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Joliet KinderCare

Merinda Leach, Center Director

2605 Black Rd. Joliet IL 60435
(815) 729-2110 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
Across from Aspire Gynmastics On Black Road between Springfield and Essington

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Troy Hofer, Troy Crossroads, Carl Sandburg, Lynne Thigpen, Taft, Thomas Jefferson, Rockdale, Crystal Lawns, Richland, Pershing and Farragut Schools. **Bussing To and From all Schools listed below Restrictions may apply* See bussing for more detail. Opening Determined on Bus Availability, call center for approval and verification.**

Our center is dedicated to providing a quality experience for all children and parents.  We have received a QRS certificate from the State of Illinois through the Illinois Quality Counts Rating System. Our participation in the Quality Count Program validates our dedication to children through providing programs that go above and beyond state standards and provide an enhanced learning and care experience for all children in our center.

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


Welcome to the Joliet KinderCare, where we partner with families to create a nurturing and exciting environment that helps support your child through all stages of their development. We look forward to having you and your family join our school community. Our large outdoor activity space helps to create a great environment for learning. We accept CCAP subsidy. The large open floor plan helps create a bright and inviting space to learn, explore and grow. We provide a variety of year round programs for children ages six weeks through 12 years including Spring, Summer and Winter Break Camp.

Merinda Leach, 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.

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. 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

The staff at Joliet welcomes all families. We pride ourselves on great family connections and making sure all families leave happy and satisfied each and every day. We provide great curriculum and a fantastic learning experience.  We hope you decide to take a moment to set up a tour to see our teachers in action!

  • Merinda Leach

    Merinda Leach, Center Director

    I love the personal connection we are able to make with all of our families. I am so privileged to share in so many childrens lives!

    Merinda studied for her Early Childhood Degree at Philadelphia Biblical University. Upon beginning her career with KinderCare as a Toddler Teacher, she discovered a home for her passion for working with children and families. Merinda’s career path has taken her through several roles within the KinderCare family – classroom teacher, Enrichment Program Instructor, Assistant Director, as well as her current role as Center Director. She has made the Joliet community her home and is extremely committed to the children and families that she serves.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Merinda began her career in Early Childhood as a Toddler teacher in the Lemont KinderCare. She quickly took on more responsibility as a closing manager, and then the Assistant Director. In January of 2008, Ms. Merinda took over Joliet KinderCare. She lives in the Joliet community and is truly dedicated to the families, children and staff in her care.
    Year Started:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Early Childhood Education
  • Stacey Wojciak

    Stacey Wojciak, Assistant Director

    I love working with young children and their families. I have so much joy watching children grow and develop year on year in our center.

    Ms Stacey has been a valuable asset within many KinderCare programs over her 20 years with the company. As a ECE teacher was the recipient of both the "Honor Teacher" and "Excellence in Education" Awards. She has worked as a mentor and advisor  for several teachers completing their Child Development Programs. As an Assistant Director at Joliet KinderCare, she has been an essential part of supporting the program through the accredidation process.
    Ms Stacey and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful boys, who have both attended KinderCare since their infancy. She currently resides in the Joliet/Plainfield area, and is dedicated to supporting the families and children in our program.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms Stacey has worked with KinderCare in many roles over her 20 year career. She began in High School as a Hero Intern, then moved into various supporting and teaching positions while she completed her Child Development Associates. Although she loved her time in a classroom, she was excited to take on more responsibility as an Asst. Director in a Naperville center. In 2009, she accepted a role closer to home with the Joliet KinderCare
    Year Started:
    21 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associates
  • Ms. Tracey

    Ms. Tracey, Infant

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

    Ms. Jazmyn, Preschool

    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associates
  • Ms. Jill

    Ms. Jill, School Age

    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associates
  • Ms. Lumi

    Ms. Lumi, Toddler

    Year Started:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Elementary Education

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.

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Holidays Observed

New Year's Day
President's Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Thanksgiving Day & Day After
Christmas Day

Health and Safety

Here at Joliet KinderCare, your child will not only have a safe, secure and stimulating environment to learn in, but they will have support from a team of child development experts who have a true passion for educating and nurturing children. Our staff works to promote a safe and healthy environment by adhering to strict cleaning policies in additions to sanitizing classrooms daily.

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.

My son has been attending Joliet KinderCare since September of last year. It amazes me when he says a new word or does something new. He loves coming to school to see his teachers. His teachers and all the staff are AMAZING in what they do!

- Mother

I have 3 children that attend KinderCare in Joliet, so we have been in all of the classrooms through the years. We have always had wonderful experiences and my children really enjoy coming to their school. My oldest daughter is now in public school during the day and she begs to come back to KinderCare after school and on breaks. They have made their first friendships there and we can tell that their teachers really care about them as individuals. We could not have asked for a better experience!

- 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.

View More

Resources for Parents

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