Melissa Fonda, Center Director
- Every Day · Every Child · Excellence · Accreditated · Knowledge Universe
Did you know kids that are enrolled in an early childhood education program have higher high school graduation rates, post-secondary school attendance and are more likely to own homes?
Simply put, enrolling your child in our KinderCare Learning Center is the greatest gift you can give them if you want the best for their future.
Enroll now for our 2015-2016 school year!
Thank you for inquiring into KinderCare Learning Center of Mt. Lebanon! We value your interest in our program and wish to guide you in every possible way in your pursuit to place your child in the most nurturing learning environment. The best way to learn about our program is to see it personally, if you have not already done so, we hope you will schedule a tour. You will have the opportunity to see the center, meet the teachers, and learn about the curriculum and daily schedule. Our experienced and knowledgeable teachers have careers that are rich with fond memories of the children that they have cared for and watched grow. We all look forward to meeting your family soon!
Melissa Fonda, Center Director
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As children reach school age, our comprehensive full-day kindergarten program helps them explore, communicate, and create – all in a nurturing, small-class setting. Our team of expert educators has created a unique curriculum of reading, language, arts, math, science, and physical fitness that’s presented in a fun way to encourage a lifelong love of learning. Plus, our program is aligned with local and state elementary school standards, so children will be prepared to confidently enter first grade.
A full-day interactive Kindergarten program that utilizes new curriculum with an interactive smart board making first grade readiness a priority.
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.
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.
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.
Set your child up for advanced success with literacy through phonics, the study of letters and sounds. Reader books, games, and activity cards help your child understand the basics of vowels and blending syllables, giving him confidence and command of language.
Spanish Adventures provides young learners with a foundation for later success with the Spanish language. Music, games, children's Spanish literature, and other tools give children multiple opportunities to hear, practice, and see Spanish language for vocabulary and conversational development. Curriculum includes lessons on greetings, numbers, colors, animals, family, body parts and pets as well as how to get engage conversationally during common scenarios at home, a restaurant, or at the zoo. Qué pasa?
Each and every one of our teachers has been carefully selected through an in depth interview process to ensure their abilities as a teacher and their passion for the early childhood field. We process all references and conduct all state and federal background checks before any candidate can begin working in our school. Upon hire, each teacher completes a rigorous training program which covers curriculum, accreditation, health and safety, as well as the importance of teaching each individual child. Our teachers are truly dedicated to providing exceptional quality care for your child.
Whether it's through block, sensory, or dramatic play, children are learning skills that will last a lifetime.
Ms. Melissa has been with Knowledge Universe for 14 years. She began with KinderCare as a preschool teacher giving her an inside look at Early Childhood Education: focusing on classroom management, daily interactions, lesson planning, and strengthening relationships with families within the center. During this time Ms. Melissa also served as an enrichment teacher to students of all ages focusing on small group music classes. Ms. Melissa was then promoted to a Program Specialist, giving her the opportunity to mold and adapt the curriculum and enrichment for children ranging in age from infant to 12 years old as well as a great experience mentoring and coaching a team of 13 teachers. In 2009 Ms. Melissa was given an incredible opportunity to open a state of the art KinderCare facility in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, situated in Mt. Lebanon. Here, she serves as the Center Director where her focus is to tap into her knowledge and experience in order to create the best possible learning environment for children and the families they care for each and every day. Her top priorities include: taking excellent care of our children, partnering with families, and maintaining incredible staff. Her goal is to make each and every day a positive learning experience for all of the children in her care. Ms. Melissa was awarded the Team Building Award for exemplary coaching and leadership as well as Center Director of the Year twice in her eight year tenure as a Center Director. This award recognizes her demonstration for excellence and inspiring excellence to perform at their best. Most recently Ms. Melissa was selected alongside approximately 50 of her colleagues in the Center Director role from across the Country to serve on the distinguished Knowledge Universe School Advisory Council. In recognition of her outstanding leadership, family connections, and educational programming her entire school and team of teachers has been selected as one of Knowledge Universe's best schools. Lastly, Ms. Melissa is also the Quality Team Leader for the Pittsburgh area, as a director committed to maintaining exceptional teaching standards she has been chosen for this role. Leaders in this role provide other nearby centers with support and guidance around quality and accreditation.
Ms. Katelin joined our KinderCare team on November 20, 2008. She graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies which prepared her to relate and educate each and every family KinderCare serves. Ms. Katelin started in the Preschool Classroom when the school first opened and she worked to mentor all new incoming teachers guiding them with the new curriculum and developmentally appropriate practices with children. In addition to teaching in the Preschool classroom Kate has also taught in our Discovery Preschool classroom (two year olds). Katelin has also taught our individualized enrichment programming, offering small group classes. While instructing our enrichment classes Katelin had the opportunity to work very closely with families, maintaining baseline assessments for the children and preparing them for Kindergarten. Ms. Katelin is an exceptional teacher and was responsible for creating lesson plans, classroom enhancements and developmental assessments. On February 16, 2009 Ms. Katelin won the Spirit of Excellence in Education award from KinderCare of Mt. Lebanon. Recipients of this award offer fun and enriching activities to their class, which build important cognitive and social skills. Ms. Katelin sets the stage with all of our students to build language expression and vocabulary by talking about things that are important to each and every one of them. In May of 2014 Ms. Katelin was promoted to Assistant Center Director changing her role. Miss Katelin is now responsible for scheduling, financial, curriculum, and the overall operations of the center. Katelin's passion is working closely with the teachers and mentoring them in their classroom with classroom enhancements, daily routines, and developmentally appropriate practices.
Ms. Kathy graduated with a Master of Science in Education from Duquesne University in 2006. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and an Associates in Science with a concentration in Child Development. Ms. Kathy has an abundance of experience working as a professional nanny for over four years before teaching elementary and middle school. Ms. Kathy started at KinderCare in March of 2010 as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher. During her time as a Pre-K teacher, Ms. Kathy was responsible for planning and implementing daily activities in the classroom. Ms. Kathy also won the Teacher of Excellence Award in October of 2013 and the Team Builder Award in October 2014. In November 2014, Ms. Kathy was promoted to Program Specialist and quickly became an invaluable member of the manangement team! In her spare time , Ms. Kathy enjoys spending time with her family and her teenage son.
Ms. Brianne is an amazing addition to our KinderCare team! She joined us in 2012. Ms. Brianne graduated from Cansius University in Buffalo New York with a certificate in Early Childhood education. She is absolutely fabulous at working with our little ones! Ms. Brianne is proficient with every age group and has taught alongside Ms. Tawny in the Discovery Preschool classroom for some time. In 2013 Miss Brianne was promoted to lead Preschool teacher and then again to enrichment specialist. Ms. Brianne is responsible for enrolling, teaching and retaining of Learning Adventures enrollment. Her classes include Phonics, Math, Music, Cooking and Yoga. Ms. Brianne also taught an 8-week Gardening Adventure called Green Nights. She is a great communicator and a fantastic team player. In her free time, Ms. Brianne also plays and coaches lacrosse. She also likes to run, watch movies and hang out with friends. In the future Ms. Brianne plans to continue working with young children and coaching lacrosse.
Miss Brett joined the KinderCare team in September of 2013 as an Infant teacher. She graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Psychology. As a lead infant teacher Miss Brett is responsible for implementing daily curriculum while maintaining the needs of the children and keeping in constant communication with her families. Miss Brett excels and enjoys in creating an enhanced learning environment for all of the babies at KinderCare! She is dedicated, caring and passionate about her work which make her a great fit for the infant classroom. In her spare time Miss Brett also enjoys coaching a local lacrosse team.
Ms. Heather is a trustworthy, nurturing and fun infant teacher. She loves to create teaching enhancements for all of the infants to play and learn in! In October of 2014, Ms. Heather was awarded the Teacher of Excellence Award for all of her hard work and dedication. Ms. Heather also loves spending time with her two sons, and they enjoy playing board games, riding bikes and having Family Movie Nights. When Ms. Heather has spare time she also enjoys reading and cleaning.
Ms. Alyssa has been an Infant Room teacher since 2010. She is a dedicated worker and strives to make the classroom a warm and welcoming place where children can grow and learn each day. Ms. Alyssa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education from Slippery Rock University. Miss Alyssa comes from a large family, and is the oldest of five children. Some special experiences that happen in her room include: celebrating first birthdays, helping children take their first steps, and teaching them how to eat at the big kid table! Ms. Alyssa also enjoys reading, traveling and photography!
Ms. Karyn began her career at KinderCare in 1989 at the Bridgeville KinderCare as a teacher of the three year olds. In 1991, she had the opportunity to teach in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District and therefore left Kindercare. After over 20 years of teaching various grades, including Special Education, she decided to follow her true passion, teaching younger children. In January 2009, Ms. Karyn returned to KinderCare at the Mount Lebanon Center as an Infant Teacher. A few years later she became the Learning Adventures Teacher at the Bridgeville Center and now has settled down once again at the Mount Lebanon Center as a teacher in the Infant, Toddler and Two year old rooms.
Ms. Kelsey graduated from Ohio Weslyan University with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked alongside many of our teachers in a variety of age groups until joining our infant classroom in May of 2013. Ms. Kelsey's compassionate attitude and love of babies makes her a perfect fit to work with our newborns. Ms. Kelsey's great organization skills help her to stay on task and her communication skills are one of a kind! She truly enjoys speaking with each of her families especially during Parent Teacher Conferences where she shares the amazing portfolios that she puts together for each and every infant. In her spare time, she loves to craft and organize anything she can get her hands on.
I love being an infant teacher because I am very passionate about the early education babies need to advance in their later years!
Miss Olivia began her journey at KinderCare in April 2013. Miss Olivia went to Clarion University majoring in Early Childhood Education where she obtained a great amount of knowledge in the early childhood field. She has always been surrounded by children because of a large family and coaching softball for her local community. Miss Olivia has always had a passion to teach young children. When she was offered an infant position she was very excited. In the classroom, Miss Olivia is responsible for lesson plans and making sure that each baby is taken care of and loved. She is very happy to be a part of the KinderCare team!
Miss Skylar joined the KinderCare team in 2013 as one of our amazing toddler teachers! She graduated from Edinboro with an Associates Degree in Preschool Education. Miss Skylar's outgoing and friendly personality along with her passion for Early Childhood make her a great asset to the KinderCare team. She truly is not afraid to take on any task which is what makes her a great fit for the adventurous toddlers! In February 2015, Miss Skylar was chosen to be a Team Leader for our center and for the toddler room. She is responsible for helping the classrooms with curriculum, enhancements and the NAEYC process.
Ms. Amanda has worked at KinderCare since February of 2011. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Education from Lock Haven University. Ms. Amanda has a quiet and calm personality which makes her an asset in the classroom. The toddlers are Ms. Amanda's favorite age group. The things that make Ms. Amanda unique are her love for singing and dancing. Ms. Amanda uses singing and dancing for activity transitions in her classroom too. In her free time she attends lots of sporting events. Ms. Amanda plans to obtain her Master's in an education related field in the future.
I look forward to work each day because I can really see each child grow individually, as well as a community in the classroom. I am learning from them as much as they are learning from me. Seeing them grow and develop each day in front of me is what I enjoy about my work.
Miss Angela started her journey at KinderCare Learning Center on June 3, 2013 in one of the Toddler classrooms. She is thrilled to be working with this age group. Miss Angela is able to help them develop through their physical, cognitive and socio-emotional domains with many fun tools and enhancements that are available in the wonderful curriculum that is offered at KinderCare. She graduated in May of 2013 from John Carroll University where she studied Early Childhood Education. There she worked with a variety of children in many different schools, finally completing her work with a semester of student teaching in a first grade classroom. She has spent a number of hours in and out of the classroom researching Early Childhood Education and keeping up to date on how to care for these children at this critical learning time in their lives. Miss Angela graduated with a teaching license that allows her to instruct PreKindergarten through third grade. Before joining us she worked with children in a number of settings including teaching gymnastics, being a nanny, day care, tutoring and babysitting.
Ms. Maria earned her Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Villa Maria College of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. Her caring personality and nurturing ways makes her a perfect fit with the toddlers. The children love singing and dancing with her and learning new things everyday. In her spare time, Ms. Maria loves to spend time with her family and friends.
Ms. Erin joined KinderCare in 2013 as a floater but quickly found that she was a great fit in the Discovery Preschool classroom. She has experience as an assistant and lead teacher from other learning center in which she was responsible for conducting lesson plans and daily activities as well as keeping in constant communication with her families. Ms. Erin also has three boys at home to keep her busy while she is not working here at KinderCare!
Miss Jazmin joined the KinderCare team in August of 2013 and immediately started working in the Discovery Preschool classroom. Her vibrant and outgoing personality were an instant fit in working with the energetic two year olds! She quickly gained a lot of experience in creating and enhancing her classroom and went on to become a Team Leader for Discovery Preschool. Miss Jazmin graduated from St.Vincent College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a second major in Psychology. Recenty, Miss Jazmin will be working as our temporary Enrichment Specialist. In her spare time, Miss Jazmin enjoys singing, dancing and spending time with her family.
Miss Lauren is one of our Discovery Preschool teacher since May of 2014 when she graduated from Westminster College with a Bachelors in Elementary and Special Education. During her time at Westminster she worked in the Preschool Lab as a Teacher's Aide and she really enjoyed her time spent with the preschoolers. Miss Lauren is a very caring, compassionate and creative teacher and the two year olds absolutely love being a part of her class.
Ms. Tawny began her career at KinderCare Learning Center in June of 2010. Tawny joined the team as one of our Discovery Preschool teachers. She has many years experience in the field of early childhood education and has quickly become one of Mount Lebanon's valuable assets. Ms. Tawny obtained an Associates degree in early childhood and has begun work on her Director's Credential at Point Park University. Currently, Ms. Tawny serves as a teacher mentor to all incoming staff and takes a lead role in helping train new teachers on curriculum and classroom enhancements. Ms. Tawny's classroom is a true expression of her dedication and passion for the field of early childhood and she treats each and every child as if they were her own. In the fall of 2014 Ms. Tawny was awarded the Early Childhood Educator award. This prestigious award is given by Knowledge Universe to a teacher in each region and has a careful selection process that is based upon each educational component. It is Knowledge Universe's highest honor and comes with a cash prize of $10,000. Upon receiving this award Ms. Tawny was also invited to attend a professional NAEYC conference in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Tawny is a valuable asset to Mount Lebanon's team and has future plans to continue her career at KinderCare.
Ms. Amber comes to KinderCare with a vast knowledge of Early Childhood. She spent three years working at the Bennet Family Center at the Pennsylvania State University in the Infant and Toddler Room and then moved on to work as a Preschool teacher in another Child Development Center. She joined our KinderCare team in 2014 and currently works in our Preschool classroom as a lead teacher and Team Leader for preschool. The team leaders are responsible for overseeing curriculum, enhancements and the NAEYC process. In her spare time Miss Amber enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Miss Dana is one of our lead preschool teachers at KinderCare since January of 2015. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Robert Morris University where she studied Elementary Education. Miss Dana is very outgoing, energetic and hardworking which are three qualities that every high-quality teacher needs! In the future Miss Dana plans to continue working with children and taking every great opportunity that comes her way!
Ms. Angela recently joined our team as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher. She earned a Bachelor's Degree from Winona State University with a concentration in Elementary Education. Ms. Angela's previous experience has prepared her for a great start at KinderCare. She is caring, energetic and compassionate which helps her relate to all of her students in Pre-K. In her spare time, Ms. Angela enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Ms. Taryn joined the KinderCare team in December of 2014 as one of our lead Pre-Kindergarten teachers. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Robert Morris. Ms. Taryn has excellent classroom management skills and a way of connecting with each of her students! Prior to coming to KinderCare, Ms. Taryn worked at a local childcare center as a Preschool Supervisor. She also is the coach for the Baldwin High School cheerleaders. In her spare time Ms. Taryn enjoys watching the Pittsburgh Penguins and spending time with her husband.
I love seeing the growth and development in children. We discover new things every day, use our creativity and imagination and we never stop having fun while learning!
Ms. Katie serves as a lead Prekindergarten teacher at the Mount Lebanon KinderCare. She began her journey at KinderCare in 2008. Prior to teaching at our center Ms. Katie had the amazing experience to work at an early learning center in Germany where she gained a vast knowledge of Early Childhood Education. Ms. Katie also holds several degrees dealing with Early Childhood and Instruction and curriculum. Ms. Katie's creativity and amazing teaching abilities show in her classroom through her amazing enhancements and the smiles on the children's faces every day. Ms. Katie is a fantastic communicator and has a great rapport with the families, children and co-workers. Ms. Katie is an amazing addition to our KinderCare team!
Ms. Christina is our Kindergarten teacher at KinderCare of Mount Lebanon. Ms. Christina graduated from Point Park University in 2009 with high honors and earned her degree in Elementary Education. Ms. Christina previously worked at Stepping Stones Children's Center as the Kindergarten Teacher and quickly discovered it is her passion. She loves working with this age because of their sense of curiosity and their readiness to learn and explore. In 2013 Ms. Christina launched Mount Lebanon's first year of working with the K12 curriculum. Her first year working with the smart board was a great success and she looks forward to continuing to work on this role. In her free time, Ms. Christina enjoys reading a good book or gardening. She also spends time with her three children Nicholas, Alaina and Gabrielle. She is a volunteer of both Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities. Ms. Christina’s creativity, knowledge of the curriculum and positive attitude is a wonderful asset to the KinderCare program and we are so happy to have her teach our Privately Licensed Kindergarten.
Our center is home to many families from the Mt Lebanon, Upper St Clair, and Bethel Park communities and comprised of 35 teachers with over 200 years of experience. Each and every day we make it our goal to give the children in our care the best possible start to their future through a variety of hands on activities and positive interactions while recognizing children's work and accomplishments. Our center and our team are designed to provide your children with learning experiences that open their eyes to sharing and exploring. We are sure that our center will make you feel welcome and quickly a part of our family. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Our location is currently closed on the following holidays or days of observance: New Years Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving, and lastly Christmas Day.
Keeping your children safe and secure is our first priority. In addition to our built-in security features at the center, we strictly follow established procedures for your child's arrival and departure, including identification of those picking up each and every child. We additionally maintain rigorous methods for health and cleanliness. We value your child's health and recognize that preventing the spread of infectious disease is a very important part of quality child care. Through strict cleaning schedules and maintenance of our centers we strive to achieve excellence with health and safety regulations. Moreover, all of our staff have achieved First Aid and CPR certification which is maintained on a yearly basis.
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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