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Shawnee KinderCare

Ms. Elsie Thurman, Center Director

6350 Long Ave. Shawnee KS 66216
(913) 631-6910 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Benninghoven, Bluejacket, Merriam Park, Nieman, Ray Marsh


Welcome to Shawnee KinderCare in Shawnee, Kansas! Thank you for visiting our web page to learn more about us. My teaching staff and I are excited you chose us as a potential school for your children. We would love the opportunity to visit with you about our school and the programs and services we can offer your family. Our schedule and services are very flexible and are designed to meet each family’s specific educational needs.the details about how we can best serve you. In addition, I would love to arrange a tour for you so that you can see first hand the quality education your child will receive and the awesome experiences they will have in our classrooms. educationally challenging experience for your child while in our care.

Ms. Elsie Thurman, 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


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.

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.


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

At Shawnee KinderCare, we believe education is important for the children we serve and the education level of the teachering staff reflects that belief. A majority of our staff have continued their education beyond high school including five with a Bachelor's degree or higher. With tuition assistance from KinderCare Education, some teachers have begun their college career while others are working on their Master’s degrees. By making educational experiences memorable and modeling our passion for learning, we strive to instill that same love of learning in the children we teach.

  • Ms. Elsie Thurman

    Ms. Elsie Thurman, Center Director

    I believe every moment in life has a learning opportunity and I enjoy fostering those moments with little people.

    Ms. Elsie began work in early childhood while obtaining my bachelor of science in education from The University of Kansas. She has worked with all ages of children and loves the career path she have chosen. In addition to teaching she has experience as an child care center Assistant Director in Lawrence, KS.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor's Degree
  • Lauren Torres Estes

    Lauren Torres Estes, Assistant Director

    I teach because I think children have such a pure view of the world and that it should be fostered and cared for. Children have such great potential if adults will let them explore their environment and not hinder their sprit of adventure.

    Ms. Lauren has a Child Development Associate's Credential from Kansas City Community College and is currently pursuing an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She comes to KinderCare after teaching Prekindergarten for 10 years.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    I Love You This Much!
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate's Credential, Pursuing Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Robyn Probasco

    Ms. Robyn Probasco, Team Lead

    "I believe full heartedly that teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning

    Robyn is the Discovery Preschool teacher and Team Lead here at Shawnee KinderCare. She has been working in early childhood for 24 fun filled and very rewarding years. She is also a mother of three and grandmother to two. She enjoys each and every aspect of teaching and has realized throughout the many years that she has been teaching that the children teach her just as much as she teaches them. Seeing the development and accomplishments of each and every child is one of the greatest rewards a teacher can have. She has been employed with KinderCare for almost two years now, and believes it is a wonderful place for your child to begin and develop their education both academically and emotionally. There is a great team here with incredible passion for each individual child, and the children at our center excel because of it!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Pete The Cat!

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate Credential, Pursuing Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Edit

    Ms. Edit, Toddler Classroom

    I love to watch the children learn and grow. I love that every morning when I come to work they run to me saying my name. I love their smiling faces.

    Ms. Edit has worked for KinderCare for more than seven years in Kansas and Arizona. Prior to that she taught school for more than ten years in Hungary, her country of origin. Ms. Edit's education includes a Bachelor's in Education and additional course work equivalent to a Master's degree.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Edit has previously taught High School in Hungary for over ten years.
    Year Started:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 Years
    Master's Degree in Math and Science
  • Ms. Kaelynn Baltimore

    Ms. Kaelynn Baltimore, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    I am currently a lead Discovery Preschool teacher at Shawnee KinderCare. I am presently working towards obtaining my childhood development associate credential. In the spring of 2017 I will begin pursuing a degree in elementary education. I am a mother of one daughter, and have been working in this field for nearly a year.

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Philippe in Monet's Garden

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 year
    Pursuing Child Development Associate and Bachelor's Degree
  • Mr. Daniel Gonshorek

    Mr. Daniel Gonshorek, Toddler Classroom

    Daniel has worked as an early childhood educator since September 2013 and holds a bachelor's degree in educational studies and studio art from Knox College in Galesburg, IL. From December 2014 - June 2016 Daniel worked as a Discovery Preschool teacher at Premier Lane KinderCare in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. In June 2016, he relocated to Lawrence, Kansas and now works as a Toddler teacher at Shawnee KinderCare. 

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Draw Me A Star by Eric Carle, Hands Can by Cheryl Hudson

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies & Studio Art
  • Ms. RaiAnn McMillen

    Ms. RaiAnn McMillen, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    RaiAnn is the Discovery Preschool teacher here! She started for KinderCare in August 2016. She is currently working on her associate degree in early childhood education. She has two little girls of her own and they were her inspiration for getting into this career. She wants to give children the same experience as she'd want for her own. She enjoys seeing the big smiles on their faces when they get something for the first time and is never less-than-amazed by the imagination and unique ideas each child has. She loves when they surprise her! She has loved Dr. Seuss books since she was a child and enjoys sharing them with her daughters, including their favorite, "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" She is so excited to help your child get to where they want to go!

    Favorite Children's Book:

    Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

    Year Started:

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

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

At Shawnee KinderCare your child's safety is of utmost importance to us. We believe children should be free to learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment. From the moment you approach our door to the end of the day, we work to ensure the safety of your children while in our care. Our exterior security features include secure entry which requires the use of a key pad code. Our play area is fenced with separate fenced area for younger children. Our entry features covered, lighted parking directly in front of the entrance.  All staff members hold certification in CPR, First Aid, Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Illness, Safe Sleep and Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention and are subject to state and federal background checks prior to start of employment. The center undergoes yearly licensure and compliance visits from local fire department officials and KDHE.

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.

To My Teachers:  Thank you for taking such good care of me! You have watched me since I started coming to KinderCare as a newborn. You have fed me, changed me, rocked me and most of all loved me!! You are so caring and compassionate and educate my mom when she has questions. I love my mommy the most but am so thankful that I have you too!!

- Self

Thank you so much for being such a great teacher and role model for Varsha. We will really miss you and I know Varsha will never have another teacher in her future who cares so much about her. You're awesome, thanks for everything.

- 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.

View More

Resources for Parents

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