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Santee KinderCare

Thelma Avilez, Center Director

9735 Cuyamaca St. Santee CA 92071
(619) 562-3423 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Years
Open:

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Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Rio Seco Elementary

Welcome

Thank you for choosing to look at Santee KinderCare. We are a wonderful facility here in Santee, and we offer care for ages six weeks to twelve years old. Our classrooms are warm and welcoming, and are a great place for your child to learn and grow through education. The staff is professionally trained and dedicated to enriching the lives of the children they work with everyday. We look forward to meeting you and your child, and welcoming you and your family to our center. Call today to schedule a visit.

Thelma Avilez, Center Director

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

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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.

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.

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

Currently we are accepting enrollment for all ages beginning at six weeks to five years old. We also provide before- and after-school programs for elementary school kids. Please call to schedule a tour today; see all the wonderful opportunities our programs have to offer!

  • Thelma Avilez

    Thelma Avilez, Center Director

    Thelma has been with KinderCare since December 2013. She received her Bachelor degree in Child Development from San Diego State University in 1997. She has been in the Early Childhood Education field since 1989 where she started as a teacher. Thelma has been a teacher, a child development specialist, an assistant director and a director throughout her Early Childhood Education career. She grew up in Santee and is raising her children here as well. She has two children: a daughter (1998) and a son (1999). Thelma spends her free time at the beach, mall, or relaxing at home with her family and friends.

    Previous Experience:
    Thelma has previous experience working as a director, a teacher, and in marketing.
    Year Started:
    12/6/2013
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    27
    Education:
    Bachelor in Child Development
  • Maritza Renteria, Assistant Director

    Maritza has worked as a teacher with children in the infant, toddler, discovery preschool, and preschool classrooms.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    Year Started:
    1/24/2014
    Tenure:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    11
  • Miss Bailey Friesen, Program Specialist

    Bailey grew up in Santee with two sisters.  She is currently working towards her Bachelor degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University with an emphasis in Childhood Speech Development.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak

    Year Started:
    1/19/2015
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2
    Education:
    Child Development Associate Certificate in Infant and Toddler Education
  • Ms. Maria P., Infant Classroom

    I am able to form a special bond with each and every child. I love watching children grow, develop, and learn through play!

    Previous Experience:
    Before working at KinderCare, Ms. Maria earned her Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and Child Development at San Diego State University.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

    Year Started:
    1/12/2015
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2
    Education:
    Bachelor in Child Development
  • Ms. Natasha, Infant Classroom

    Previous Experience:
    Before coming to work at KinderCare, Ms. Natasha worked with school age children at the local school districts. She also worked at the San Diego State University Child Development center while working toward her Bachelor degrees.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

    Year Started:
    6/1/2016
    Years in ECE industry:
    7
    Education:
    Bachelor in Child and Family Development
  • Miss Lupita, Toddler Classroom

    The children know that I love and care about each and every one of them!

    Previous Experience:
    Before coming to KinderCare, Miss Lupita worked in the Child Development Center at Grossmont Community College.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

    Year Started:
    4/1/2015
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2
  • Miss Carissa, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Previous Experience:
    Miss Carissa has worked with two year old children throughout her entire career in Early Childhood Education.
    Year Started:
    6/1/2015
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    2
  • Miss Kelly, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Kelly has worked with children aged six weeks through twelve years old.  She truly understands each and every developmental milestone that children reach.  In our two-year-old classroom, she prepares them for preschool and beyond, teaching them social skills and academics, while also providing a warm and nurturing environment.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    Year Started:
    4/1/2012
    Tenure:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5
  • Ms. Amber, Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Amber has worked as a preschool and prekindergarten teacher for five years.  Before that, she studied at San Diego State University and achieved her Bachelor in Child and Family Development.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Anything by Dr. Seuss!

    Year Started:
    11/23/2015
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    5
    Education:
    Bachelor in Child Development
  • Miss Kanosha, Preschool Classroom

    I love turning everything that the children and I encounter in a day into a learning experience!

    Miss Kanosha loves working with the children to teach them how to be role models at school and in the community!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess

    Year Started:
    10/5/2015
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
  • Ms. Samantha C., Preschool Classroom

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

    Year Started:
    6/2/2016
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
    Education:
    Bachelor in Child Development
  • Miss Samantha R., Preschool Classroom

    Previous Experience:
    Before coming to KinderCare, Miss Samantha worked in a two-year-old classroom for three years.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.

    Year Started:
    11/30/2015
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    3
  • Miss Ashley, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I like to teach about what interests the child, which makes learning even more fun!

    Previous Experience:
    Before working at KinderCare, Ashley studied Child Development and Early Childhood Education at San Diego State University and worked at the child care center on campus.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

    Year Started:
    6/6/2016
    Years in ECE industry:
    1
    Education:
    Bachelor in Child Development
  • Ms. Jenn, Learning Adventures

    Ms. Jenn currently travels between the schools in our district teaching the tutorial classes.  The classes that she is currently offering include cooking, phonics, math, and music.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Jenn has worked as a preschool teacher, a director, and a learning adventures specialist.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    Year Started:
    5/5/2005
    Tenure:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    30
    Education:
    Child Development Associate Certificate
  • Ms. Maria Y., School Age Classroom

    Previous Experience:
    Before coming to Kindercare, Miss Maria worked in the children's center at San Diego State University.
    Favorite Children's Book:

    Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.

    Year Started:
    7/1/2015
    Tenure:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    2
    Education:
    Bachelor in Early Childhood 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.

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • 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

We take health and safety very seriously. We encourage healthy snack options, maintain a clean and healthy environment with implementation of our Clean Concepts cleaning program, and from time to time will distribute educational literature about children’s health issues.

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.

Our son, now age 17 months, happily awaits going to school each day. When he first started, he was just a year old, a bit shy and still unsteady on his feet. The teachers really went the extra mile to make sure he adjusted well, was comfortable with staff and peers and had the extra care he needed at first. Now when daddy drops him off, he reaches right for his teacher, Ms. Danielle, to give her a big hug, before running off to play. He even cried the one day school was closed! It's clear that he grows every day at school and it's really instilled a lot of confidence in him, which is priceless! 

As parents who place a high level of importance on combining structured education with open-ended creative play, we believe KinderCare does an excellent job at providing both. KinderCare and its teachers, have done an excellent job at providing age-appropriate activities that are all-encompassing and tailored to where my son is developmentally. We have been very impressed to see that what is presented about the curriculum is true! It is very comprehensive and provides everything from structured learning (our son has learned his shapes, colors, letters, numbers, etc.) to creative indoor/outdoor play (he does a lot of art projects and has learned to dance there!). Also, we have been very pleased with not only what our son is offered for meals and snacks, (a good variety of healthy foods), but also what emphasis is placed on having good table manners. 

Overall, my husband and I could not be more pleased with the comprehensive, age-appropriate programs and curriculum offered at KinderCare. It is consistent enough to reinforce positive behaviors through routine, yet varied enough to keep the kids entertained and engaged. The teachers and staff have been amazing, and they make the effort to truly know your child. Our best experience has been ...all of what I wrote above! A sincere thank you, as we have found KinderCare to be an invaluable resource for our child's holistic growth. We also love the daily communication sheets, as his teachers take the time to personalize his sheets and to tell us what he learned that day, including any “special achievements." They do a great job at communication!

- 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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