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Kirkwood West KinderCare

Ms. Samantha Nelson, Center Director

13550 Big Bend Rd. Kirkwood MO 63122
(636) 861-9400 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 6 YEARS

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Kirkwood/Valley Park/Manchester/Ballwin/Des Peres


Our facility has an exclusive curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for all levels and makes learning fun. It provides consistency and structure to their environment to assist in all students’ success. In addition, our center provides small-group educational programs in music, math, and phonics to enhance our students' overall academic experience. In addition, once a month we provide a parents night out so our parents can have some time together to relax knowing their children are in a safe and familiar place. Our center has wonderful diversity among our families. Families who are looking for child care and tour our center will see a clean, safe, fun, and structured atmosphere that invokes a feeling of family and sparks a love of lifelong learning.

Ms. Samantha Nelson, Center Director

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

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We’re so proud!

Nationally only 10% of daycares are accredited–nearly 100% of our learning centers are. That’s a big difference, and that means KinderCare kids are getting the very best. Here’s why.

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Our kids are taking off!

By kindergarten, our kids are testing ahead of their peers. Read all about it.


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.

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

All of our staff is dedicated to ensuring the children are in a safe, clean, and well-organized atmosphere. A registered dietitian develops a menu that provides variety and a balanced nutritional experience. Our center has a strong family-oriented feeling. Through parent-teacher conferences, daily forms, developmental assessments, and conversations, our teachers keep the lines of communication with families open at all times. The teachers are always approachable and ready to assist a family with their needs at any time.

  • Ms. Samantha Nelson

    Ms. Samantha Nelson, Center Director

    I am inspired to come to work each day by the children at my center and the teaching staff. Every day there is something new for the our students to learn. Watching the creative ways the teachers instruct each individual child is an amazing thing to see. What I love most about early childhood education is the willingness children have to want to learn and the joy that you see on their faces when they accomplish something new.

    Ms. Samantha’s many accomplishments as Assistant Director, including playing a crucial role in her center becoming nationally accredited, led to her promotion to Center Director at her current KinderCare location. Ms. Samantha has over 20 years of experience in the early childhood experience field. She furthered her education by taking early childhood classes at Meramec Community College, and has received her associate credential through Ellis University. Ms. Samantha greets all of her staff and students every morning before starting her day. At the end of the day, she likes to thank her teachers for providing a great day of learning and wishes all of her families a safe night. Ms. Samantha and her teaching staff enjoy their monthly potlucks as a way to build teamwork and gather around the staff table like one big, happy family. She loves to brainstorm with her teachers about the curriculum they implement and help the teachers create new ways to reach all the children that attend her center.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Samantha was an owner and operator of an in-home child care facility for three years in addition to raising two sons.
    Year Started:
    23 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Courtney Sinoski

    Ms. Courtney Sinoski, Assistant Director

    What I love most about early childhood education is witnessing the amazing strides the children make every day as they grow and learn. Every child is so uniquely different that I learn new things daily about how young children develop and discover the world around them. What inspires me to come to work each day is knowing that I am providing a safe and caring environment for families to leave their most precious treasures in. I want our families to feel confident that their children are being well taken care of, loved, and educated while they are here with us.

    Ms. Courtney joined KinderCare in August 2007 as a Prekindergarten Teacher. In October of 2008, she transferred to the Infant Classroom at a second KinderCare location. In March of 2010, she was promoted to Assistant Director at her current KinderCare location. Ms. Courtney contributed to the center becoming Nationally Accredited. In 2010, she obtained her license to drive the center's buses and has since transported children on many field trips around the St. Louis area. Since 2011, Ms. Courtney has also participated in our professional development days as a trainer for the other KinderCare staff members. 

    Before coming to KinderCare, Ms. Courtney lived, worked, and was educated in Ohio. During the four years she was working on her bachelor's degree, she worked as a teacher's aide at the university's child care center. Throughout the summers, she ran the School Age summer camp at a child care center as well. Upon graduation, Ms. Courtney received a teaching position at a public elementary school. She taught first and second grade for seven years before she moved to St. Louis in 2007. Altogether, Ms. Courtney has over 19 years experience in the early childhood and elementary education fields. Ms. Courtney knows all but a handful of parents' first names and makes a point to speak to every family member at both drop-off and pick-up daily. She is in the classrooms a lot throughout the day so she always has something to share with each parent about their child's day. Ms. Courtney knows all of the curriculum programs that are implemented throughout the center. She is a great resource for the teachers if they need any assistance as well as training new staff members on how to run their programs.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Courtney has previous experience working as a summer camp Director at a child care center, a teacher's aide at child care centers, a teacher at multiple child care centers, and has taught first and second grade in a public elementary school.
    Year Started:
    10 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Ms. Nicole

    Ms. Nicole, Infant / Toddler Classrooms

    I love working with children and knowing that the work I do every day is meaningful. It is such a joy to walk into my class every day to see the innocent, precious faces of my students so excited to greet me. Families leave their babies with us knowing they will not only be loved and cared for, but also educated, taught valuable social skills, and have so much fun!

    Ms. Nicole completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Indiana University, where she gained beneficial knowledge from her extensive student teaching experiences at varied schools throughout Indianapolis. Ms. Nicole greatly enjoys being active and has coached children in volleyball for over ten years along with directing summer volleyball camps. She was also the coordinator for a Lifetime Fitness summer camp program for children ages three to 12 years old. Additionally, Ms. Nicole has volunteered as a tutor at the YMCA, babysat, helped raise her much younger brother, and is now a mother herself. Ms. Nicole taught in both a Toddler and a Preschool Classroom in Indiana before relocating to St. Louis in the fall of 2014. Ms. Nicole is always very calm and easygoing in her classroom. Upon entering her classroom, you will most often find her on the floor with the children exploring, reading, helping a student practice walking, or just providing a lap for a sleepy child.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Nicole has previous experience as a Toddler and Preschool Teacher, coaching volleyball, babysitting, and as a mother.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Laura

    Ms. Laura, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    I love being a Discovery Preschool Teacher because I get to experience the children in my class grow into unique individuals. Their personalities really start to show as they begin to form friendships with each other. It brings me such a sense of accomplishment to assist my students in reaching their numerous toddler milestones.

    Before attending Webster University to complete her bachelor’s degree in secondary education, Ms. Laura instructed children at her church. She volunteered as a Teacher’s Aide at a preschool to gain more hands-on experience in addition to working games and special events at children’s birthday parties for many years. Ms. Laura is very devoted to the students in her class. She always strives to do her best to make her classroom a safe and pleasurable learning environment for her students.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Laura has previous experience teaching Sunday School, as a Preschool Teacher's Aide, and working events at children's parties.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Morris Goes to School by Bernard Wiseman

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education
  • Ms. Mona

    Ms. Mona, Preschool Classroom

    I love teaching children because they are our future. I enjoy providing the students a safe and fun environment where they can express themselves creatively and make new friends. It is important to me to understand the needs of both the children in my class and their parents.

    Ms. Mona was born and raised in Egypt before moving to the United States in 1999. While in Egypt, she completed an associate’s degree in business and worked as a secretary at an engineering company before teaching math to fourth grade students. Ms. Mona raised three children in addition to instructing children at her church. During her ten years with KinderCare, Ms. Mona spent a lot of her time as a Prekindergarten Teacher. She brings over 30 years of teaching experience to her class and they adore her. Ms. Mona makes every day unique, exciting, engaging, and enjoyable for the children in her class.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Mona has previous experience working as a business secretary, teaching elementary school math, instructing the students at her church, and being a mother.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    All Dr. Seuss books
    Year Started:
    13 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Associate's Degree in Business; Child Development Associate Credential (In Progress)
  • Ms. Stephanie

    Ms. Stephanie, Preschool Classroom

    I love watching children experience learning in a fun and playful setting. They are so precious, yet unique. Children in the early years are so anxious to learn and develop so quickly. They are so much fun!

    Ms. Stephanie started her career in early childhood education in 1976 working for KinderCare. She has had many roles in the early childhood field since then. Ms. Stephanie is a mom of two daughters who attended KinderCare with her. She has worked as a Lead Preschool Teacher, was a Center Director of two different child care facilities, and received her associate credential through Meramec Community College. Ms. Stephanie is the district's preschool "coach"--she is a mentor and trainer for all the Preschool Teachers throughout our St. Louis area KinderCares.  Something you will see in Ms. Stephanie’s classroom is her dedication to age-appropriate curriculum, happy children, and a whole lot of singing and dancing.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Stephanie has previous experience working as a Lead Teacher in a preschool with ages three to five, as a Director for two different early child care centers, and a mother.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Wolf's Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza

    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Tamara

    Ms. Tamara, Preschool Classroom

    I love coming to work every day and seeing the children's smiles and hearing their stories. Watching them learn and grow while knowing that I can help be a part of that makes me feel so lucky. I have always been passionate about working with children and love watching children learn and grow. I feel so privileged to be a role model to my students. I have so much fun teaching and want my students to feel loved, safe, and excited to learn--just like I'm excited to teach them every day!

    Ms. Tamara has had two years of education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for early childhood education and plans on continuing her education toward a teaching degree. She has been working with children for many years in nurseries. Ms. Tamara also held numerous in-home nanny positions.  When you enter Ms. Tamara's Preschool Classroom, the first thing you will notice is how much she loves her students and her job as an early childhood educator. She is always quick with a hug and a smile for every child who approaches her--her enthusiasm and dedication is second to none.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Tamara has previous experience working as an in-home nanny, in a nursery along with her field experiences while in college and as a mother.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Mitten by Jan Brett

    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Megan

    Ms. Megan, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I enjoy working in the early childhood field because I know I am going to make a difference in my students' lives each and every day. I feel so much pride knowing I am providing my class with someone they can admire and look up to. It is so rewarding when I see the smiles on my students' faces when they learn something new or accomplish a goal they have been working toward.

    Ms. Megan joined us after transferring from New Jersey, where she made the Dean's List while completing both her associate's and bachelor's degrees in art education. Throughout her college training, she had experiences with classes from elementary school through high school, in addition to working with students with physical handicaps. Ms. Megan coached both elementary and middle school children along with supervising students at a teen center. When you visit Ms. Megan’s class, you will see her students provided opportunities to express themselves by writing, discussing, experimenting, and creating.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Megan has previous experience working at a teen center and coaching cheerleading in addition to her student teaching and field experiences throughout college.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Art Education

Upcoming Center Activities

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September's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Spaces and Places and All About Me
As infants and toddlers explore the spaces and places around them, children in Discovery Preschool will learn all about what makes people the same as well as what makes them different. Infants will experiment with moving toy cars around, build block towers and then knock them down, and even take a tour of the center to see what things are like outside of their classroom! Toddlers will get all revved up as they take a closer look at different vehicles and learn more about neighborhoods, communities, and the jobs that grownups have. In Discovery Preschool, children will be learning about themselves as they play games that strengthen their five senses, discuss feelings and emotions, practice self-help skills, and work on learning the names of body parts.

Children 4 to 5 years old: All About Me and My Home and Family
It’s the beginning of the school year—the perfect time to get to know each other better! Older children will be spending time sharing about themselves, their homes, and their families as they learn what makes people the same and what makes them different. Children will bring their own experiences to the drawing board as they create group stories and 3-D collages about families and homes, pantomime different home- and family-related activities, and draw self-portraits. With our curriculum’s project-related learning component, children in Transitional Kindergarten work together to decide on an individual or whole-group project related to the theme. Past projects have included creating a class book about emotions or working together to build a small-scale home, but who knows—the children may come up with a unique idea that’s entirely their own!

Monday September 04, 2017
Center Closed for Labor 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

  • Arabic
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Vegetarian
  • Special diets

Center Menu

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, you should check with your Center Director for specific closures. 

Health and Safety

Health and safety is a priority that all team members contribute to. Our staff are infant and child First Aid/CPR trained and we regularly conduct disaster drills to ensure teacher confidence should a disaster strike. We routinely check our equipment and the center's grounds for any safety concerns in addition to our playground being fenced in on all sides. Each classroom has an allergy list posted that includes the children's photos, and we are a peanut-free facility. Entry into the building requires a code to open the door and any individuals authorized by parents to pick up their child must show a photo ID. All shared surfaces, including tables, changing tables, sinks, and high chair trays, are cleaned between each use with a Lysol cleaning method and each classroom utilizes daily and weekly cleaning checklists that must be initialed by the teachers upon completion. While tending to the children in our care, their health and safety is a top priority to our entire team.

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 wife, Suzanne, and I have two children. While researching learning centers for our children, we came down to three choices. We chose the KinderCare Learning Center on Big Bend Road in Kirkwood, Missouri. This has been our learning center choice for two and a half years. Samantha and Courtney exemplify great leadership in leading a great team of teachers at this location.  
 From day one, all of the teachers at this learning center are attentive, approachable, kind, good-hearted, and caring. This positive environment fosters a culture of teaching, learning, and developing social skills for the child. The environment presents a chance for the child to meet other kids, learn, play, experiment, and the opportunity to try new things. The teachers are very attentive and want to help the children do well. If a situation arises, Samantha, Courtney, or the teacher will call you directly and give you a heads up on what is or has taken place. Every employee at this center is solution minded and has the best interest of the child at heart. We recommend KinderCare Learning Center on Big Bend Road. This is an outstanding team that Samantha and Courtney have assembled.

- Father

As a parent, leaving your children in someone else’s care while you work is never easy. But after seeing the loving, caring, safe, and fun environment that the teachers and Directors at KinderCare Kirkwood West provide, I felt so comfortable and confident knowing that my two sons (two and a half years and three months old) were in great hands. I watched as my oldest son came home knowing his ABCs, could count to ten, and always had amazing artwork to share with us. His teachers, Sara, Mona, Crystal, and Kelly, cared so much about him and his development. They gave me great pointers on everything from potty training, to developing positive behaviors, to becoming a big brother. They always had well thought out lesson plans that incorporated everything from art to music to reading to dramatic play. We loved reading about his day at school on his daily reports that gave us a detailed snapshot of his day. And when it came time for me to go back to work after maternity leave, I felt very comfortable having my three-month-old in the loving care of his teachers, Kim and Hira. They both gave me detailed information on his day so I knew exactly where to pick up so his routine was seamless. They always had fun activities for the babies so that they were in a fun, loving, and most importantly, safe place. And of course, Courtney and Sam were always available for questions and support. I love that they are always in and out of the classrooms, so they know exactly what your kiddo has been up to. We moved to a different part of town recently, otherwise we would have kept KinderCare Kirkwood West our home away from home until the boys were old enough to go to school. I highly recommend them to any and all working parents!

- Mother

We chose Kirkwood West KinderCare for our daughter when she was born because of the programs and location. It made me very nervous to leave a 13-week-old infant with people I barely knew and I honestly cried the entire way to work the first day I left her there. She had a rough first day, but eventually got into a rhythm and she grew to love the teachers and the programs. She has grown into an outgoing four-year-old and every teacher has helped her learn something different. I feel that she is loved at school because every teacher tells me how sad they are to see her move up to the next room. She loves her friends at school and has really thrived under the curriculum at KinderCare. I know she learns so much more at school than I would be able to teach her at home. Needless to say, when our second daughter was born, I was so comfortable with the staff at KinderCare that I didn't cry a single tear on the way to work when I dropped her off (although I was sad to leave her). The KinderCare staff does a terrific job taking care of our girls and I believe our girls learn so much while they are there during the day.

- Mother

What an amazing place! When I was pregnant ten months ago (first baby), I was very nervous about placing my child with anyone else. I went on approximately 60 tours and when I came to this KinderCare, I felt at home and loved it instantly. My daughter is now ten months old and loves the entire staff so much! She is growing and learning new activities each day. My favorite part of my day is pulling up to KinderCare and she is smiling and kicking her feet with joy to see her friends and teachers. She loves it! I love the daily forms that the staff takes the time to fill out the entire day to keep us completely informed of our child’s activities and food and sleep schedule. This keeps me and my husband organized at home and staying on a schedule. My daughter is sensitive to many foods, and she is at the age now to start table food. The teachers and staff have been so helpful and working with my daughter daily (one-on-one) to help start her on new foods. I know my child is in good hands every day and is getting the best care provided! Thanks to this wonderful staff for all your hard work! Thank you for taking care of my little cupcake!

- Mother

We have been with Ries Ballwin KinderCare for about six years. We have had a wonderful experience. The classes are not too large, so each student can get a little extra attention when needed. For us, that was usually at drop-off time. The teachers do a great job of teaching the children in a way that is fun for the kids. My son loves to come home and tell me what he learned at school and show me all the artwork that he did that day! It is a great feeling being able to drop off my son in the morning and know that he is in a safe, nurturing environment with all of his buddies having fun.

- Mother

Resources for Parents

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