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University KinderCare

Brittany Cervenka, Center Director

525 Huron Blvd. South East Minneapolis MN 55414
(612) 623-4642 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 5 YEAR-OLDS

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Southeast Minneapolis Neighborhood

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
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Welcome to University KinderCare! Located at 525 Huron Blvd SE, on the East Bank campus at the University of Minnesota. Our location brings us young, energetic, highly qualified staff and great ties to our surrounding community. We would love to meet you and your family to show you our facility, introduce you to our staff, inform you about our curriculum, and work with you to highlight the many ways our center will suit the needs of you family!

Brittany Cervenka, 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.

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.


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.

Soccer (summer months)

Teachers & Staff

The teachers and staff here at our University KinderCare are passionate about educating and nurturing young children. We have recently welcomed some new teachers to the KinderCare Family and doing so has added a lot of diversity to the qualifications that our teachers have. The majority of our teachers have their CDA, Bachelor’s Degree, or Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. The University KinderCare team strives for excellence through continuing education from professional development trainings to seeking additional college courses or seminars in the education field. At the end of the day, the true key to our teachers' success is their passion for teaching and their love of learning.

  • Brittany Cervenka

    Brittany Cervenka, Center Director

    Brittany has worked for KinderCare since 2009 starting as a teacher, moving on to working as the Assistant Center Director of University KinderCare from March 2013 until May of 2016 when she took over as Center Director. She attended the University of Minnesota where she received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology. Brittany enjoys working with families and staff to create the unique sense of community you will find at University KinderCare.

    Previous Experience:
    Brittany has a variety of experiences of working with children. In addition to her experience with KinderCare she has volunteered at Children's Hospital and Clinics in Minneapolis, Women of Nations shelter in St.Paul, and the Minnesota Children's Museum.
    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
  • Kayla Seymour

    Kayla Seymour, Assistant Director

    Kayla has worked for KinderCare since 2012 starting as a Toddler and then Discovery Preschool teacher until 2015 when she became University KinderCare's Program Specialist. After a little over one year in that role Kayla became Assistant Center Director in fall of 2016. Kayla's favorite part of her job is the opportunity to connect with children and families each day. 

    Previous Experience:
    Growing up in a family who fostered children and helping out in her mother's in-home childcare is where Kayla's love for caring for children began. Kayla has also volunteered at a women's shelter working with children from abusive homes, had internships with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Head Start in Winona, and nannied for families in the metro area.
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Child Advocacy
  • Marlee

    Marlee, Learning Adventures

    Marlee began working with KinderCare in 2013 as an Assistant Teacher in a Toddler classroom. In 2013 she transferred to University KinderCare where she first worked in the Preschool classroom. In 2014 she became the Health and Safety Coordinator and began to teach Learning Adventures classes. Marlee is currently attended the University of Minnesota where she is pursuing her bachelor of arts degree in child psychology and her minor in public health. Marlee loves getting to work in all of the classrooms at University KinderCare because she loves getting to create unique and special bonds with all of the children and parents. Marlee also enjoys teaching Learning Adventures classes and seeing the children's faces light up when they learn something new!

    Previous Experience:
    Marlee has volunteered at Masonic Children's Hospital getting to play and work with children while they receive care there. She has also volunteered at an childcare center for children with autism. Marlee had the joy of spending her summers volunteering at a camp where she cared for the camp staff's children.
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Child Psychology and Minor in Public Health
  • Emily

    Emily, Learning Adventures

    Emily joined the University KinderCare in 2014. Emily has worked with all of the age groups and has dedicated a special focus to helping grow the center's Learning Adventures enrichment programs. She currently attends the University of Minnesota where she is pursuing her BA in Speech Language Hearing Sciences. Upon completing her bachelor's she is enrolling in a master of science program to study Speech Language Pathology. Emily loves helping create a welcoming and fun environment for the children and families at University KinderCare. 

    Previous Experience:
    Emily has worked with children in many ways. In addition to working at KinderCare, Emily also works at M Health Children's Hospital. She has volunteered at Regions Hospital and spent six years as a PCA for children with special needs.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Speech Language Hearing Sciences
  • Emma

    Emma, Learning Adventures

    Emma has worked at University KinderCare since 2014 as a Assistant Toddler Teacher and Spanish Adventures Teacher. She is currently in her senior year at the University of Minnesota where she is pursuing a bachelor's degree in global studies and Spanish. She will be graduating in May 2017. Emma enjoys working with the toddlers and getting to know their individual needs and personalities to be able to help them develop. 

    Previous Experience:
    Emma has been working and volunteering with children since she was in middle school. Throughout middle and high school she volunteered with children's ministry at her church and spent a lot of time babysitting. She also spent time during high school gaining experience while working at a childcare center.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Pursuing Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies and Spanish
  • Amy

    Amy, Infant Classroom

    Amy began working at University KinderCare in 2014. She has worked with all of the age groups spending time as an Assistant Teacher in Discovery Preschool, Preschool, and Toddlers prior to becoming a Lead Infant Teacher in 2016. Amy attended the University of Minnesota where she received her bachelor's of science degree in child psychology and is currently pursuing her master's in education at the University of St.Thomas. 

    Previous Experience:
    Amy has been working with children since she became a nanny at a young age. In addition to her experience with KinderCare, Amy has taught swimming lessons for young children and volunteered in daycare centers and orphanages on various mission trips to New Orleans, Louisiana and the Dominican Republic.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Child Psychology, pursuing Master's in Education
  • Amanda

    Amanda, Infant Classroom

    Amanda started as an Assistant Teacher in the Infant classroom at University KinderCare in February 2016. She attended the University of Minnesota from 2011 to 2015 where she studied Child Psychology and Spanish. 

    Previous Experience:
    Before working at KinderCare, Amanda completed a summer internship in Valencia, Spain working as an Assistant Preschool Teacher and teaching English. She also worked with children during her time as a Research Assistant with the Masten Lab at the U of M's Institute of Child Development.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Bachelor's degree in Child Psychology and Spanish
  • Morgan

    Morgan, Infant Classroom

    Morgan has worked at University KinderCare as a Lead Infant Teacher since 2016 and loves each day. She loves working with the children and families to make everyday fun and special.  She is pursuing her Master's in History online through Southern New Hampshire University and plans to go on to earn a PhD in History upon completing her current program. She is excited to have the opportunity to work with the infants at University KinderCare as she continues her studies. 

    Previous Experience:
    Morgan has worked in the Early Childhood field for several years before coming to KinderCare. She previously taught a class of two-year-olds and has worked as a babysitter for multiple families over many years. She also has four years of CPR and First Aid experience as a lifeguard and swimming lessons instructor.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Pursuing a Master's degree in History
  • Esma

    Esma, Toddler Classroom

    Esma began working at KinderCare in 2015. Before moving to Minnesota she lived in Texas and New York where she received her bachelor's degree in biology and a minor in Spanish. Esma has a unique perspective as both a teacher and a parent as her son also attends University KinderCare. She loves working at University KinderCare because she being able to share her knowledge and experience helps her grow both personally and professionally.  

    Previous Experience:
    Before moving to Minnesota, Esma spent four years teaching at both an early childhood learning center and a Montessori program.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Bachelor's degree in Biology and Minor in Spanish
  • Cheryl

    Cheryl, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Cheryl has worked for KinderCare since 2015 starting as the Lead Teacher in the Toddler classroom and then becoming the Lead Teacher in the Discovery Preschool classroom. She attended SUNY Purchase College where she received her bachelor of arts degree in liberal studies focusing on the arts. Cheryl enjoys working with Toddlers because of their high energy level and imaginative nature. 

    Previous Experience:
    Cheryl has been working with children in a center setting since the age of 14, always wanting to be part of a community of people working together to create a caring and secure environment for children to grow and learn.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies
  • Lexi

    Lexi, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Lexi joined the KinderCare family in November 2016 as an Assistant Teacher in the Discovery Preschool classroom. She attended Joliet Junior College in Illinois where she earned her associate in art. Lexi loves sharing her passion for art with the children in her classroom.  

    Previous Experience:
    Lexi has been working with children for many years. In addition to her experience at KinderCare, she has taught Sunday School, painting classes at a library, and worked as a nanny.
    Year Started:
    Associate degree in Art
  • Jessica

    Jessica, Preschool Classroom

    Jessica started working at KinderCare in 2016 as the Lead Preschool Teacher. Jessica attended Concordia University in St. Paul where she received her bachelor's in early childhood and elementary education. She believes learning should be fun and adventurous and she likes to bring that into Preschool everyday!

    Previous Experience:
    Jessica has several years of experience working with children. She worked as a Teaching Assistant at a summer camp and volunteered at an after-school program and childcare center. While completing her degree she also student taught preschool, kindergarten, and first grade classes.
    Year Started:
    Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Iris

    Iris, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Iris began working at University KinderCare in March 2015 starting in the Infant program and soon after taking a full time role in the Prekindergarten classroom. She really enjoys working with children and meeting new people. She enjoys teaching her class new things and being able to see their smiling faces every day!

    Previous Experience:
    Iris has been working with children since she was 15 years old. She started as a babysitter for her nieces and nephews and then moved onto volunteering at a local church's childcare program.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Pursuing her Child Development Associate
  • Marissa

    Marissa, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Marissa started with KinderCare in October of 2016 as a Lead Prekindergarten Teacher. She attended Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated in May 2016 with her bachelor's degree in social work.  

    Previous Experience:
    While Marissa was attending college she worked at the YMCA's before and after school care program where she found her interest in working with children.
    Year Started:
    Bachelor's degree in Social Work
  • Emma

    Emma, Cook

    Emma joined KinderCare in 1996 starting at the Riverview location in Minneapolis before moving to University KinderCare in 2007. She is busy each and every day providing nutritious meals made with love. She has worked with many families over the 20+ years she has been with KinderCare and loves being able to watch every child grow. 

    Year Started:
    20 Years

Upcoming Center Activities

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April's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Growing Gardens

What better time to explore the beauty and science of flowers and gardens than the spring? Infants’ learning will focus on sensory experiences with different plants and flowers, while toddlers and three-year-olds have the opportunity to learn how to care for plants. We’ll plant seeds in soil, water the plants, observe bugs and discover how they help plants grow, and even plant a butterfly garden outside! We’ll build math skills by counting seeds, learn new vocabulary words related to flowers and plants, and as always, sing songs and read books involving gardens. 

Children 4–5 years old: In the Spring + Wild Animals

For children in the Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten Classrooms, April is about exploring all things spring and discovering wild animals! Preschoolers will look for signs of spring outdoors, make mud cakes and count the twigs placed in them, and paint still-life paintings of things related to spring. When our learning turns to wild animals, we’ll learn about the habitats and habits of creatures big and small while maintaining a focus on learning lowercase letters. 

The older children in Transitional Kindergarten will focus on project-related work and pick something to work on together. In years past, children have painted a mural, made spring parade floats, painted wild animal masks, and created a model of a wild animal’s habitat. Both of these units focus on expanding the children’s understanding of the natural world around them.

Monday April 10, 2017
Come get a sneak peek of summer at KinderCare during our Open House event, from April 10th – 14th.

At KinderCare, our summer adventures are designed for learning and fun. We love taking our experiments outside, having special guests visit our centers, and even exploring our senses on walks outside or by rolling around in the cool grass. We can’t wait to meet you and show you what makes our centers special and why we would love to spend our summer with you!

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.

Special Features

  • Diverse families and staff
  • Teachers that are energetic, engaging and have a variety of experience.
  • Surrounded by a community that is rich in culture
  • Convenient location-only 1 block off of I-94 near the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus
  • Full parking lot for families and visitors

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • American Sign Language
  • Mandarin
  • Punjabi
  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Special diets

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, safety is our top priority. We offer a keypad entry, a fenced playground and all of our staff are CPR and First Aid certified. Ms. Marlee is our Health and Safety Coordinator and ensures that we are followings all of the proper policies and procedures to keep our students safe. We take special precautions throughout the day to make sure each and every child in our care is kept safe. When a child is safe, learning can begin.

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.

We have two children at the University KinderCare location.  Our children are excited to go to school.  They teach us new songs and games all the time. The center is filled with energetic teachers passionate about working with young children.  We and our children are happy to have KinderCare in our lives!

- Parents

Leaving my son after maternity leave in the care of others was difficult for me. I wanted to care for him, but knew it was time to get back into my career. The staff at KinderCare eased my worries immediately. From the very first week, I was amazed at how much they knew about my child and had already grown to care about him. Every day I pick him up and he has the biggest smile on his face. The teachers are loving, intelligent and reflective. I learn new things about my child almost every day based on their observations throughout the day. I really feel like the center cares about my son, and my family. They do fun events throughout the year, and even plan little breakfasts for parents every now and then (always seem to be on a day when I needed a little pick me up on the way to work!). They are such a great resource to have in a young child's life and I'm so grateful for them.

- Mother

It's the little things. Every day when I drop my son off I do not think about if he will go to the bathroom or not. I don't even think much about him eating his whole lunch. It's the little things on the [daily] report that let me know if he had a good day. Did he like bubbles today? Did he make a friend? Did he try something new and how did he react? These are the things I miss during the day and want to hear about. I think Ms. Kayla does a great job at this and it makes me feel like I'm not missing so much.

- Father

We have had a fantastic experience at this daycare center. We currently have 3 children there, and have been at the center for 4.5 years now. The staff is very engaged, with positive attitudes. The management team is fantastic! They are extremely responsive and communicate updates frequently. They plan great activities and keep the kids engaged all day.  Our kids have learned a lot and have made wonderful friends. The curriculum is fantastic. Can't say enough good things about this center!

- Mother

This is THE perfect place for our kids for daycare. The staff care about our kids so much. It makes being away from them during the day a little bit easier knowing that their teachers give them hugs and cuddles throughout the day as they play and learn. The staff is always looking for fun activities for the kids and even many extra ones for the parents and families too. The hours are great. The center is clean and organized. We are very satisfied!

- 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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Resources for Parents

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