our program for several years!

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:

October 2016 Events

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Filter Center Calendar
  1. Monday October 10, 2016
    1. Professional Development Day - Center Closed

      Two times each year we dedicate a day for our staff's professional development to further their training and better equip them for the care of your child. The center will be closed on this day for training to occur. If you have questions or would like to request further details, please contact your local Center Director.

  2. Tuesday October 18, 2016
    1. Join Our Community Social

      Your entire family is welcome to join us October 18th for our community social. Come see how family-style dining is done at our center, mingle with other families, and, best of all, enjoy a healthy snack with your child!  

      You’ll better understand how we turn our meals into learning experiences and encourage the children to try new foods, practice table manners, use utensils, and simply enjoy a great meal and good company! See you there!

About Our Center

Our center has six classrooms where your child can learn and grow at each stage of their development. 

Infant Room

  • Licensed for 12 babies
  • Age range--6 weeks to 16 months
  • Teacher to child ratio--1:4
Toddler Room
  • Licensed for 7 children
  • Age range--16 months to 2 years
  • Teacher to child ratio--1:7
Discovery Preschool Room
  • Licensed for 14 children
  • Age range--2 to 3 years old
  • Teacher to child ratio--1:7
Preschool Room
  • Licensed for 20 children
  • Age range--33 months old to 4 1/2 years old
  • Teacher to child ratio--1:10
PreKindergarten Room
  • Licensed for 20 children
  • Age range--4 to 5 years old
  • Teacher to child ratio--1:10
School Age Room
  • Licensed for 30 children
  • Age range--5 to 10 years old
  • Teacher to child ratio--1:15

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Vegetarian
  • Special diets

Center Menu

Holidays Observed

New Year's Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve (early closure at  3PM)
Christmas Day

Staff Professional Development Days:
President's Day
Columbus Day

Health and Safety

From regular safety checks and drills to daily cleaning and sanitizing, our center staff and managers promise to make your child's health and safety our number one priority.  Our security door and fenced-in playground provides peace of mind to parents while they are away from their children.  All center staff are trained in First Aid and CPR.  Staff also receive on-going health and safety training throughout the year to ensure we are always updating our practices.

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.

As a working parent, it is hard to find a place where you feel your child is comfortable and ini a sercure environment; however, we found that place with KinderCare in Hopkins. My daughter loves it there. She's learned a great deal; everything from colors, shapes, music and dance. A big plus for us is that she has two wonderful teachers in her room. Ms. Sarah and Ms. Irene are a perfect fit and balance for the infant room. They work well together and are great with not only our daughter, but with all the kids they interact with. Even with our concerns had with our daughter, they both have been extremely helpful in creating a game plan in helping our little girl in her areas of opportunity. Also, they've given great advice to help with our daughter's development along the way. The love and patience that Ms. Sarah and Ms. Irene put into children makes me realize how lucky we are to have found a place we could call our daughter's home away from home.

- Mother

After doing some extent research on daycare centers within my area I came across KinderCare on the website and sent the director Emily an email inquiring about more information. After talking with her on the phone and through emails I knew this was the place I wanted to send my daughter Aliviya. She was eight months when she started with the KinderCare family and will be turning four in a couple months. I have watched Aliviya grow through these years at KinderCare and I can honestly say with my whole heart that it was the best decision I made for my daughter. The staff is so friendly, considerate, respectful and kind. I know when I drop off Aliviya while I go to work that she is in GREAT hands. Since, I am not with her all day, I wouldn't want anybody else to raise my child but the KinderCare staff. They teach the kids morals and values. They care about your child's education and how they are progressing throughout the year. How many daycare facilities can you say this about? Pick KinderCare and you will not be disappointed!

- 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.

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Resources for Parents

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