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Pinewood Drive KinderCare

Joan Longtin, Center Director

14301 South Pinewood Dr. Orland Park IL 60467
(708) 403-8990 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Years
Open:

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Elementary Schools Bussed To:
We service several schools in Homer Glen, Lockport, and Orland Park. Please call for further details.

ExceleRate Illinois

Our facility has achieved the Gold Circle of Quality through ExceleRate Illinois, the state's new quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development programs.  ExceleRate Illinois recognizes a provider's commitment to quality beyond the basic state licensing requirements.  The Gold Circle of Quality shows that our program has gone the extra mile to make sure your child receives the enhanced learning and care experience.
Gold Circle programs meet or exceed specific quality benchmarks on learning environment, instructional quality, and all program administrative standards; group size and staff/child ratios; staff qualifications; and professional development.
Please visit: www.excelerateillinois.com
 

Welcome

We would like to invite you to stop in to see our center and meet our staff. We have been at this location since 1990 serving families in Orland Park, Homer Glen, and Lockport. We take great pride in our center and the longevity of many of our staff members. We care for children ages 6 weeks - 12 years. Educational programs are available at each level including a kindergarten program and before and after school care.

Joan Longtin, Center Director

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

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children with teacher

AMERICA’S MOST ACCREDITED

We’re so proud!

Nationally only 10% of daycares are accredited–nearly 100% of our learning centers are. That’s a big difference, and that means KinderCare kids are getting the very best. Here’s why.

illustrated bear in rocketship

SCHOOL-READY

Our kids are taking off!

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

Accreditation

Many of our child care centers are accredited by national organizations that require us to meet rigorous early childhood education standards and guidelines for high-quality care and education. Programs that are accredited have demonstrated their commitment to go beyond the state’s minimum licensing requirements to meet and maintain these high standards of quality.

Monthly Activities

May's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Colors and Shapes

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

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

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

Our Programs

Infant Programs (6 weeks - 1 year)

Babies grow and learn every day. Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing "home away from home" where babies can explore and make new discoveries. We know that learning through play is extremely valuable at this age and our Early Foundations® Infant program is designed to give babies the skills that will serve as the building blocks for a lifetime of learning.

Toddler Programs (1 – 2 Years)

As toddlers develop friendships, self-esteem, and curiosity, our Early Foundations® Toddler program will help them explore their world in a safe and nurturing environment. Our unique curriculum is based on the philosophy that children learn best through experiences. So each day is filled with fun activities that excite and develop toddlers, giving them the comfort and confidence to speak those first few important words, as well as make their first friends.

Discovery Preschool Programs (2 – 3 Years)

At this age, children are making new discoveries daily. And as two-year olds begin to exert their independence, our Early Foundations® Discovery Preschool program is prepared to open their eyes to a world of learning, sharing, and exploring. Our holistic approach in the classroom engages young minds with a blend of music, art, and movement, as well as the early education fundamentals they'll need as they continue on to preschool.

Preschool Programs (3 – 4 Years)

As preschoolers gain more self-esteem, they may feel ready to take on the world. Our Early Foundations® Preschool program enhances that confidence by providing activities to help children become problem solvers and lifelong learners. Through independent exploration, structured activities, and hands-on learning, children will work on early literacy, math, science, and social studies concepts. A healthy dose of running, jumping, and dancing keeps them active too.

Prekindergarten Programs (4 – 5 Years)

Prekindergartners are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime – school. And our Early Foundations Prekindergarten® program is designed to get them ready by teaching letters and words, math concepts, and valuable social skills. With small group instruction, independent play in an organized atmosphere, and whole-group activities, children will have all the right skills to hop, skip, and jump right into kindergarten.

Private Kindergarten Programs (5 – 6 Years)

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.

Before- & After-School Programs (5 – 12 Years)

Even after school's out for the day, children need to be engaged in a comfortable, yet stimulating environment. That's where our Catch the Wave® program comes in. This innovative before – and after-school program allows school-age children to balance learning and fun through a variety of experiences. From homework help to fun physical activities, our program is designed so that everyone goes home happy.

Summer Programs (preschool, prekindergarten, and school-age)

Don’t miss out on KinderCare’s Summer of Wonder: Six themed programs that will make summer exciting, educational and tons of fun. Whether your child is in our preschool, Pre-K or school-age programs, all of it is designed to help children learn while soaking up the fun. We offer flexible scheduling options to meet the needs of busy families like yours so we hope to see you there.

Participating Child Care Aware Center

KinderCare has partnered with Child Care Aware® of America in an effort to offer fee assistance for Active Duty military families and solutions to their child care needs when care at a Child Development Center on the installation is not available.

Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program

Cooking

The Cooking Adventures program gives children opportunities to participate in fun, developmentally appropriate cooking experiences. They will learn about recipes, ingredients, cooking vocabulary, and the importance of a healthy diet. The curriculum includes lessons on picnics, pizza, and heart-healthy meals.

Music

Ongoing research proves that early exposure to music helps children think, reason, create, and express themselves. Children will laugh and learn about rhythm, vocal melodies, and a variety of musical genres and instruments, which can lower stress and advance memory. Learning never sounded so good.

Phonics & Reading Adventures

Set your child up for advanced success with literacy through phonics, the study of letters and sounds. Reader books, games, and activity cards help your child understand the basics of vowels and blending syllables, giving him confidence and command of language.

Teachers & Staff

We are proud to say that some of our teachers have been at our center since it opened in 1990. Several others have been with KinderCare for 20 or more years. Each of our lead classroom teachers are teacher qualified according to the State of Illinois standards. Some of them also hold college degrees.

  • Joan Longtin

    Joan Longtin, Center Director

    Joan Longtin has been with KinderCare Learning Centers since 1985. She helped open the Oak Forest KinderCare as a three year old teacher and assistant director. She became a center director in 1987 at the Country Club Hills KinderCare and transferred to the Pinewood Drive KinderCare in 1992. Joan's goal as a center director is to provide families with a safe and secure environment and provide children with a quality educational environment.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Guess How Much I Love You! by Sam McBratney
    Year Started:
    8/5/1985
    Tenure:
    31 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    29 years
    Education:
    Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Northern Illinois University
  • Dawn Roman

    Dawn Roman, Assistant Director

    Dawn Roman has been with KinderCare since 1994. She worked as a two year old teacher, kindergarten teacher, and then assistant director at the KinderCare on Windsor Drive in Orland Park. In 2001 she transferred to the Pinewood Drive KinderCare as assistant director. She assists Joan in providing a safe, fun, and quality educational program for all the children. Along with her duties as assistant director, she teaches our phonics and reading programs. She truly loves sharing her love of reading with the children in her phonics classes.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Real Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes
    Year Started:
    11/7/1994
    Tenure:
    22 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 years
    Education:
    Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Ms. Debbie

    Ms. Debbie, Cook, Van Driver, 2nd Assistant Director

    It makes me feel good when I see the children's faces light up when I bring them lunch.

    Ms. Debbie has been with KinderCare since March 1984. She obtained an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts from Joliet Junior College. Ms. Debbie is our cook, van driver, and 2nd assistant director.

    Year Started:
    3/5/1984
    Tenure:
    33 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    31 years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Applied Science
  • Ms. Roseann

    Ms. Roseann, Infant Classroom

    I try to always have a warm and loving atmosphere in my room.

    Ms. Roseann is an early riser, so she enjoys her early start at KinderCare. She enjoys greeting the children and their parents as they start their day. She tries to make the children and parents feel as comfortable as possible at drop off time. As a parent, she knows how difficult the drop off process can be.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Boxcar Children by Gerturde Chandler Warner
    Year Started:
    8/1/1990
    Tenure:
    26 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    24 Years
    Education:
    Child Development Associate's
  • Ms. Courtney

    Ms. Courtney, Infant Classroom

    I love being a part of a child's early foundation of learning. To see their face light up when they achieve a new milestone is truly exciting.

    Ms. Courtney is kind and caring and very patient with the children. She started at the Pinewood Drive Center in July 2012. She has a background in teaching and management at KinderCare. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2002 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. One unique thing that Ms. Courtney does with the infants is teach them basic sign language.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Courtney has previously worked as a nanny, Kindergarten teacher and consultant for a health club.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
    Year Started:
    8/1/2011
    Tenure:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Jennifer

    Ms. Jennifer, Toddler Classroom

    I love working with children and teaching them new things.

    Ms. Jennifer has worked with children for about 10 years. After taking child care in high school, Jennifer realized she wanted to teach. She attended Saint Xavier University where she received her Bachelor Degree in Liberal Arts. After college, she worked as an infant teacher and assistant director. Now at the Pinewood Drive KinderCare, Jennifer is the toddler teacher. Jennifer thinks the best part of being a teacher is being able to see how much the children grow just within the year of being in her class.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Jennifer previously worked as an infant teacher, preschool teacher and assistant director.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
    Year Started:
    2/1/2012
    Tenure:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 years
    Education:
    Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Ms. Barb

    Ms. Barb, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love watching the children interact with each other in learning centers and see how much they grow from September to May.

    Ms. Barb has been the prekindergarten teacher since May of 2011. She previously worked for KinderCare from 1986 to 1998 at other centers in the area. She likes to incorporate large muscle activities into her daily routine. She has a great passion for teaching and helping the children develop intellectually in all the extra activities she adds to her programming.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Barb was previously a KinderCare Assistant Director and Director.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    There was an Old Lady that Swallowed a Fly! by Pam Adams
    Year Started:
    5/23/2011
    Tenure:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    13 years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Chris

    Ms. Chris, School Age Classroom

    Ms. Chris started with KinderCare in 1990. She has been our Kindergarten teacher for the past eight years. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Learning Disabilities from St. Xavier University. Prior to teaching Kindergarten, Ms. Chris worked with several different age groups. Her favorite age is Kindergarten. She is very passionate about reading as she feels it is the root of all learning. Ms. Chris knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Chris was a Sunday school teacher.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
    Year Started:
    1/1/1990
    Tenure:
    27 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    23 years
    Education:
    Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education, Master of Arts in Education Learning Disabilities
  • Ms. Carmen

    Ms. Carmen, Floating Teacher

    Ms. Carmen has obtained an Associate of Arts Degree this past year. She has been taking child development and child psychology classes sine she was a junior in high school. She is currently studying at Lewis University where she plans to obtain a degree in Early Childhood Education with a Special Education endorsement. She has a passion for teaching early childhood and hopes to be with the KinderCare staff for years to come.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Carmen has babysitting experience.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Today is Monday by Eric Carle
    Year Started:
    12/17/2012
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 year
    Education:
    Associate of Arts Degree
  • Ms. Charlotte

    Ms. Charlotte, School Age Classroom

    The daily opportunity to both facilitate learning and witness wonderful moments of discovery is a privilege that I will never take for granted.

    Ms. Charlotte has been with KinderCare since January of 2000. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from Elmhurst College in early childhood education. Reading stories to the children and organizing art projects are among her favorite activities in the classroom.

    Previous Experience:
    Special education support, kindergarten teacher, prekindergarten teacher
    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Anderson

    Year Started:
    1/12/2000
    Tenure:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20
    Education:
    Bachelor of Arts in Education
  • Ms. Dana

    Ms. Dana, Floating Teacher

    I have always wanted to be a teacher, so watching the children grow and learn everyday is very exciting to me.

    Ms. Dana has been with KinderCare since the summer of 2014.  She took child development and early childhood education classes in high school.  Currently, Ms. Dana is studying Elementary Education at Lewis University.  Ms. Dana enjoys getting to spend time with all the children and seeing how much they grow throughout the year.

    Previous Experience:
    babysitting, taught in the preschool at Carl Sandburg High School
    Favorite Children's Book:
    The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
    Year Started:
    6/6/2014
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
    Education:
    Working on a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education

Upcoming Center Activities

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May
May's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Colors and Shapes

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

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

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

Monday May 29, 2017
Center Closed for Memorial Day

About Our Center

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

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

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

We strive to make our center both a safe and healthy place to be. Our front entryway is password protected by a keypad. Our age appropriate fenced in playgrounds offer a safe environment for your child to play outside. We serve two well balanced meals and a snack each day, all of which are prepared on the premises. Our staff are trained and certified in First Aid and CPR.

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.

Dawn and Joan (and Staff):
 
I am most thankful to both of you, Pinewood KinderCare and your tremendous staff. Like Shawn, I see Jonathan developing every time he’s there. His growth is amazing and I thank you all.
 
As a parent, it is a wonderful feeling to know your child is not just taken care of throughout the day, but they are loved. You both should be very proud of the facility you manage.
 
Thank you both (all)!

- Father

The Pinewood center is the best place, by far. The teachers are engaging, the programs are fun and educational. For my kids, going to daycare is the best part of their day. I would like to give a loud round of applause to Joan and her team. Not only are the teachers there for the kids, helping my daughter learn her ABCs and teaching her how to calm down during her many temper tantrums, the staff is there for ME TOO. Always willing to chat for a minute if the class room setting allows it. I have never been to another center, but they would seriously have to work at taking me away from Pinewood. I'm currently in the process of moving and I will NOT move outside of Pinewoods' territory. Keep up the great work!!

- Mother

Joan, Dawn, and Staff,

My family recently moved further away from the daycare center, and the subject of transferring to another day care was brought up. I quickly dismissed that notion as I am very happy with the way my family is treated by the leaders of the building. My daughter's needs are met, she is provided instruction, she is learning valuable social skills, and above all else, is clearly loved by Joan, Dawn, and the entire staff. Thank you for taking such great care of my family. Simple words can not express the appreciation I have for everyone for all they have done for us.

- Father

I always enjoy picking up my granddaughter from Pinewood KinderCare. I am always greeted with a smile and a friendly hello from either Joan, Dawn, or Debi. The Pinewood staff does a wonderful job of keeping the families involved. I always look forward to attending the fun activities they have planned throughout the year. All questions and concerns are answered promptly. A warm thank you to all the staff at Pinewood Drive.

- Grandmother

Since before our daughter was even born, my wife would talk about the Pinewood center and all the things she liked about the staff and the curriculum. She would often say that she would not bring our daughter anywhere else. After our daughter turned two we wanted her to enroll in a preschool program for more interaction with children her age. Of course the Pinewood center is the only place my wife would consider. Joan and Dawn and all the staff have done a wonderful job helping both my daughter and wife adjust. Thank you! We wouldn't want her to be anywhere else!

- Father
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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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