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Kirkwood KinderCare

Ms. Julie Johnson, Center Director

341 South Kirkwood Rd. Kirkwood MO 63122
(314) 966-5244 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds
Open:

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Neighborhood:
Kirkwood Neighborhood

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
George R. Robinson, Keysor, St. Peter Catholic, North Glendale, F.P. Tillman, Westchester

Welcome

Welcome to the Kirkwood KinderCare! We are located in the heart of downtown Kirkwood, just north of the Magic House behind the Kirkwood Post Office. Walking in our front door, you will immediately feel welcomed by our friendly staff and cozy environment. Each classroom is designed to foster your child’s individual growth and development. From our Infant Classroom to our School Age Club, our teachers and support staff are passionate about each child’s success at the Kirkwood KinderCare!

Ms. Julie Johnson, Center Director

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

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AMERICA’S MOST ACCREDITED

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.

illustrated bear in rocketship

SCHOOL-READY

Our kids are taking off!

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

Accreditation

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.

Monthly Activities

May's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Colors and Shapes

Spring fills nature with vibrant colors and interesting shapes, making this the perfect month for the infants, toddlers, and children in Discovery Preschool to explore these concepts. Infants will have a blast as they smash paint in plastic bags and explore blocks with different shapes, while toddlers will practice identifying and sorting different shapes and colors before making their own color-and-shape books! Meanwhile, the children in Discovery Preschool will create rainbow artwork and continue to practice sorting, counting, and matching shapes and colors.

Children 4–5 years old: Insects and Spiders + Water

Some children might find insects and spiders a bit frightening, but this month they’ll discover how cool these tiny critters really are. Children will find out how insects create food for plants, how bees makes honey, why spiders spin webs, and more. After that, children will dive into the world of water! Preschoolers will learn about how water can take three forms (solid, liquid, and gas), children in Pre-K will learn about the importance of keeping water clean and explore the different ways people use water, and our kindergarteners will learn about different water sources and why water conservation is so important. 

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

Cooking

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.

Math

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.

Music

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.

Teachers & Staff

Welcome to the Kirkwood KinderCare Learning Center, the premier early childhood learning center. We provide a high-quality educational environment to your child through enriched daily activities, safe classroom environments, and quality staff members. As a staff, we are dedicated to both the education and the safety of your child. If you at any point have any questions for us, feel free to stop in the office, call, or email with the contact information provided. We feel privileged and honored that you are considering our establishment for your child.

  • Ms. Julie Johnson

    Ms. Julie Johnson, Center Director

    Ms. Julie has been with KinderCare since 1995. She started as a Preschool Teacher and worked her way to becoming a Staff Trainer, Assistant Director, and now a Center Director, which she has been since 2008. She has been at the Kirkwood location since it opened in 1998. This is her second home! She loves seeing the children's happy faces when she comes in and their hugs when they leave! It gives her much joy to see them succeed as they grow up within the program. She is married to a wonderful husband, Jeff, and has three children of her own: John is 17, Casey is 15, and Owen is seven. They all grew up attending KinderCare and are doing well in school because of KinderCare's curriculum, passionate teachers, and the foundation of learning that was given!

    Year Started:
    1/17/1995
    Tenure:
    22 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    22
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Jennifer Foley-Yavuz, Assistant Director

    Year Started:
    1/1/2005
    Tenure:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11
    Education:
    Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Sarah Piotraschke

    Ms. Sarah Piotraschke, Assistant Director

    Ms. Sarah has been working at KinderCare since May 2003. She has worked with all different age levels, including in the Discovery Preschool Classroom since 2010. Ms. Sarah loves working with two-year-olds! She loves watching them experience new things, create new adventures, and learn throughout the day. Ms. Sarah lives with her daughter, Ellen, and dog, Sadie. Their favorite past-time activity is spending time together as a family! Ms. Sarah's whole family grew up in the St. Louis area and they enjoy each other’s company! In the fall,she and her family get together and make apple butter.

    Year Started:
    3/24/2008
    Tenure:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9
    Education:
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Madison

    Ms. Madison, Infant A Classroom

    Ms. Maddy has been a part of the KinderCare team for almost a year now, but KinderCare has always been an important part of her life: She grew up as a KinderCare kid! Ms. Maddy spent nearly 12 years running around, learning, and growing here. Some of her favorite and most impactful memories came from this wonderful program. It is for this reason that she is extremely grateful to be back as a teacher, helping shape the live of kids just like her. Ms. Maddy is currently enrolled in college taking classes that will bring her into a career as a Special Education Teacher. Working here is an important step in that direction and is truly a blessing. Ms. Maddy could not imagine her life without it.

    Year Started:
    9/3/2014
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3
  • Ms. Emma

    Ms. Emma, Infant A Classroom

    Year Started:
    2/15/1999
    Tenure:
    18 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15
  • Ms. Kelly

    Ms. Kelly, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Kelly has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2008. She has a ten-year-old daughter who is now in fifth grade. Ms. Kelly has been working with children since 2003 and with KinderCare since Sept. 2009. When she is not teaching or taking care of her family, Ms. Kelly likes to take pictures of animals at the St. Louis Zoo!

    Year Started:
    9/28/2009
    Tenure:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7
  • Ms. Hiyam

    Ms. Hiyam, Infants Classroom

    Ms. Hiyam started with KinderCare in November of 2015. She loves coming to work each day and seeing the babies' smiling faces! Ms. Hiyam enjoys teaching them new things and watching them grow. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family!

    Year Started:
    11/9/2015
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
  • Ms. Kelli

    Ms. Kelli, Infant C Classroom

    Ms. Kelli has been in education since 2000 and here at KinderCare since 2003. She has been in every room but has found her home with the older infants and toddlers! Ms. Kelli is married and has a daughter. She’s in her last year at KinderCare and then she’s off to kindergarten! Ms. Kelli's family loves to be outside and she is always taking pictures of their adventures! Ms. Kelli also loves being creative and crafty, and likes bringing that side of herself to the classroom!

    Year Started:
    4/11/2004
    Tenure:
    13 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    13
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
  • Ms. Alexa

    Ms. Alexa, Toddler Classroom

    Ms. Alexa started at KinderCare in June 2016! She is currently attending nursing school. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

    Year Started:
    6/6/2016
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
  • Ms. Kim

    Ms. Kim, Toddler Classroom

    Ms. Kim has taught at Kirkwood KinderCare since March 2014 and she has had the opportunity to teach in all of the rooms. She recently received her associate credential through Rasmussen College. Before she started at KinderCare, Ms. Kim worked at a before- and after-school program at an elementary school. She has been working in child care for 11 years. Ms. Kim got married in April 2016 and gained two amazing step-sons-- Brady is 14 years old and Ethan is 11 years old. Outside of KinderCare, she enjoys spending time with her family.

    Year Started:
    3/14/2014
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11
    Education:
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Marissa

    Ms. Marissa, Toddler Classroom

    Year Started:
    5/23/2016
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
  • Ms. Karlee

    Ms. Karlee, Toddler A Classroom

    Ms. Karlee has worked at KinderCare since June 2013. She has experience working with every age group. Ms. Karlee finished two years of college at St. Louis Community College toward a major in special education and is currently working toward her child development associate credential. She has always wanted to work with kids and loves her job at KinderCare. She works to establish individual relationships with every child in her care. Ms. Karlee can’t wait to meet you and your child! 

    Year Started:
    6/3/2013
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3
  • Ms. Selene

    Ms. Selene, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Selene is a teacher in the Discovery Preschool 2 class. She has been teaching at the Kirkwood KinderCare since August 2014. She started in the Infant C Classroom and has been in Discovery Preschool since August 2015. She has been an Early Childhood Teacher since 2008 and has three years of management experience. Prior to starting her early childhood education career, Ms. Selene worked for the Special School District with children who have autism spectrum disorders. She and her husband, Jon, have been married since 2001 and have a son named Cillian, who is at Tillman Elementary. In her free time, Ms. Selene reads, bakes, plays video games, and has adventures with Cillian and Jon.

    Year Started:
    8/24/2014
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15
    Education:
    Master's Degree in Special Education
  • Ms. Amelia

    Ms. Amelia, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Year Started:
    11/9/2015
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
  • Ms. Sarah

    Ms. Sarah, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    My name is Sarah Langford.  I have been teaching 2 year olds since 2002 and with KinderCare since April 2007!  Since starting here, I have taught in the Discovery Preschool (two’s) class.  I love all my little kiddos, seeing them progress everyday is very rewarding.
     
    I have an almost 16 year old son who is a sophomore at Kirkwood High School.  He is a great student and JV football player!  One of my passions, besides children, is being healthy.  Working out at the YMCA almost everyday is awesome and very invigorating!  I also babysit for quite a few families here and I have developed close relationships with many of them. 

     

    Year Started:
    4/2/2007
    Tenure:
    10 Years
  • Ms. Terra

    Ms. Terra, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Year Started:
    8/26/2010
    Tenure:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6
  • Ms. Darcy

    Ms. Darcy, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Ms. Darcy has wanted to be a teacher since she was in elementary school. Her brother and her stuffed animals were her students when she played “school” as a child. Ms. Darcy started her teaching career in 1993 after graduating from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She taught K-12 vocal music and 6-8 instrumental music for nine years.  After moving to Missouri and joining KinderCare in 2002, she added early childhood certification to her teaching certificate. Ms. Darcy has taught in the Kindergarten and Prekindergarten Classrooms. She absolutely loves teaching four- and five-year-olds! They are so excited about learning and a lot of fun, too! Ms. Darcy's favorite part about being a teacher is getting to see “those light bulb moments."

    Year Started:
    8/5/2002
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Education; Music Degree
  • Ms. Debra

    Ms. Debra, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Ms. Debra comes from a large family--she has one sister and seven brothers! She is the fifth oldest. Ms. Debra also has four children of her own: two girls and two boys. She is also a grandmother of six! Ms. Debra is family-oriented and loves to sing and dance. She also loves spending time with her significant other and her family. She once ran her own in-home daycare. Ms. Debra has been with the Kirkwood KinderCare since November 1998 and loves working with children! She has been working with Ms. Darcy since 2007 in the Pre-K Classroom. Ms. Debra has a passion for working with children. She is glad to have the opportunity to work in such a wonderful environment!

    Year Started:
    11/23/1998
    Tenure:
    18 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    18
  • Ms. Kristen

    Ms. Kristen, Learning Adventures

    Ms. Kristen teaches KinderCare's Learning Adventures programs, such as Phonics, Math, Cooking, and Music! She has been teaching at KinderCare since April 2011. In 2013, she earned her associate credential through Rasmussen College. Prior to her employment at KinderCare, Ms. Kristen was employed at Kirkwood United Methodist Church in their children’s day-out program for five years. During her career as an early childhood educator, Ms. Kristen has worked with children six weeks old up to 12 years old. She is very passionate about teaching toddlers! Her life began in northeastern Pennsylvania. Ms. Kristen attended Penn State University for two years studying hotel and restaurant management. Next she went on to graduate from culinary school at Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Academy of Culinary Arts. An internship took her to Palm Beach, Florida where she worked for The Breakers as a professional chef. Ms. Kristen met her future husband soon after and four years later moved with him back to his hometown of Glendale, Missouri. Ms. Kristen, her husband, Joe, and their two children, Kaylee and Dominic, now reside in Kirkwood. They have been living in Kirkwood since 2005 and very much love where they live!

    Year Started:
    4/11/2011
    Tenure:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6
    Education:
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Jackie

    Ms. Jackie, Floater

    Ms. Jackie has been employed at KinderCare since October 2013. She has her associate's degree in education and is CPR and First Aid certified. She has taught in many of the classrooms so you may see her all over the center! Ms. Jackie loves having the opportunity to work with the kids in each classroom every day. She enjoys getting to see all of them and has developed close relationships with many of them and their families. When she is not at KinderCare, Ms. Jackie spends time babysitting and doing photography. She does her own photography on the side as well as helping out with other companies. When she does manage to have free time, Ms. Jackie enjoys spending it with family and friends, playing sports, listening to music, spending time down in the country riding four wheelers, camping, and taking the boat out and hanging by the river!

    Year Started:
    10/14/2013
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3

Upcoming Center Activities

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May
May's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Colors and Shapes

Spring fills nature with vibrant colors and interesting shapes, making this the perfect month for the infants, toddlers, and children in Discovery Preschool to explore these concepts. Infants will have a blast as they smash paint in plastic bags and explore blocks with different shapes, while toddlers will practice identifying and sorting different shapes and colors before making their own color-and-shape books! Meanwhile, the children in Discovery Preschool will create rainbow artwork and continue to practice sorting, counting, and matching shapes and colors.

Children 4–5 years old: Insects and Spiders + Water

Some children might find insects and spiders a bit frightening, but this month they’ll discover how cool these tiny critters really are. Children will find out how insects create food for plants, how bees makes honey, why spiders spin webs, and more. After that, children will dive into the world of water! Preschoolers will learn about how water can take three forms (solid, liquid, and gas), children in Pre-K will learn about the importance of keeping water clean and explore the different ways people use water, and our kindergarteners will learn about different water sources and why water conservation is so important. 

Monday May 29, 2017
Center Closed for Memorial 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

  • Croatian

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

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, please be sure to check with your Center Director for specific closures.

Health and Safety

This center adheres to the highest safety, cleanliness, and maintenance standards. This center is accessible via single-entry security with keypad access, and we utilize daily sign-in sheets and strict parent/guardian identification procedures.

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.

There are so many teachers I want to thank for their help! I'll start with Ms. Sarah. They have been so supportive and understanding of my son. They know all of the children in their class as individuals, which is very impressive with the number of children in their class! I've noticed this with all the teachers and staff as well. My child's speech has improved greatly since coming to Ms. Sarah's class. My child also seems to have a great bond with Ms. Karlee. Thanks to you all. I could imagine my child being at any other daycare!

- Mother

We love Ms. Melissa! You can really tell she loves these children so much. Her creative activities with the babies and proactive communication with the parents has been off-the-charts fantastic.

- Mother

I love the pics! We hang them in our son's bedroom. My morning starts with beautiful smiles and friendly voices! My son knows what to expect... consistent, high-quality care! Thank you! The five-year-old room rocks!

- Mother

They tell me funny stories from my son's day. They get as excited as I do when my ten-month-old does new things, which he seems to do every day! They are still excited to see my older kids, even though they are KinderCare graduates now!

- Mother

My child has been with Ms. Sam for a while now. She is awesome because she truly loves our child. It makes us feel great to drop him off every day and know he will be in the care of such a great person.

- Parent

Ms. Kristen, we love your enthusiasm and thank you for your patience. Our child is learning so much! As I leave every day, everyone says something to my child, whether it's good-bye, a little story, or just a smile. It is obvious that everyone at Kirkwood KinderCare really loves every child. Thank you.

- Mother

Ms. Darcy is awesome because she's super organized and prepares our kids so well for kindergarten! Ms. Debra is awesome because she is so caring and loves the kids!

- Mother

Ms. Kelly is awesome because when my child is feeling shy when I drop her off in the morning, Ms. Kelly is always ready with a big hug to make her feel better. Drop-off can be so stressful, but Ms. Kelly helps make it easy! Ms. Kelli is awesome because she is so engaged with the children. She treats them with respect and sincerity and I know my child responded to that--she loved Ms. Kelli immediately! Both "Kelly/ies" have helped make my child's transition to KinderCare really smooth, and I'm so happy with the way things are going--and my child seems pretty happy too!

- Mother

Ms. Samantha is awesome because she makes my child love school and want to learn! Ms. Jessica is awesome because she teaches special subjects and makes them fun for kids. Ms. Darcy is awesome because she really trains the kids well for kindergarten. My child is advanced and breezing through his assignments now!

- Mother

Ms. Darcy and Ms. Deborah, I would like to say thank you so much for preparing my child for kindergarten. His success in kindergarten is all because of the dedication you have for those prekindergarten children! He is in the top tier of readers in his kindergarten class because of the wonderful teaching you gave him.

- Mother
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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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