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Desert Ridge KinderCare

Samantha Steinkamp, Center Director

22050 North 44th St. Phoenix AZ 85050
(480) 419-7008 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
Just North of Loop 101 & Tatum Blvd Just south of

Tatum north of the 101 freeway

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Desert Trails ,Wildfire Elementary School

Everything we do is designed for the care and education of each child. Building relationships between the teachers, parents and children is a priority for our school.

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


Every day we get to do what we love…every day we get to have fun and explore a world of possibilities and wonder with children. 
After 25 years in the field of early childhood education, I cannot go a day without being in the classrooms to join in a discussion or a song, to encourage, wipe a tear, laugh, or share a story.  Children from birth to 5 have a capacity to learn that goes beyond our imagination.  It is our job to provide them with a sense of the world we live in whether it’s math, science, art, music, imagination, friendships, kindness or riding a bike.  It is our job to stretch and grow every child allowing them to explore, experiment and express themselves for their best development…and of course it has to be fun!  From the staff to the environment to the curriculum, we strive to be the very best at what we do. 
As our families, this process includes you because the role we play here must connect with the role you have at home.   Our door is always open for communication, feedback or to help however we are able.  This school, in particular, is a community because we are situated within the community.  These families know one another, the children grow up together here and move on to elementary school together.  We encourage a partnership that benefits the whole child and their whole life.
We welcome you to call and schedule a tour.  Step into a room and be a part of the magic that we are a part of every day!

Samantha Steinkamp, Center Director

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

Our Programs

Infant Programs (6 weeks - 1 year)

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

Toddler Programs (1 – 2 Years)

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

Discovery Preschool Programs (2 – 3 Years)

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

Preschool Programs (3 – 4 Years)

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

Prekindergarten Programs (4 – 5 Years)

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

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

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

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

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

Participating Child Care Aware Center

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

Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program


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

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.


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?

Teachers & Staff

Our center has over 50 years of experience of child care.  All of our teachers have a passion for working and caring for children and it shows through out the center!

  • Samantha Steinkamp

    Samantha Steinkamp, Center Director

    “There is nothing like the joy of watching a child learn”

    Alene started as the Center Director at Desert Ridge KinderCare in December of 2009 after 18 years in the private school sector here in Phoenix. This is a second career for Alene. After her children were born, she started volunteering in their preschool classrooms. She felt it was time for her to go back to school for early education. She says her love for children and education made it a perfect fit. When the opportunity came available to work at KinderCare, she jumped on it and was excited to be able to be with such an awesome organization. Alene loves to garden, read, and entertain in her spare time. She and her husband have been married 36 years and have two grown children.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare, Alene taught preschool and prekindergarten for a number of years. She also worked on the administration side of early childhood education.
    Year Started:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 years
    Early Childhood Education Degree, Child Development Associate Credential (CDA)
  • Samantha Steinkampi

    Samantha Steinkampi, Assistant Director

    I enjoy feeling like a kid and being able to play and laugh with the children. Watching the children who started as Infants and who now have moved from one class to the next has brought such amazing gratitude to me. I look forward to learning new methods of teaching as I advance in my career. Working with children is something that has brought so much meaning to my life and I could not imagine myself in any other field.

    Samantha comes to KinderCare with many years in Early Childhood Education working with children of different ages. She enjoys watching various ways children learn and progress through the years. Since She has been with KinderCare her main focus has been in the Infant rooms before being promoted to the Assistant Director position. Samantha moved from Louisiana to Arizona in 2011 with her son Landon. After getting her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education she hopes to teach 1st or 2nd grade.

    Previous Experience:
    Samantha started babysitting at the age of twelve and continued until she was seventeen, at which point she began working at a daycare center. She worked there for five years with children from birth to three years old. Samantha also worked at a preschool for six months with children ages two to five prior to joining KinderCare.
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 Years
    Pursuing Bachelor's of Science Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Jill, Discovery Preschool

    Receiving my Bachelors in Elementary Education has given me such a passion for teaching.

    Being from a very large extended family including four children of my own (2 sets of twins!) has given me so much experience.  I have also taught Kindergarten and 2nd grade which gave me a passion for teaching.
    I was born on Long Island and have so many wonderful childhood memories.  Believe it or not most of them involve doing something fun in the snow.  In my daily interactions with children in a classroom, I want to help create positive memories for them.  Whether it is the first discovery of how to build a tower that will stand, celebrating being able to hop on one foot, or learning about a character in a book, preschool experiences are certainly the foundation for their love of life-long learning.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Julie

    Ms. Julie, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    I just know that I love chldren and that this is the right career for me!

    Being the oldest of six children, I was always watching for my siblings or family friends!  From those beginnings and a mother of an older son whom is married, I knew that this career choice was the best option for me.
    Over the many years I have worked at the YMCA and various centers but what is consistent to every position or location is that watching children grow, develop and learn new things is so rewarding.  I have been with KinderCare for five years and what is most important to me is knowing that I play a small part in their educational experince and their growth in all areas of development is so rewarding... and their smiles, hugs and laughter brighten my day!

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Lorrin

    Ms. Lorrin, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    It is a huge sense of accomplishment when I see children growing and learning so much.

    I know that being a Phoenix native is unusual; and many people think that loving a classroom of two-year olds is as well!  My son, now 18 months, isn't far from this age, so all of the time I get to spend with this age is so beneficial and gives me tons of experience.
    After four years in early childhood, I am continually amazed at how much they can and do learn.  Even at this age, I enjoy the challenge of being creative in what we do and finding the many ways to teach and reintroduce the same concept, repetition is so important for them.  Watching their interactions together, I see friendships develop and their play becomes filled with imagination is like watching a flower grow and bloom.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Meibol

    Ms. Meibol, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    The enjoyment the children have when they can actually repeat and apply what they have learned is so rewarding for me!

    Since moving to the United States from Mexico seven years ago, I  have been working on English as a second language.  My husband and I have started a family and we have a beautiful daughter.  I received my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and have many years of working with young children.  I am considering furthering my degree in Special Educatio at some time as well.
    Over the year I have been with KinderCare, I have a daily goal to come every day to my classroom and teach something new.  I know that the experiences, exploring, and the children expressing themselves at this age will last them their entire life.  That is why it is so important to me to do my best at being a part of their development at this age.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
  • Ms. Blanca

    Ms. Blanca, Infant Classroom

    Teaching at KinderCare over the past year, even at the youngest age, allows me to use my gifts to make a difference in a child's life.  It is also important to me to help working familes and even those who stay home feel confident that their infant is receiving the best care, attention, developmental teaching, encouragement possible.

    Blanca was introduced to early childhood during a summer while volunteering at a preschool program.  At the young age of 13 she found that she really enjoyed children and watching them grow.  After raising her three children in California, she returned to college to study child psychology and worked as a teacher's aide in an elementary school.  It was then that whe found the learning that took place within the clasroom setting and the contribution she could make in children's lives was very exciting and where she wanted to direct her career.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
  • Ms. Judy

    Ms. Judy, PreKindergaren Classroom

    Everyday I want the children in my class to be motivated and encouraged in their learning and to ask questions, find solutions and have a strong foundation for their future.

    My family, which includes my five siblings, moved from Hing Kong to San Francisco when I was three.  I can speak Cantonese and write Chinese, but I do my teaching in English.  Becoming a teacher was a dream for me when I was young.  So it was a dream come true that I attended college and received my Bachelor's in Early Childhood.  After ten years in this field I feel that it is som important for the children to feel very special, safe, secure and valued.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Valerie

    Ms. Valerie, Preschool Classroom

    I love the experience of children expressing interest and excitement when learning something new.

    During my spare time I enjoy many outdoor activities, spending time my family or traveling.  My career in early childhood began after two years of study that has launched me into twelve years of commitment to young children.  I have taught both preschool and prekindergarten, as well as worked as a program specialist.
    It is thrilling to be a part of this process.  Over the years I have spent at KinderCare I have seen a lot of children expressing interest and excitememtn when learning something new.  To watch them participate during circle time or in any of the learning centers, to ask them open ended questions and see the wheels turning as they share some amazing bits of knowledge and to foster this is my goal and my joy.

    Year Started:
    4 Years
  • Ms. Julie

    Ms. Julie, Toddler Classroom

    It is important to me that our familes have a very high comfort level leaving their child in my care.

    Having come from a very large family (8 siblings and I am a twin!), I learned so much about children.  Not having any of my own children means that all of the children in my care I feel as if they are my own.  Whether as a nanny, working at the YMCA or for the past five years with KinderCare I am reminded that I chose this field because I love what I do.
    I cannot think of a more rewarding job than this becasue every day I have the opportunity to teach these little ones some very fun, exciting and important things at a very developmentally age appropiate way that is good for today and their future.

    Year Started:
    6 Years
  • Ms. Marie

    Ms. Marie, Toddler Classroom

    The joy the children bring and the sense of accompolishment I get is so rewarding.

    My experience in early childhood has grown to over 12 years and it all started after a high school aptitude test!  I was born in Sweden and I can say a child's needs and development is the same no matter where they are born.  I have been with KinderCare since 2011 and the experiences as well as the many, many wonderful opportunities to witness children learning and growing before my very eyes has been fantastic.

    Year Started:
    5 Years
  • Ms. Kate

    Ms. Kate, Preschool Classroom

    I strongly believe that young children need to feel secure and unconditionally loved. If I am with a child when the parent cannot be I feel a great responsibility to fill that position the best I possibly can. I have always had a special connection with children and found it to be my joy and passion to make them feel individually special.

    Ms. Kate has been providing loving childcare services for over 22 years. After her first son was born she didn't want to leave him so she offered childcare services in her home to mothers who needed or wanted a career. Knowing those mothers were having the same concerns and heartache moved her in providing a loving, fun and educational care for children. She stayed with these families from infancy through Kindergarten. They still have close friendships to this day. Ms. Kate has three sons. She enjoys spending time with them and helping them through school and college. She also enjoys gardening and reading. Ms. Kate has also spent the last eighteen years as a Special Events Planner for a political fundraising and events in Phoenix lobbying firm.

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    22 Years
  • Ms. Shannon

    Ms. Shannon, Infant Classroom

    I enjoy being around and working with children because they have such a different perspective on life than we do as adults.

    Ms. Shannon loves being back at KinderCare since leaving her teaching job at a downtown public elementary school in June 2009. Originally she came back to work part time after teaching each day, but being a single mother, she decided to make the move to KinderCare for both personal and professional reasons. One, to have more time and attention to focus on her daughter, Ella, who is now five years old and starting Kindergarten this fall. Also, because working with the younger age children (Preschool and younger) is her true passion. As her years in college taught her, the most critical growth and development for a child happens in the first three to five years of their lives. "So if you're going to make an impact, you got to do it early!"

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Shannon has spent three years working part time at a Preschool while attending Arizona State University. After graduating she spent two years teaching 1st Grade. She left teaching Elementary School to go back to teaching Preschool for the past five years.
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education

May 2016 Events

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About Our Center

Welcome to the Desert Ridge KinderCare Learning Center, located on the North of Deer Valley and west of Tatum Boulevard. We are excited to meet with you and your family. Our center offers a curriculum-based program that is designed to develop the whole child. Our hope is that you have an outstanding experience from the moment you walk into our school and decide to enroll with us.

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • American Sign Language
  • Spanish

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

Our school has a keypad entry, the parents receive the entry code once they are enrolled with us. If anyone other than the parent picks the child up, they must provide us with a Government issued photo ID. All of our staff members have their current Fingerprint Clearance Card, CPR, First Aid and TB test.

Playground Safety Tips

When you are out at the park and supervising children on play equipment look for age-appropriate equipment and hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. Areas around tall equipment should have a shock absorbing material of sand, woo chips, mulch or shredded rubber. Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous.

Here at KinderCare we do daily checks BEFORE we allow children to play outside. Children get so excited when they can run, swing,'s so good for them. So go out often...and enjoy a safe time!

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.

Dear Alene,
What parent can't wait for that exciting day when his or her child starts reading! But never in our wildest dreams would we have thought it was our turn already. Victoria is three (about to turn four) and so excited for her birthday. I asked her teachers, Ms. Carla and Ms. Kate to please provide a list of the children's names so we could put invitations to the big day in the cubbies at school. Victoria brought the list home and handed to me. I was sliently reading it when she asked for it and said she could tell me all the kids names. Well she proceeded to read every name on the list…first and last names mind you! We were absolutely blown away! Talk about chills. She was so proud and so was grandma when we talked to her. KinderCare staff has always displayed so much care for our daughter and the education is the best. Thank you for all you do!

- Mother

Our family is from Mexico but English is our first language. Benjamin knows a few words in Spanish; Sophia is still learning to talk. The reason I am bringing this to you is because of the new curriculum in Preschool and Prekindergarten that includes so much Spanish. Ben is rapidly learning words and short phrases…and he is loving it because Ms. Kate and Ms. Chris make it so much fun for everyone. As for Sophia in your Toddler classroom, she has Ms. Olivia speaking Spanish to her and Ms. Season is teaching the class American Sign Language. So she can speak another language too! We love it here because we know our children are in the very best place. Thank you so much!

- 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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