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McMurray KinderCare

Ellis Arato, Center Director

118 Wilhaven Dr. McMurray PA 15317
(724) 941-4579 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 YEAR-OLDS

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Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Borland Manor


Welcome! The McMurray KinderCare is proud to offer one of the best early educational programs in the country - from infant to kindergarten and beyond. Here, your son or daughter will find a rich, nurturing environment where learning is fun, the curriculum grows as skills increase, and passionate teachers turn every learning moment into a positive experience. In short, our center is a place where you can be confident your child will thrive.

Ellis Arato, Center Director

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

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children with teacher


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


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.

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.

Interactive Kindergarten (5 - 6 Years)

A full-day interactive Kindergarten program that utilizes new curriculum with an interactive smart board making first grade readiness a priority.

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.

Teachers & Staff

Every one of our teachers goes through the same rigorous hiring process to ensure their dedication and passion - and their ability to meet the developmental and emotional needs of your child. We confirm all professional references and conduct national criminal background screenings. Each member of our staff meets or exceeds the qualification requirements set by the state of Pennsylvania. Staff members also complete a full orientation and attend a comprehensive training program. No other early childhood education provider can match the level of customer service, experience, and commitment you will find here. Our teachers are truly dedicated to providing the highest quality of education and care for your child.

  • Ellis Arato, Center Director

    Ellis is the Center Director at KinderCare Education in McMurray. She has been with KCE full time since 2015, and has always focused on providing the highest quality of education for young children. Prior to joining KCE, she also worked in the school system.

    She graduated with a master of business in 2010 and a master of teaching in 2015, both from Chatham University. She began working at KinderCare Education full time in 2015, and has taught the Learning Adventures Program, as well as Discovery Preschool. Early education is a true passion, and Ellis works quite simply to ensure that every child has the experiences that every child wants: that of exploration, play, curiosity and nurture. From the moment a child is born, they begin their learning journey. Being part of this journey, is her proudest and greatest accomplishment.   

    Her experience and educational background allow Ellis to lead McMurray in providing an exceptional experience for families and children.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Master of Business Administration/Master of Teaching, PreK-4 Certification
  • Erin Farrell, Assistant Director

    Erin serves as the Assistant Director at KinderCare Education in McMurray. She has been with KinderCare since February of 2009 where she began as an Infant Teacher at the Mount Lebanon center. In 2010, Erin was promoted to the role of Program Specialist where she became responsible for classroom observations and the day-to-day management of the center. Erin continued to take on new responsibility and in 2011 was awarded the title of Assistant Director at the Mount Lebanon KinderCare. She held this position for many years before taking on a new staff training position for the entire market. In November of 2016, she transferred to McMurray and has loved getting to know the families and children! 

    Erin has many years of experience in the field of early childhood. She has been given exceptional opportunities to work in many different programs and has mastered various curricula as well as the corresponding developmental assessments. Erin also has obtained advanced education in the area of child development, and in 2007, was granted a Master of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Her many years of experience coupled with advanced education has prepared Erin to partner with families and staff to create the best possible learning environment for each and every child. 

    Previous Experience:
    Infant Teacher, Program Specialist and Assistant Director at another KinderCare Learning Center.
    Year Started:
    8 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Master of Science in Applied Development Psychology
  • Ms. Amy Sullivan, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Ms. Amy is our Program Specialist here at KinderCare. Prior to becoming the Program Specialist Ms. Amy taught in our Preschool/Prekindergarten classrooms where she brought so much joy and love to learning. She has been with KinderCare for 16 years and has worked in the Education industry for 18 years. She finds her inspiration comes from the children and seeing them apply something she has taught them in a positive way.

    Year Started:
    18 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 Years
  • Ms. Ally Bem, Learning Adventures

    Ms. Ally's favorite thing in her program is the students, because they are the future of the world. She is inspired by the quote: "Our job is to teach the students we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them." - Dr. Kevin Maxwell.

    Children just love being in her program because she facilitates thinking, engages their minds, is always an active listeners. She cultivates their dreams!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Ms. Nelson is Missing

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Sarah Keller, Transitional Kindergarten

    What inspires Sarah is her desire to learn more and what her children learn daily.

    Sarah's favorite thing about teaching is watching children learn and grow each day. She enjoys learning from her students! Children love being in Ms. Sarah's classroom because she provides a loving environment and she makes learning fun!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Angie Gray, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I am driven by the smiles and laughter of the children in my class. Seeing the excitement they have for learning excites me to teach!

    Ms. Angie's favorite thing about teaching is seeing the excitement of her children when they learn something new! They inspire her daily. Her students love being in her classroom because she engages with each and every children to make the class a warm and supportive learning environment!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Where the Wild Things Are

    Year Started:
    16 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    12 Years
  • Ms. Darla Bennett, Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Darla's children love being in her Preschool classroom because they feel happy, safe and loved! She is inspired from the excitement of discovering the unknown for children! Her favorite thing about teaching is the proud faces of her students when they learn something new!

    Favorite Children's Book:


    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Adele Weitz, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Adele's favorite thing about teaching is the children and their excitement when they grasp a new concept. Her inspiration for teaching is a child's curiosity and their new way of looking at things. Her students love Discovery Preschool because they find out new ways to use old things and the friendships that they make!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Ferdinand and the Bull

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Teri Giffin, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Teri's favorite thing about teaching is how her children have such great joy for life and learning. Her students are curious about the world around them. She is inspired by being with her children on a daily basis- everything is a teachable moment! Ms. Teri's student's love being in her classroom because they feel safe and loved while making learning fun and making friends!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Snowy Day

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Lindsay Stewart, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Lindsay's favorite thing about teaching is interacting with the children and watching their minds grow! Children love being in Ms. Lindsay's class because it is fun filled, where they learn through place and creative projects!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Giving Tree

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Stephanie Burt, Toddler Classroom

    What inspires Stephanie is the children's curiosity of the world and what excites the children.

    Ms. Stephanie's favorite thing about teaching is making relationships with the children and their families. Children love being in her class because Stephanie makes learning fun!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Vanessa Brewer, Toddler Classroom

    Vanessa's favorite thing about teaching is watching the children learn and grow. She loves to hear them learn to talk and gain new words! Her inspiration for teaching is the excitement she sees in her children when they learn! The Toddlers love being in her classroom because they are always dancing, singing, reading and doing fun art activities.  

    Favorite Children's Book:

    We're Going on a Bear Hunt

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Sarah Celedonia, Toddler Classroom

    Ms. Sarah's favorite thing about teaching is the connections she makes with her children and their families. She is inspired by her children, as they are learning new things and gaining new information!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Ten Little Lady Bugs

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Michelle McConnell, Infant Classroom

    Michelle's favorite thing about seeing teaching is seeing the 'ah-ha' moments. Milestones happen everyday in the Infant room and it is amazing to see children work and figure out each one. Her inspiration for teaching is helping and learning how to influence my students in different ways. Her students love being in her classroom because they are so creative! They explore new toys and materials together all the time!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Mara Viveros, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Mara is inspired by the watching all of the children learn new things and helping them figure them out!  Her children love being her classroom because she makes learning fun and safe!  Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing the connections that are made with each moment, making it so special.  There is a different connection with each and every child and it truly makes her feel excited for each and every day with them!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Oh, The Places You'll Go!

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Audie Smith, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Audie's children love being in her classroom because she truly loves each and everyone of them! Her favorite thing about teaching children is helping them reach their milestones. She get's so excited about every one they achieve!  

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Giving Tree

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Georgia, Multi-Age Classroom

    Ms. Georgia's students love being in her classroom because they feel valued and acknowledged! She always has a variety of activities from the curriculum to help them reach their educational and emotional goals. Her favorite thing about teaching is the moment when the students make the right connection with what they know. Georgia is inspired by teaching and spreading the love of learning in a young child's heart.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Where the Wild Things Are 

    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Renee Hartmann, Floater

    The children are our future! I like to see their enthusiasm as they achieve a goal or milestone. Watching the children learn new things and seeing them grow is gratifying. They are the next generation!

    Ms. Renee's favorite thing about teaching is seeing the children smile when they achieve a milestone or accomplishment.  Children love seeing Ms. Renee is their classroom, she is always there with a hug and smile.  Renee is inspired by the children that are in her care.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Raggedy Ann and Andy Books

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

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

  • American Sign Language
  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Vegetarian

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

At KinderCare, the safety of our children and the confidence of our parents are points of pride. From daily sign-in to strict parent/guardian identification and single keypad access, we maintain a rigorous standard for safety. Plus our daily cleanliness and maintenance schedules leave nothing at all to chance. Our Health and Safety Coordinator ensures our staff are trained on monthly focus areas for keeping current with health and safety guidelines. Most importantly, all staff obtain CPR and first aid certification according to NAEYC guidelines.

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.

I am writing to express my thanks and appreciation to all of the wonderful teachers and our director, Johanna, at the McMurray KinderCare. Last year, I did something I never thought I would do and that was to put my children in school. It was a very tough decision, but one I am so thankful for now. My children have grown in so many wonderful ways and I know it is because of the excellent teachers that work with my children. Miss Amy made learning so much fun for my daughter when we were making that tough transition of starting at KinderCare, and she has continued to touch both of my children's lives in so many wonderful ways. Miss Tiffany and Miss Katie have helped my daughter become an excellent reader and chef through KinderCare's Enrichment Programs, and I am looking forward to my son having them in his Learning Adventures classes. My daughter looks forward to spending time with them every day and really admires them. Ms. Christine, Ms. Taylor, and Mr. Jason have made learning so much fun for my daughter that she actually gets excited to go to school and has repeatedly said on our way, "I love school so much!" A statement like that says so much! I would also like to thank Miss Casey, Miss Renee, Ms. Kelly, and Ms. Johanna because I know whether it is in the morning or during the day that they have also impacted my children's lives. To all the excellent teachers and management at KinderCare, thanks for all that you do to help my children and so many others grow into such well-rounded intelligent little people. Your job is truly the most important job, and I thank you for doing it so well.

- Mother

We would like to take a minute to tell you what an excellent experience we have had since joining you this past October. Every person that my daughter, Cameron, and I have interacted with at your center has been extremely professional, kind, caring, and patient. I can honestly say that when I leave my baby girl each morning, and all mothers know how difficult that is, I know that she will spend the day being loved, nurtured, protected, and educated. Having this confidence and peace of mind during my workday is truly invaluable. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the extra measures that your teachers take several times every day to monitor Cameron for fevers and febrile seizures. This clearly demonstrates how willing your teachers are to go "above and beyond" to keep our precious children safe. Thank you for loving our little Cam and for helping to bring out the best in her both academically and socially. We truly appreciate everything you do every day!

- Mother

We write this letter to recommend the KinderCare Learning Center located on Wilhaven Drive in McMurray, Pennsylvania (“KinderCare”) generally and its private kindergarten program specifically. We make this recommendation as family members of this facility, as our now five (5) year old son has attended KinderCare since he was three (3) months old. At that time, we were, I think, understandably frightened to leave our only child with individuals that we had met only a few times, during our visits to the facility. Nonetheless, the KinderCare had been recommended to us by a very close friend, an elementary school teacher, who insisted that this was the only facility that we should consider, and we have been grateful every day for her advice. Every one of our son’s teachers has reinforced our original decision to have our son attend this facility. From his first teacher, Ms. Audie (who has an amazing touch with infants – and their overprotective parents) through every one of the teachers with whom he has subsequently interacted, we have been blessed with teachers who have cared for him and taught him well. Our son has been enrolled for the last year in KinderCare’s private kindergarten, and we believe his math and reading skills have benefited immeasurably from the classes that he has attended and the personal attention that he has received. We are impressed by his continued interest in both math and reading – when he received a tablet for Christmas, he was more interested in downloading books from class to read than he was to play the games. Finally, the administrative staff is accessible and responsive to all of our requests for discussions about our son’s progress or our concerns about current events. Ms. Johanna has made time for one-on-one meetings with us within minutes of our requests, and our son still runs to the front desk every day to see and talk to Ms. Tiff on his way home. We understand that there are many other private as well as public kindergarten programs, but we believe that this KinderCare with its private kindergarten is one of kind, that our son and all of the children attending this private kindergarten program are provided an advantage in learning the skills necessary to complete a successful education.

- Parents

The past three and a half years at KinderCare have been phenomenal for my daughter and us.  Both my husband and I had mothers who stayed at home and raised children, so I was TOTALLY against daycare and somewhat afraid of it.  However, KinderCare changed all of that for me!

From the moment that we lost our neighbor's care for our daughter and had one week to find care, KinderCare stepped right in, assisted us, and made us feel right at home.  I truly believe that there is no other daycare facility in the area that provides the level of care, safety, security, and education that your facility does.

Every teacher was so loving with our daughter, and even when there were issues or concerns, they were addressed.  Most importantly, she was loved, and that is just what she needed.  From the moment she started at 18 months with MIss Casey, she began to flourish in all areas of development.  KinderCare catered to our every need, whether it be with her speech therapy when she was 2, her concussion when she was 3, healthy meals provided by Ms. Janet, Learning Adventures, or any of her care or educational needs/desires.  I can't believe how the years have flown by, and how much my baby girl has grown and learned, and you all are forever a part of her story.

You should feel so good about the work and care that you are doing/providing.  It takes a lot for me to trust someone with my most prized possession, and KinderCare took it and handled it with true care and love, until the time when she was more then ready to spread her wings and start Kindergarten as the youngest student in her class.

So from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU so much, for the last three and a half years.  I can never repay you for what it has meant to me.  I know you will be seeing my daughter at least on some breaks and summers (maybe more)...but her main full time tenure has sadly come to an end.  You will also now have my little baby boy in November, and we look forward to same level of care.


- Mother

We wanted to express our immense gratitude to you and your Kindergarten staff, Kayti, Tara, and Jason, for providing a quality and caring Kindergarten program. Your program has offered dedicated, inspiring and enthusiastic teachers and a phenomenal program. Our daughter loves school and is challenged daily with your curriculum and social environment. Your program provides not only the necessary educational environment but the whole staff is dedicated to providing enrichment on a daily basis. We would recommend your program to anyone wanting their child to receive an invaluable solid educational foundation.

- Parents

I don't know how and where to begin to thank you all!
I remember the first day I brought our son to KinderCare.  This was the last place on our list of "tours" and the first place (and only place) my son and I felt an immediate connection.  It was a perfect match!

There are many differences between KinderCare and other schools.  A few differences I noticed right away is that every time I have called, you have answered the phone with warmth and enthusiasm, you have greeted us every morning with a friendly smile, and you truly care about each and every child that walks in the door.  From the warm greetings, friendly smiles, happy kids and fun atmosphere, it has been a wonderful experience!

You all have helped in preparing my son for Kindergarten and future school years.  You have taught him so much and have enriched his overall well-being.  He came into KinderCare very shy, introverted and lacked confidence.  Today he is confident, excited and eager to learn and explore.  You brought him "out of his shell".....I owe it all to you!

Thank you for your support, kindness, warmth and compassion.

You are amazing leaders and incredible teachers and we are eternally grateful.


- Mother

See what’s happening on the blog

Our staff would like to welcome you to visit our center. The staff takes pride in keeping up to date with the latest trends in Early Childhood Education. Ongoing training is offered to the staff during the year at the center and though the various training opportunities in the community.

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