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Kirkwood KinderCare

Julie Johnson, Center Director

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

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
between Woodbine & Monroe behind Pioneer Place

Kirkwood Neighborhood

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Robinson, Keysor, St. Peter, North Glendale, Tillman and Westchester

At the Kirkwood KinderCare we have an open-door policy allowing parents to visit us at any time during the day. We offer a very diverse environment with a strong mix of families and teachers. Within the center, all the teachers get to know each child and parent and work to build friendly relationships. Our professional, educated teachers are excited to share their plans with you for a day your child will enjoy. Our goal is to have your child waking you up in the morning ready to get to school each day! We hope you can come by the center and meet our passionate teachers and tour our building, where we offer the best early childhood learning environment for your child! Your child will be ready for Kindergarten with the Kirkwood KinderCare!

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


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 room to our School Age Club, our teachers and support staff are passionate about each child’s success at the  Kirkwood KinderCare!

Julie Johnson, 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.


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.

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Monday October 24, 2016
    1. Class Pumpkin Carving

  2. Wednesday October 26, 2016
    1. Cooking Class: Deep Dish Pizza Cupcakes

Teachers & Staff

Welcome to the Kirkwood KinderCare Learning Center, the premiere 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 e-mail with the contact information provided. We feel privileged and honored that you have chosen our establishment for your child. Thank you for trusting your loved one with us.

  • Julie Johnson

    Julie Johnson, Center Director

    Look for joy in the simplest of things.

    Julie has been with KinderCare since 1995. She started as a Preschool teacher and worked her way to becoming a Staff Trainer, to 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 7. 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:
    21 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    18 Years
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Jennifer Foley-Yavuz, Assistant Director

    Year Started:
    11 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11 Years
    Bachelor's of Science Degree in Elementary Education
  • Miss Sarah P.

    Miss Sarah P., Assistant Director

    My name is Sarah Piotraschke and I have been working at KinderCare since May 2003. I have worked with all different age levels. I have been in our Discovery Preschool classroom since 2010. I love working with two year olds! I love watching them experience new things, create new adventures and learn throughout the day. I live with my daughter Ellen and dog Sadie. Out favorite past time activity is spending time together as a family! My whole family grew up in the St. Louis area and we enjoy each other’s company! In the Fall, we all get together and make apple butter!

    Year Started:
    8 Years
  • Ms. Selene

    Ms. Selene, Discovery Preschool

    Hello! My name is Selene Fitzsimmons and I am a teacher in the Discovery Preschool 2 class. I have been teaching at the Kirkwood KinderCare since August 2014. I started in the Infant C classroom and have been in Discovery Preschool since August 2015. I have been an Early Childhood teacher since 2008 and have 3 years of management experience. Prior to starting my Early Childhood career I worked for the Special School District with children who have autism spectrum disorders. My husband, Jon, and I have been married since 2001 and have a son named Cillian, who is at Tillman Elementary. In my free time I read, bake, play video games and have adventures with Cillian and Jon.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Masters Degree- Special Ed.
  • Ms. Jackie

    Ms. Jackie, Float Teacher

    Hi! My name is Jackie and I have been employed at KinderCare since October 2013. I have my Associates Degree in education and I am CPR and First Aid certified. I have taught in many of the classrooms so you can see me all over the center! I love having the opportunity to work with the kids in each classroom everyday. I enjoy getting to see all of them and have developed close relationships with many of them and their families. When I am not at KinderCare, I spend time babysitting and doing photography. I do my own photography on the side as well as helping out with other companies. When I do manage to have free time, I enjoy spending it with family and friends, playing sports, listening to music, spending time down in the country riding four wheelers, camping, taking the boat out and hanging by the river!

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
  • Miss Madison

    Miss Madison, Infant A

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

    Year Started:
    2 Years
  • Ms. Emma

    Ms. Emma, Infant A Classroom

    Year Started:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 Years
  • Ms. Kelly

    Ms. Kelly, Infant Classroom

    My name is Kelly Hagen. I have been married to my High School sweetheart since 2008. I have a 10 year old daughter who is now in 5th grade. I have been working with children since 2003 and with KinderCare since Sept. 2009. When I am not teaching or taking care of my family, I like to take pictures of animals at the St. Louis Zoo!

    Year Started:
    7 Years
  • Hiyam

    Hiyam, Infants Classroom

    Hi! My name is Hiyam and I started with KinderCare in November of 2015. I love coming to work each day and seeing the baby's smiling faces! I enjoy teaching them new things and watching them grow. In my free time I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family!

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 Year
  • Terra

    Terra, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Year Started:
    6 Years
  • Ms. Kim

    Ms. Kim, Toddler Classroom

    My name is Kim.  I have taught at Kirkwood KinderCare since March 2014.  I have had the opportunity to teach in all of the rooms.  I recently received y Child Development Associate (CDA) through Rasmussen College.  Before I started at KinderCare, I worked at a before and after school program at an elementary school.  I have been working in childcare for 11 years. 
    I 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 I enjoy spending time with my family.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
  • Alexa

    Alexa, Toddlers Classroom

    Hi! My name is Alexa and I started KinderCare in June 2016! I am currently attending nursing school. In my free time I enjoy reading and spending time with my family and friends.

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 Year
  • Marissa

    Marissa, Toddlers Classroom

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 Year
  • Amelia

    Amelia, Two's Classroom

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Sarah

    Ms. Sarah, Two's 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:
    9 Years
  • Ms. Kelli

    Ms. Kelli, Infant C Classroom (Older Babies)

    My name is Kelli.  I have been in education since 2000 and here at KinderCare since 2003.  I’ve been in every room but have found my home with the older infants and toddlers! 
    I am married and have a daughter.  She’s in her last year at KinderCare and then she’s off to kindergarten!  My family loves to be outside and I am always taking pictures of our adventures!  I love being creative and crafty.  I enjoy bringing that side of myself to the classroom!

    Year Started:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
  • Ms. Kristen

    Ms. Kristen, Learning Adventures

    Hi and welcome to KinderCare! My name is Ms. Kristen and I teach KinderCare's Learning Adventures such as, Phonics, Math, Cooking and Music! I have been teaching at KinderCare since April 2011. In 2013 I earned my CDA (Child Development Associate Credential) through Rasmussen College. Prior to my employment at KinderCare, I was employed at Kirkwood United Methodist Church in their children’s day out program for 5 years. During my career as an early childhood educator, I have worked with children 6 weeks old up to 12 years old. I am very passionate about teaching Toddlers!
    My life began in Northeastern PA. I attended Penn State University for 2 years studying Hotel and Restaurant Mgt. Next I went onto graduating culinary school from Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Academy of Culinary Arts. An externship took me to Palm Beach, FL where I worked for The Breakers as a professional chef. I met my future husband soon after and 4 years later moved with him back to his hometown of Glendale, MO. My husband Joe and I and our 2 children, Kaylee and Dominic, now reside in Kirkwood. We have been living in Kirkwood since 2005 and very much love where we live!

    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 Years
    Child Development Associate's Credential
  • Miss Karlee

    Miss Karlee, Toddler A Classroom

    Welcome to Kirkwood KinderCare!  My name is Karlee Bruner.  I have worked at KinderCare since June 2013.  I am CPR and First Aid certified.  I have experience working with every age group.  I finished two years of college at St. Louis Community College towards a major in special education.  I am also currently working towards my child development associates.  I have always wanted to work with kids and I love my job at KinderCare.  I work to establish individual relationships with every child in my care.  I can’t wait to meet you and your child!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2 Years
  • Ms. Darcy

    Ms. Darcy, Prekindergarten Classroom

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

    Year Started:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Education and Music Degree
  • Ms. Debra

    Ms. Debra, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Hi my name is Ms Debra Perkins. I come from a large family! I have 1 sister and 7 brothers! I am the 5th oldest. I also have 4 children of my own: 2 girls and 2 boys. I am also a grandmother of 6! I am family oriented and love to sing and dance. I also love spending time with my significant other and my family. I once had my own in-home daycare.
    I have been with the Kirkwood KinderCare since November 1998 and love working with children! I have been working with Miss Darcy since 2007 in the Pre-K classroom. I have a passion for working with children. I am glad to have the opportunity to work in such a wonderful environment!

    Year Started:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 Years

October 2016 Events

October Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Monday October 03, 2016
    1. Happy Birthday Miss Debra

  2. Wednesday October 05, 2016
    1. Cooking Class: Pizza Roll-ups

  3. 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. Professional Development Day - Center Closed

  4. Wednesday October 12, 2016
    1. Cooking Class: English Muffin Pizzas

  5. Thursday October 13, 2016
    1. Happy Birthday Miss Maddy

  6. Friday October 14, 2016
    1. Miss Jackie's 3 year anniversary

  7. Monday October 17, 2016
    1. Happy Birthday Miss Terra

  8. 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!

    2. Hat Day

      Wear your favorite hat to school

  9. Wednesday October 19, 2016
    1. Cooking Class: Pizza Dip

  10. Thursday October 20, 2016
    1. Late Night

      $15/child or $25/family

  11. Friday October 21, 2016
    1. Candy Corn Estimation Jar

      Check it out in the lobby today

  12. Monday October 24, 2016
    1. Class Pumpkin Carving

  13. Wednesday October 26, 2016
    1. Cooking Class: Deep Dish Pizza Cupcakes

  14. Thursday October 27, 2016
    1. Trunk or Treat 6-7:30pm

  15. Friday October 28, 2016
    1. Fall Classroom Parties 10am-3pm

  16. Monday October 31, 2016
    1. Happy Halloween - Pajama Party!

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

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, with daily sign-in 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.

For Ms. Kristen: "We love your entusiasm and thank you for your patience. My child is learning so much!"
As I leave every day, everyone says something to my child, whether it's a bye, a little story, or just a smile. It is obvious that everyone at 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

For 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 give.

- 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

For Ms. Jessica: Thanks for the great instruction and positive reinforcement! My child comes home and excitedly tells us about muisc, phonics and math. She always smiles when she talks about music class!
For Both Sarahs: The activities we do at home and the write-ups of the day help us feel connected. Thanks for the individual attention paid to each student and trying to find new and exciting things to keep them busy and learning!

- 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 5-year-old room ROCKS!

- 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

They tell me funny stories from my son's day. They get as excited as I do when my 10-month-old does new things, which he seems to do every day! They are still excited to see my old kids, even though they are KinderCare graduates now!

- Mother

There are so many teachers I want to thank for their help! I'll start with Ms. Sarah's. 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 day care!

- 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

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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