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Desert Ridge KinderCare

Ms. Michelle Gorman, 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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Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Desert Trails

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.    


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.  

Ms. Michelle Gorman, 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


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.

Teachers & Staff

Our center staff 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 throughout the center!

  • Ms. Michelle Gorman, Center Director

    Ms. Michelle started her KinderCare career in Colorado Springs, Colorado 14 years ago as a teacher, and then moved up into the management role and has been a Center Director for the past 13 years. Recently, Ms. Michelle and her family have relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. She is very happy to be a part of the Desert Ridge KinderCare family. Ms. Michelle loves to be a team player in the children's development and to watch all of the children grow and learn. When she is not at work, Ms. Michelle is with her husband, two boys, and golden retriever. They love to spend time together outside and exploring all of the different activities that Phoenix has to offer. 

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Samantha Steinkampi

    Ms. 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.

    Ms. 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 working in the Infant Classrooms before being promoted to the Assistant Director position. Ms. Samantha moved from Louisiana to Arizona in 2011 with her son, Landon. After getting her bachelor's degree, she hopes to teach first or second grade.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Samantha started babysitting at the age of 12 and continued until she was 17, at which point she began working at a daycare center. She worked there for five years with children from birth to three years old. Ms. Samantha also worked at a preschool for six months with children ages two to five prior to joining KinderCare.
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education (In Progress)
  • Ms. Emma, Infant 1 Classroom

    I love watching the children learn and grow.

    Ms. Emma moved to America from Tehran, Iran in 1966 and lived in New York for many years. She has been married for 34 years and has four boys who are all grown. Ms. Emma and her family moved to Arizona in 1999, where she continued her work in early childhood education. The first years of a child's life are so important and although they won't remember her when they are older, Ms. Emma knows she has a positive impact on their lives.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Emma previously worked for Arizona Republic for one year and for an elementary school for three years.
    Favorite Children's Book:


    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Raquel, Infant 1 Classroom

    Thank you to all the parents who allow me the opportunity to teach their children!

    Ms. Raquel was born in Mexico and moved to Arizona after she married her wonderful husband. She loves traveling with him and trying new food along the way. In her spare time, Ms. Raquel likes to hike and organize her home. The most important part of her job is the children's safety and learning. Since starting in 2015, she has watched so many students grow and develop their skills. Ms. Raquel's motivation comes from knowing that every day she will receive so much more than she gives.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Raquel has previously worked as a nanny.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    There's a Wocket in My Pocket! by Dr. Seuss

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Theology
  • Ms. Umalatha (Latha), Toddler Classroom

    I like to see the children's happy faces when they learn new things.

    Ms. Latha moved from Indiana to Arizona in 2011. She is married and has a three-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter. Although she has only been with KinderCare a short time, she has learned so much. This experience has given Ms. Latha new skills and ideas to implement with her own children. She loves working with the little babies. It is amazing to her to see how smart they are at such a young age!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Latha previously worked at Boulder Creek Elementary.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    First Words

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science
  • Ms. Linnea, Toddler Classroom

    Ms. Linnea is originally from Hawaii but has also lived in Alaska, Washington, and now Arizona. One day she hopes to travel the world. Ms. Linnea has a son who is 13 and a daughter who is two. She loves to spend time with her kids and family. Especially her oldest, because he is 13 going on 30 and thinks he is too cool for mom. Ms. Linnea has been working for KinderCare for about ten years now (she took a break to stay home with her daughter). Early childhood has always been her dream. Children learn so much in their early years and Ms. Linnea loves that she gets to play a major role in that development.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Linnea worked as a nanny and has been with KinderCare for many years.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Marie

    Ms. Marie, Discovery Preschool Classroom

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

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

    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • 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, Ms. Meibol has been working on English as her second language. She and her husband have started a family and have a beautiful daughter. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology and has many years of working with young children. Ms. Meibol is considering furthering her degree in special education at some time as well. Over the year Ms. Meibol has been with KinderCare, she has a daily goal to come every day to her classroom and teach something new. She knows 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 her to do her best at being a part of their development at this age.

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
  • Ms. Alyssa, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Alyssa was born and raised in Long Island, New York. She is married and has two wonderful little boys. She moved to Arizona in 2013 to pursue a better life for herself and her family. Some of Ms. Alyssa's favorite things to do are hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities. Working with children has always been her passion and she finds it to be the most rewarding job.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Alyssa previously worked as a nanny.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Rose Bonne and Simms Taback

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Kate

    Ms. Kate, Prekindergarten 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 child care services for over 22 years. After her first son was born, she didn't want to leave him, so she offered child care 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 18 years as a Special Events Planner for political fundraising and events in a Phoenix lobbying firm.

    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Jessica, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love to see the excitement on their faces when they learn something new.

    Ms. Jessica is originally from San Clemente, California. She moved here when she was 15. Although she misses her hometown, Arizona is where Ms. Jessica calls home. She has a son who is the center of her world. Going kyaking at the lake is their favorite thing to do. Since joining KinderCare, Ms. Jessica has had the opportunity to work with all ages, finding her fit in the Pre-K Classroom. The best part of her day is working on an experiment or craft with the children and watching as their imaginations run wild.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Jessica previously worked for AAA and Bird World.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:

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

Welcome to the Desert Ridge KinderCare Learning Center, located on 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
  • Assyrian, Farsi, Telugu

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 system, which parents receive the entry code to 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 and be listed on the child's emergency pick-up form. 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.

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. Our daughter 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. My daughter brought the list home and handed it to me. I was silently 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. Our son knows a few words in Spanish; our daughter is still learning to talk. This is why I'm so glad the new curriculum in Preschool and Prekindergarten includes so much Spanish. Our son 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 our daughter in the 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, Desert Ridge KinderCare!

- 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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