Ashley Berquist, Center Director
- Every Day · Every Child · Excellence · Accreditated · Knowledge Universe
At Rice Street KinderCare our mission is offering the best early childhood education programs in the country from Infants to Prekindergarten. We understand and would love to show you why choosing the right early childhood education program is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your child. Here at Rice Street KinderCare we are very passionate about developing the whole child; we focus on social, emotional, cognitive, large and fine motor development. We have the best curriculum that was developed by experts. Our age appropriate curriculum (starting in our infant classroom) prepares children for success when entering kindergarten. At our school, our families come first. We strive to create a safe, loving environment for all of our students. Our center is a closed classroom concept and has two very large playgrounds for our students to play, learn, and grow. Our center adheres to the highest standards of childcare centers, as we are Parent Aware (Highest certification) and NAEYC accredited. (They allow programs to provide the best learning experiences for young children and their educators by meeting national standards of quality.)
Ashley Berquist, Center Director
Many of our child care centers are accredited by national organizations that require us to meet rigorous early childhood education standards and guidelines for high-quality care and education. Programs that are accredited have demonstrated their commitment to go beyond the state’s minimum licensing requirements to meet and maintain these high standards of quality.
Babies grow and learn every day. Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing "home away from home" where babies can explore and make new discoveries. We know that learning through play is extremely valuable at this age and our Early Foundations® Infant program is designed to give babies the skills that will serve as the building blocks for a lifetime of learning.
As toddlers develop friendships, self-esteem, and curiosity, our Early Foundations® Toddler program will help them explore their world in a safe and nurturing environment. Our unique curriculum is based on the philosophy that children learn best through experiences. So each day is filled with fun activities that excite and develop toddlers, giving them the comfort and confidence to speak those first few important words, as well as make their first friends.
At this age, children are making new discoveries daily. And as two-year olds begin to exert their independence, our Early Foundations® Discovery Preschool program is prepared to open their eyes to a world of learning, sharing, and exploring. Our holistic approach in the classroom engages young minds with a blend of music, art, and movement, as well as the early education fundamentals they'll need as they continue on to preschool.
As preschoolers gain more self-esteem, they may feel ready to take on the world. Our Early Foundations® Preschool program enhances that confidence by providing activities to help children become problem solvers and lifelong learners. Through independent exploration, structured activities, and hands-on learning, children will work on early literacy, math, science, and social studies concepts. A healthy dose of running, jumping, and dancing keeps them active too.
Prekindergartners are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime – school. And our Early Foundations Prekindergarten® program is designed to get them ready by teaching letters and words, math concepts, and valuable social skills. With small group instruction, independent play in an organized atmosphere, and whole-group activities, children will have all the right skills to hop, skip, and jump right into kindergarten.
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.
The Cooking Adventures program gives children opportunities to participate in fun, developmentally appropriate cooking experiences. They will learn about recipes, ingredients, cooking vocabulary, and the importance of a healthy diet. The curriculum includes lessons on picnics, pizza, and heart-healthy meals.
The Math Adventures enrichment program is designed to teach important mathematics concepts such as geometry, numbers, measurement, and probability. Your child will learn about length, height, and weight. He will learn about shapes and solids. He will learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and count money. Math is everywhere and giving your child every advantage now will add up to success later in life.
Ongoing research proves that early exposure to music helps children think, reason, create, and express themselves. Children will laugh and learn about rhythm, vocal melodies, and a variety of musical genres and instruments, which can lower stress and advance memory. Learning never sounded so good.
Set your child up for advanced success with literacy through phonics, the study of letters and sounds. Reader books, games, and activity cards help your child understand the basics of vowels and blending syllables, giving him confidence and command of language.
Spanish Adventures provides young learners with a foundation for later success with the Spanish language. Music, games, children's Spanish literature, and other tools give children multiple opportunities to hear, practice, and see Spanish language for vocabulary and conversational development. Curriculum includes lessons on greetings, numbers, colors, animals, family, body parts and pets as well as how to get engage conversationally during common scenarios at home, a restaurant, or at the zoo. Qué pasa?
Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Light and Dark, plus the Sky and Weather
Through shadow play, experiments with flashlights, observing the Sun and more, infants and toddlers will enjoy learning about light and dark this month. Infants continue sensory development by looking at contrasting patterns and at objects that are clearly defined by sharp edges and bright colors, while toddlers will build on their understanding of the light and dark concepts with play around daytime and nighttime. The older Discovery Preschool children will turn their attention to the sky as they learn about weather, the Moon, the Sun, and stars.
Children 4–5 years old: Transportation, Healthy Bodies, and Winter
For children in the Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms, January is filled with variety! They’ll begin by learning about transportation and studying how things get from “here” to “there.” A few weeks later, the focus will shift to health and bodies, with an emphasis placed on how to make good choices for a growing body. Towards the end of the month, children will be introduced to the transformative nature of the winter season and learn how to dress and take care of themselves when it’s cold outside.
Rice KinderCare Learning Center welcomes you to meet our very educated and welcoming staff! We are very tenured, love teaching, and enjoy coming to work each day.
It is our vision that each child who comes through our door joins a community of children, families, and teachers engaged in the joy, work, and wonder of childhood.
Ashley Berquist began her career in Early childhood education as an aide at Oakdale KinderCare in June of 2002. She quickly discovered that she had a passion for Early Childhood Education, and working with young children. She obtained her Child Developmet Associate's Credential in June of 2003 and became a lead teacher for several years. She spent four and a half years as a Toddler teacher and then moved into a Preschool Classroom. Ashley has experience with all age groups. Ashley was promoted in 2012 to an Assistant Director position, where she was able to gain experience in the office and still be able to spend some time in the classrooms mentoring her staff. She has experience working at Oakdale KinderCare, Downtown Saint Paul, and our East Saint Paul School.
Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring!" Unknown
Prior to working in early childhood education, Becky has spent over ten years working in finance. After having children of her own she discovered the rewarding career in early childhood education. She has acquired an Early Childhood Education Certificate from Ellis University. She has been able to use her accumulated knowledge to become the Assistant Director at the Rice Street KinderCare.
I am passionate about helping children become prepared for what lies later in life!
Ms. Heidi has been working with KinderCare since June of 2008. She has made an impact as a teacher in multiple classrooms at our center over the last four years. Since the winter of 2010, Ms. Heidi has taken on the role of Learning Adventures teacher. She provides private tutoring classes for children in the areas of math, phonics, Spanish, cooking, music, and sports! Ms. Heidi is also the Health and Safety Coordinator for our center and oversees the implementation of health and safety procedures in the classrooms. Ms. Heidi always takes a proactive approach with her teaching methods. She strives to find the best way to engage each child she teaches.
Fathiya moved to Minnesota from sunny California! She is very passionate about infants and has previously worked as a site supervisor! She loves to sing to the babies and help them learn and grow! The safety of the children in her care is her TOP priority. She is always singing to the babies and not always in English! She has four children of her own whom are all grown up. She loves coming to work everyday and watching the children grow and learn new things.
I love seeeing how quickly the babies learn new things! It's amazing how quickly they grow!
Jessica is a very caring and passionate teacher! She may seem shy at first but she truly cares about every child in her care! She does a great job ensuring all of our Infants schedules are followed and all of their needs are met! She loves to get messy with the babies. She is constantly talking to the children to help expand their vocabulary.
Miss. Ashley loves reading and being goofy with our students! She spends her time with the younger students in our school, and enjoys building relationships with our families. She has a very bright smile and a positive attitude and her clam nature created a calm classroom environment.
I believe that every child is an artist at heart.
Heather feels that there is much to be learned through art. She is able to teach confidence, creativity, self expression, and prewriting skills through sensory exploration which you will see as you enter her classroom. Heather thrives on knowing that what she is teaching the children in her classroom will carry through with them in their education journey.
I love to teach children through art, it gives them an abundance of self confidence.
Ms. Shereen has been with KinderCare since September of 2001. For all of her years at KinderCare, Ms. Shereen has worked within the Toddler and Discovery Preschool Program. Ms. Shereen holds a Child Development Associate's Degree. When she sees a child grasp onto a new concept, she feels so rewarded and special that she was able to be part of it. Ms. Shereen feels that art is a very intricate teaching tool; she integrates both math skills and pre-writing skills into the projects for the toddlers.
Miss. Bobi is very passionate about being a positive impact on young children. She takes pride in her classroom and treats it like and extension of her home. She cares for every child in her classroom and gives them the tools to ensure success when they enter Kindergarten.
Mrs. Carol is very passionate about early childhood education and is very excited to help our Preschoolers prepare for Kindergarten. She joined our school with more then 20 years of Early Childhood Experience. She is great at being at the childrens level and encouraging them to try new things!
Ms. Megan is very excited to be working with the children in her class and around the center! With her previous experience at a children's theatre, she plans on bringing that fun and joy to the children she works with now. She is also very excited to be working with her new team!
Mr. Brad is so patient and calm with all of our students. He does a great job getting down on the child's level and really takes pride in his work within our school. Mr. Brad comes to us with a degree in Psychology and many years of experience working with young children.
Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Family, Friends, and Things that Go!
Infants and toddlers will be exploring family and friends, while three-year-olds will focus on things that go vroom! Social and emotional development is foundational to growth and development in babies, so this month, infants and toddlers will participate in activities that reinforce their connection to family while also exploring connections that exist outside their home, such as friends. Meanwhile, their older friends in Discovery Preschool will learn about and play around with things that move (like bicycles, cars, buses, trains, and airplanes), which are all very exciting for little ones as they continue to explore the world outside their homes.
Children 4–5 years old: My Country + Tools and Machines
The four- and five-year-olds continue exploring the world around them by learning about the state and country they live in! They’ll sings songs, play games based on travel, and learn about flags, state foods, and more. Children will also be introduced to cardinal directions (east, west, north, and south) and gain an appreciation for travel and meeting new friends from different places.
Children are naturally fascinated with machines and how things work and are put together. So to encourage that fascination, during the second half of this month children will learn about and play around with tools and machines. In addition to building literacy skills by using the names of machines and tools, children will develop math skills by graphing information, counting wheels, and more.
Rice Street KinderCare is a true family! Our team works together to ensure we are giving the children in our care the best possible start in life! Each and every teacher has a passion for Early Childhood Education!
New Years Day
Fourth of July
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve, Typically close Early
Being a nationally and locally accredited childcare center, our center practices stringent health and safety measures. The entrances to our center are secured with a keypad system requiring a code to enter. We want families to know that we have a nurturing environment and have our own health nurse who comes monthly. Also, all lead teachers and staff are First Aid and CPR certified. We have an on-site Health and Safety Coordinator; Ms. Heidi who provides monthly trainings for our staff and highlights certain areas with our students such as handwashing, and being safe in 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 though the various training opportunities in the community.
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