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Downtown KinderCare

Jennifer Rees, Center Director

600 Grant St. Pittsburgh PA 15219
(412) 765-3973 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds
Open:

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Special Instructions:
"On Grant Street between 6th and 7th Ave." inside the US Steel Tower

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
None

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

Welcome

Welcome to the Downtown Pittsburgh KinderCare. We are conveniently located in the heart of Pittsburgh's financial district on the bottom floor of the US Steel Tower. We are proud of the outstanding reputation that we have earned over the last 21 years as providing exceptional, high-quality care to working families. We currently have over 150 families as part of our KinderCare family and welcome you to join us!

We are pleased to offer short term parking at no additional charge for drop off and pick up.  The parking garage is conveniently located underneath the building-simply park in our designated KinderCare parking spaces and take the elevator up to the concourse level of the building.  We will validate your parking ticket here at the center.

Jennifer Rees, Center Director

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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.

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.

Interactive Kindergarten (5 - 6 Years)

A full-day interactive Kindergarten program that utilizes new curriculum with an interactive smart board making first grade readiness a priority.

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.

Math

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.

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.

Spanish

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?

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Monday August 03, 2015
    1. Fun & Fit Pittsburgh

      (children ages 2 and up)

  2. Tuesday August 04, 2015
    1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Teachers & Staff

The teachers and staff at the Downtown Pittsburgh KinderCare are the best feature of the center! They are caring and dedicated men and women who love the opportunity to enrich children's lives on a daily basis. We have many teachers who have been here almost as long as the center has been open!

  • Jennifer Rees

    Jennifer Rees, Center Director

    I love my job because not only do I have a positive impact on children's lives, but also on their family's lives too.

    Jennifer Rees has been with KinderCare since 1997. She first joined the center as a part time teacher in the discovery preschool class. She also worked in a prekindergarten and first grade classroom. From there, she became the center's Assistant Director before being promoted to Center Director in 2002. She completed her Bachelor's Degree in 1999 at the University of Pittsburgh and completed her teacher certification in 2000 for children Kindergarten through 6th grade.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare, Jennifer worked as a tutor, mentor, and teacher.
    Year Started:
    4/4/1997
    Tenure:
    18 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Psychology Education
  • Melissa Kraynick

    Melissa Kraynick, Assistant Director

    I love my career because it enables me to meet a lot of new and interesting people as well as inspiring children to crave the act of learning.

    Melissa is the Assistant Center Director and has been with the Downtown KinderCare since 1994. She came to KinderCare after working as a nanny in New York as she realized that working in a group setting would be more rewarding.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare, Melissa worked as a nanny and an infant teacher.
    Year Started:
    9/12/1994
    Tenure:
    20 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 Years
    Education:
    Studied Business Management
  • Ms. Shanna Hines-McGee

    Ms. Shanna Hines-McGee, Enrichment Specialist

    I love teaching Learning Adventures because it allows me to go on the journey of learning with the children that I teach.  I feel that this program is fundamental in providing these children with an extra boost to help them progress to the next level.   

    Year Started:
    3/11/2008
    Tenure:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7+ Years
    Education:
    Associates Degree in Child and Family Studies
  • Ms. Kaylea

    Ms. Kaylea, Infant Classroom

    The best way to predict the future is to help create it!

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Kaylea has worked at other childcare centers, been a babysitter and has a six year old son of her own.
    Year Started:
    4/12/2004
    Tenure:
    11 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    14 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Tia

    Ms. Tia, Infant Classroom

    I love watching them grow up and accomplish their goals each day.

    Year Started:
    7/5/1994
    Tenure:
    21 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    25 Years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Business, Child Development Associate's credential
  • Ms. Shanna

    Ms. Shanna, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    I love watching the growth of a child, from when they first start in my classroom to when they leave.

    Ms. Shanna started her Early Childhood Education experience in 2004 when she attended the community college of Allegheny County to study Child and Family Studies. She then went on to teach at another childcare center for two years before finally coming to our center. Ms. Shanna has been in the Discovery Preschool classroom since she started with us and loves every minute of it.

    Year Started:
    3/11/2008
    Tenure:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7 Years
    Education:
    Associate's Degree in Child and Family Studies

July 2015 Events

July Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Wednesday July 01, 2015
    1. Make a fireworks hat at school!

  2. Thursday July 02, 2015
    1. Wear red, white & blue

  3. Monday July 06, 2015
    1. Fun & Fit Pittsburgh Visit

  4. Thursday July 09, 2015
    1. Second Annual Family Pasta Dinner

  5. Friday July 10, 2015
    1. Bring your Teddy Bear to school!

  6. Monday July 13, 2015
    1. Week long baby food collection to benefit Jeremiah's Place begins

  7. Wednesday July 15, 2015
    1. Guess How Many Day!

      Stop by the lobby and take your best guess to win a prize!

  8. Monday July 20, 2015
    1. Fun & Fit Pittsburgh Visit

  9. Tuesday July 21, 2015
    1. Make Moon Sand at school!

  10. Thursday July 23, 2015
    1. Wear a superhero shirt to school.

  11. Tuesday July 28, 2015
    1. Enjoy chocolate milk at snack time for Chocolate Milk Day!

  12. Thursday July 30, 2015
    1. Play some uncommon instruments at school today!

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

Center Menu

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

The Downtown Pittsburgh KinderCare is a safe and secure location. We have dual security keypad entry for the center. Our front lobby entry door and outdoor playground are under security camera surveillance and we have access to building security 24 hours a day. We always have staff and teachers on-site who are First Aid and CPR certified.

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.

I am pleased to write this letter on behalf of Ms. Jennifer- my daughter’s teacher. I have spent countless hours in a classroom setting with various teachers in my life time. One thing is very clear about teachers like Jennifer she is dedicated, hardworking, honest,respectful,energetic. These types of people are very special and very hard to come by. These are the types of people that leave everything on the field, give 150% of their time and effort to the people that matter. Before entering my daughter in to the school I personally had a very difficult decision to make for my daughters education. After touring the facility I could say that it was a good fit. One of the ultimate decision makers that carried weight with Toni and I was Jennifer. The first 1 minute 30 seconds into the conversation I knew that she was the perfect teacher. The skills and tactfulness that she uses to teach the children is unheard of. My child had only spent less than a week at the center and is already speaking Spanish. If this is not impressive I’m not sure what would be. Personally I think each and every person in this world could count on one hand the teachers that really touched their lives. I know of three. If there is some kind of recommendation or some type of award or any kind of incentive that you could give her teacher would be amazing, she deserves it. I have yet to witness her frown after a long day at work; you can tell that is hard work. Not once have I seen her give up. Not once have I heard her say "I am unable to reach your child". Looking at your establishment all of the teachers do a great job, I think they are all amazing and warriors. Warriors in a special way doing battle against the forces of nature to reach the children. Jennifer sticks out in her own special way. It’s hard to explain unless you have personally experienced her kind words and brilliant intellect for yourself. In closing I would like to say, Jennifer is an excellent teacher you should be honored to have such a great person working for your establishment. People like her do not exist anymore, most are just looking for a paycheck. A tool is useless by itself, it’s just a tool. But put the tool in the right hands it can accomplish many of things. 
 
Thanks for changing my daughter;s life and mine.

- Parent

Our son has participated in a number of Learning Adventures courses, including Music, Cooking, Phonics and Math.  He has thoroughly enjoyed each different adventure. He started his adventures with Music when he turned two years old and loved getting to sing, dance, and play musical instruments in the small group setting.  He has become quite the little performer and will sing, dance, or play his drums for anyone who will watch and listen any chance he gets.  He also enjoyed all of the special treats he got to help make in Cooking and constantly asks to help measure and mix ingredients when we cook at home.  
 
He currently participates in Phonics and Math and loves the one on one time he gets to spend with Miss Megan learning all of the letters of the alphabet in Phonics and learning different ways to sort things in Math.  At the end of the day, he is always so proud to share what he has learned in class.
 
The Learning Adventures program has been a wonderful experience for our son.  He seems to thrive in the small class setting and is always excited to learn new things.

- Mother

We have been a part of the KinderCare world since May of 2003. Initially, we were apprehensive about our child care options, so we took much thought and time in making the decision. Many factors went into our selection; convenience was one but not a top priority. Upon visiting Downtown KinderCare, we discovered that the staff was warm, friendly, and very empathetic to this crazy, overprotective, felt guilt ridden, and emotional new mom. You were patient with the hovering and forgetful new dad as well.

Now, here we are 10 years later. You have cared, loved, and nurtured two of the most precious people in our lives. As a result, we are eternally grateful. Although I am still a crazy, overprotective, guilt ridden and emotional mom while Jon still is forgetful, you have made me less crazy, guilt ridden and less emotional. I have let out some of the string on my kite, but I have a hard time believing I will ever be able to let go of my parental instincts completely.

In these 10 years, a lot of teachers have come and gone, but the quality of teachers and the sizes of their hearts have remained the same. We have a special place in our hearts for many of the teachers and always will. They have helped ensure that my boys feel cared for and loved.

It is going to be bittersweet when we say goodbye at the end of the summer. We will not missing the check each week, but it has been worth every penny! Wish us luck on our children's' new adventure! We will keep you all in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers as you all journey onto new adventures as well.

Also, a special thank you to Ms. Britney, Ms. Q, Ms. Meghan, Ms. Jennifer, Ms. Tia, Ms. Melissa, Ms. Jenn and so many others! There are too many to list. We truly appreciate everything!

- Parents

Good morning Ms. Jennifer & Ms. Melissa ~ As you both know, my son, PJ, turned four years old not long ago. Four years. Not so many; not so few. As you might imagine, his birthday jogged many memories from the time he was born until present day, which brings me to this note. PJ started at KC when he was four months old. He was a blanketed bundle of binkie and blue socks the first time I walked into the school, skeptically investigating every inch of the Infant Room for traces of dust or sharp corners. Of course, neither were there. That was four years ago. PJ is now in the Prekindergarten class, looking forward to a KC Kindergarten program this Fall. In four years time, I have come to know all of his classroom teachers, administrators, and Learning Adventures instructors; each has been exemplary. Hands down. Their consistency is remarkable. Daily, I am offered information and knowledge about my son's activities, appetite, missteps and triumphs. I am advised of his meal choices, likes, dislikes, growth and socialization. He is consistently challenged every day in nearly every facet of his life: educational, scholastic, creative, intellectual, social, verbal, emotional, logical, and psychological. His classes have taught so much more than colors, shapes and calendar dates. His learning experience is real and obvious every time he tells a story at dinner, opens a book and sounds out words, chooses a Show-n-Tell item the night before class, and searches for rectangular prisms in our home. All things experienced and encouraged at KC. Their caring is undeniable. These people know my child. They know his favorite color; his favorite stuffed animal; his favorite super hero. They know his friends, they cultivate his relationships and teach him how to make more. They remind him to make good choices and provide examples to emulate throughout the day. You do not have to look very far to find good character, kind acts or compassion at KC. They're all there, in abundance. Their commitment is clear. To offer students every good thing they can in the time they share. That's it. It's simple. They want your child to succeed; to triumph, whether it's drawing a circle; counting to 50; knowing his letters; reading books; writing his name; eating healthy; exercising; brushing teeth; singing songs; or playing games. These people take it to the next level, raising an already incredibly high bar. Every day. My husband and I are beyond pleased that our son is excited to go to school each morning. If that's not enough, we're equally delighted at the end of each day, when he's just as excited to come home and tell a tale of a day well spent. In sum, we are a KinderCare family. All of us. Every day. My husband, my son, myself, the teachers, and the administrators; and that's the highest compliment I can pay. With sincerity and admiration for all you've done ~ Patricia R.D.

- Mother

I am writing to say how happy I am with your downtown location. My son (20 months old) has been attending since Mid-March. We were delighted to so quickly get a spot (on the waiting list since January). I am a university professor who relocated to Pittsburgh without any family or close friend connections, and I have had quite a bit of anxiety about finding a daycare and a location that give me peace. Your downtown location is perfect in so many ways. It is barely two miles away from our downtown, waterfront apartment, and I pass the Steel Building on my way to work. I cannot commend Kinder Care enough for its flexibility, which is probably one of the most important things to me. We travel a lot. My son and I took eight flights between September and January due to my conference schedule, holidays spent in my hometown in Virginia, vacation, and visiting his godmother. Your policy that permits me to shift his weekly schedule (he is 3-day part-time right now) and that give a two-week yearly benefit of a half-fee vacation rate are greatly appreciated. Also, the ability to temporarily withdraw, which we will do for approximately two months of the summer while we travel, is so important. The staff has been awesome. The Director, Melissa, is friendly, always concerned, and flexible, and his teachers are so pleasant, attentive, concerned, and helpful that I have great peace about my son's care in a "strange city." Ms. Kianna, Ms. Nina, Ms. Patty, Ms. Kelly (as well as Ms. Linda occasionally and one other staffer whose name I forget) really helped out a lot with my son's first couple of weeks of separation anxiety. He would cry when I dropped him off, but they quickly distracted him. I watched through the corner of the window, and each time, they calmed him down in less than 20 seconds. I was so relieved. He gets excellent practice walking beside me based on the twice daily playground visit. The executive location of the facility is teaching the children subtle things about patience and order (walking the corridors, waiting on the elevator, etc.). I have been amused by the small things he is learning--like saying "thank you" much more frequently, saying "Wheeeeee" while on the swingset, saying "High five," and having excellent timing and gestures for the song "If You're Happy and You Know It." Since we are part-time, he misses the alphabet emphasis days, but I work with him at home on this regularly. My son caught Hand and Mouth disease his first week there. I was a little startled, but appreciated the staff's support for the children and the families as this common disease made its rounds at the facility. I wondered what measures they were taking to clean and disinfect, but my question was answered as I arrived early one day to see the room cleaned thoroughly in the middle of the day while the children were at the playground. The staff also showed me their quarantine attempts, which was very nice even though I understand that we cannot control these type of childhood ailments. Last week I finally got a call (after a year) that the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill has a spot for my son in the fall. With the mandatory $90 per month JCC membership, the price is equivalent. I declined the offer because I am very satisfied with his experience at the downtown KinderCare. The staff is amazing. The curriculum is awesome (I see the postings for the next level class that my son will begin in the fall at age two), and the sense of community is very high and very sincere. I like the open spaces of learning wherein the classes seem to overlap a little in public space. I am very impressed with the diversity of the students and the staff--with respect to culture/ethnicity, class, and gender. My son bit three students in one day about two weeks ago. I was a little alarmed at first, but your staff handled it with high finesse. It was an isolated incident likely due to pacifier changes in my son's life and a really busy 24 hours for me. I think he detected that Mommy was mentally somewhere else. The staff gave me an information handout and was NOT alarmed or labeling. The Director did not even mention the episode, which was awesome because it demonstrated that Kinder Care is not alarmist and overreacting to some of the normal behaviors of children. I am satisfied on so many levels, and not even realizing that this is a week to celebrate caretakers, I was compelled to give the Melissa a compliment. I am so glad she directed me to you so that I could share, in-depth. Keep up the good work!

- Mother

It is with heavy hearts that we write this letter to you. Today will be our children's last day at KinderCare USS. After four years of wonderful times it is extremely difficult to move our children to KinderCare North Hills. You all have grown to be part of our family. Our children are so lucky to have had such wonderful people caring for them, teaching them, and loving them. We have always felt comfortable each day knowing that you had our babies and that they were being so well cared for. Please know that there are not enough words to thank you for all that you have done each day for our children and for the peace of mind we had each day going to work. I am sure that the staff at the new center will be great, but you will always hold a special place in our hearts as you were the first to care for our children. How do you thank the people who helped make your children the beautiful people they are becoming? There are no words or gestures big enough. So...here are some smiles for you. We wish we could give back all of the smiles that you gave us each day, the smiles on our children's faces when they talk about school, and the smiles we had on our faces knowing they had the best care and teaching possible!

- Parents
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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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