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Meadowlands KinderCare

Judie Schwanke, Center Director

1000 Meadowlands Dr. St. Paul MN 55127
(651) 429-6316 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
N of Hwy 96 next to Applebee's

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Birch Lake, Lincoln, Lake Aires, Willow, Vadnais Heights Otter Lake and St. Mary's pick up and drop off from the center

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


Welcome to our accredited White Bear Lake KinderCare. We are passionate about providing the best learning environment for children ages six weeks up to twelve years. With over 121 years of teaching experience, we provide children with an enriched learning environment, as well as both teacher directed and child directed activities to provide your child with a well-rounded educational experience.
Our center adheres to the highest standards of childcare centers, as we have the highest certification for Minnesota Parent Aware and we are also NECPA (National Early Childhood Program Accreditation) accredited.
We are committed to maintaining exceptional teaching standards and quality care in our school. We are excited to show you all the wonderful things we do at our school to educate and care for young children. We look forward to welcoming you as part of our KinderCare family.

Judie Schwanke, Center Director

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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.

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.


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.

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 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?

Teachers & Staff

The teachers at White Bear Lake KinderCare are passionate about teaching young children and value the impact they have on each child's life. Our educated and tenured team is committed to providing a great experience for every child and appreciates the uniqueness of all children. Each day we have the ability to create new learning with the children and we take pride in experiencing all the milestones along the way.

  • Judie Schwanke

    Judie Schwanke, Center Director

    Each day is a new day and I love coming to work to see what the children are going to learn and do. Hugs and smiles make every day memorable and I love sharing 'the little things' with parents. I strive to inspire my teaches to provide the best possible environment for the children we serve.

    Ms. Judie is a passionate and caring Center Director you loves creating lasting relationships with the families in her care. Before becoming a Center Director she was a preschool teacher with KinderCare. Judie's love for her job is matched only by the love for her family. Although Judie graduated with a degree in secondary education, while in college she taught a preschool part-time and learned her true passion. Judie is a great team leader that helps make White Bear Lake KinderCare one of the best.

    Previous Experience:
    Judie was a preschool teacher prior to coming to KinderCare.
    Year Started:
    24 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    26 Years
    Bachelor's of Art Degree in English Education
  • Kirby Loahr

    Kirby Loahr, Assistant Director

    I love seeing the children and their familes each and every day. Getting to know each student's individual personality and interacting with them throughout the day, through learning and play, is something I've always wanted to do professionally and feel extremely luck to be a part of this White Bear Lake Kinder Care family.

    Working with children allows her to be the kid she is at heart, but she also has the ability to bring her education and personal experiences each day to help the next generation grow and thrive. As a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth in Community Health Education and Psychology she discovered early on her future plans would have to involve teaching kids in some way. As a former youth education program manager, she has 7 years experience teaching children in pre-k through 5th grade.  Now as a new mom to son Miles, born in January 2014, she is able to truly understand what it takes to love, provide and care for a child. He has shown her where her heart truly lies, and that is being with children.

    Previous Experience:
    Kirby worked at the American Red Cross creating safety and awareness curriculum and teaching elementary school-aged chidren in St. Paul, Minneapolis and the surrounding metro.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Pout Pout Fish
    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    7 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Health Education, Minor in Psycology
  • Ms. Taylor

    Ms. Taylor, Infants

    I'm inspired by the children's growth everyday and love seeing their smiling faces and hearing the funny things they say.

    Ms. Taylor is one of our newest members of our team but you wouldn't know that by watching her work. Ms. Taylor has quickly become one of our favorite teachers here. Working in all the classrooms has given her great experience with all ages and more importantly all the children have been able to work with this amazing teacher. Ms. Taylor has recently completed the Childcare Associates degree program through Rasmussen College.  She is passionate about providing quality care for the infants and getting to know each family on a individual basis.

    Previous Experience:
    Miss Taylor started with KinderCare as an aide and has worked her way to becoming teacher qualified.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 Year
    Child Development Associate
  • Ms. Bev Ekanger

    Ms. Bev Ekanger, Toddler & Discovery Preschool Classrooms

    I am inspired to come to work each day to see the excitement in the children's eyes as they learn something new and to hear the adorable things they say.

    Ms. Bev is a dream come true for parents of twos and toddlers. She has worked in Discovery Preschool since 1989 and continues to grow as a teacher. Her patience and calming presents creates a fun educational classroom. Ms. Bev enjoys the energy of the Discovery Preschool room and uses this energy to implement fun, creative and educational experiences for the children in her care. Backed by a degree in Elementary Education Ms. Bev is truly a teacher to be cherished.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Bev has previous experience substitute teaching.
    Year Started:
    26 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    23 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Sarma Burnau

    Ms. Sarma Burnau, Preschool Classroom

    I enjoy working at KinderCare and making an impact on the children in my classroom. I like to see their smiling faces and listen to their stories. I am excited to see the children learning new skills and have been amazed at their writing skills.

    Ms. Sarma's room is always filled with learning and laughter. The chidlren in her care grow everyday socially, emotionally and educationally. Ms. Sarma's implimentation of our award winning curriuculum has awarded her with several Certificates of Appreciation from our district to recognize her for delivering on our customer promise. Besides Ms. Sarma's natural talents she also has a degree in Elementary Education with a Kindergarten Endorsement. Ms. Sarma is not only one of the chidlren's favorites but one of the favorites among the staff and families.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to starting at KinderCare Ms. Sarma was a public school teacher in Texas.
    Year Started:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 Years
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Lyn Campbell

    Ms. Lyn Campbell, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I am inspired by the energy and eagerness of the children. They are ready to learn each day.

    Ms. Lyn's classroom is always busy with learning and fun. Her inate ability to understand and help prekindergarten children is just one of her many gifts. Ms. Lyn's classroom is a reflection of her amazing teaching ability. The children in her care grow into school age children right before your eyes. Her true belief and understanding of Developmentally Appropriate Practice helps her be patient yet push her students to learn and grow. Ms. Lyn's educational background with a music degree fro St. Olaf also makes her a great ABC Music and Me teacher.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to starting at KinderCare Ms. Lyn was a public school teacher
    Year Started:
    25 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    32 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Music
  • Ms. Laura Crimmins

    Ms. Laura Crimmins, School Age & Learning Adventures Classrooms, Health and Safety Coordinator

    I look forward to each day and the enthusiasm of each child. I am inspired by each child and the dedicated teachers I work with.

    Ms. Laura is a jack of all trades here at KinderCare. Not only is she a School Age teacher she also runs our phonics and math program and if that is not enough she also is our Health and Saftey Coordinator. Ms. Lauras ability to multitask is only second with her ability to teach in the Shool Age classroom. Ms. Laura is always coming up with fun and exciting things for the School Age students to do and experience. Backed by a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin with a Kindergarten Endorsment she is more then a School Age teacher she is their friend. She is also known as quite a good Phase Ten player. Just ask the School Agers.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to starting at KinderCare Ms. Laura was a public school teacher.
    Year Started:
    16 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    18 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in Reading/Language Arts and a Kindergarten Endorsement
  • Ms. Kristen

    Ms. Kristen, Schoolage Classroom

    I enjoy working with Schoolagers the most. I love their unique personalities and their ability to understand one another and their classroom environment.

    Ms. Kristen first started working with KinderCare Learning Center in 2007. She finished her Associates Degree at Rasmussen College in 2012, then began working as a paraprofessional at John Glenn Middle School in Maplewood, MN. She was excited to come back to KinderCare in 2014.

    Ms. Kristen can easily take charge and teach any of our KinderCare classrooms, but her favorite age group to work with is Schoolage.

    She is married and has one daughter who is currently transitioning into the toddler room!

    Previous Experience:
    Mahtomedi School Distict, Special Needs John Glenn Middle School
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Love You Forever
    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    AS in ECE ephasizing in Special Needs
  • Ms. Morgan

    Ms. Morgan, Toddler Classroom

    I enjoy working with tods becasue there is always something new happening and everything is exciting for them!

    Ms. Morgan is our newest teacher and has already found a home in the Toddler Classroom! She is able to connect with her students on an individual level, always has clever ways to keep the children engaged and focused and can step-up when needed to help out in any classroom at our center.

    The children and staff enjoy her positivity and charisma!

    Previous Experience:
    Sunday school teacher, babysitting, special education experience.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Are You My Mother?
    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
    Working towards Nursing Degree
  • Ms. Angela

    Ms. Angela, Schoolage Classroom

    Children are little sponges, they soak everything up!

    Ms. Angela started at KinderCare in 2012. She has an extensive previous background in teaching ranging from 6 weeks to 3rd grade. Here at our center she has enjoyed working in every room from infant-prekindergarten, but mostly enjoys the schoolaged classroom.

    We are grateful for her flexibility, ability to work with all ages and positive attitude!

    Previous Experience:
    Townsview Montessori, Carol Mathey's Treasure Tykes, Farnsworth Elementary and Life Prep Education Academy.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    BS in Early Childhood
  • Ms. Brianna

    Ms. Brianna, Preschool Classroom

    Everyday there's something new, something exciting going on, you never know what to expect!

    Ms. Brianna is our busy bee. Whether it's teaching, aiding, cleaning, you name it! Ms. Brianna is ready and willing to help. Her ability to float over to our prekindergarten, toddler and infant room is irreplaceable. She is also a great asset to have in the preschool room where she spends most her days and has wonderful relationships with her students individually. A true friend and mentor to each child.

    Previous Experience:
    Lifetime Fitness childcenter, summer camp and kid's play
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Brown Bear
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Ms. Jessica

    Ms. Jessica, Infants

    Ms. Jessica joined our team in 2002, transferred to Maplewood, then returned to be a lead infant teacher in 2015. Ms. Jessica loves being able to interact with the children and show them new things. While in the classroom, Ms. Jessica is inspiring to the children and introducing them to new activities and has a great way of reaching each child! She enjoys their warm welcomes every morning and it shows her that she has the best job!

    Favorite Children's Book:
    All things Dr. Seuss
    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate

October 2015 Events

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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.

Special Features

  • Year Round Programs
  • Healthy, well balanced breakfast, lunch and snack served

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • AM Snack
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Holidays Observed

New Year's Eve, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day

Health and Safety

Our number one priority is child safety. All of our teachers are First Aid and CPR certified. In addition, all teachers are trained on Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Abusive Head Trauma. Many health and safety trainings are conducted annually. We have a dedicated Health and Safety Coordinator on site who conducts monthly Fire and Disaster drills and daily checks of the center, playground and equipment. A Public Health Nurse also visits the center monthly to review our policies and procedures. Our center has a secured entrance and the playgrounds are fenced. Our teachers conduct name to face attendance every thirty minutes and at transition times.

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.

Since my daughter has started attending KinderCare, her social skills and self-confidence levels have soared! She tells me about her new friends every night and talks about minor issues they had and how the teachers helped them work it out. She has also started counting everything in our home and will randomly start singing her ABC's! I can tell she truly enjoys the classroom activities as she is always eager and proud to share them with us and often makes us reenact them; with her being the teacher and my husband and I being the students. I could not ask for better staff to work with my child! They use creative and hands-on lesson plans that really teach my child about the world around her. They truly seem to care about each child and really get to know them on an individual level. My daughter's teachers seem to focus on her strengths and always have something positive to say to her and about her. It is obvious my daughter feels very comfortable with her teachers and really looks forward to seeing them every morning. Who could ask for more?! I would highly recommend KinderCare to any parent! I know my child is receiving individualized attention, nutritious meals, and a wide variety of activities that build her knowledge and confidence. Better yet, my child is always excited to go to KinderCare and to see her teachers, which make it much easier to be a working mom. Thank you KinderCare!

- Mother

We love our KinderCare! Five years ago, my husband and I set out in search of a place to provide the best possible care we could find for our four year old son. At KinderCare we found separate classrooms, in a class-like setting and an atmosphere supportive of choice for brain growth Since our first son's attendance, we have had a second son. He looks forward to "going to school" and rushes to get ready every morning. He tells us about "his job", letters or numbers, the month or the day, his day, and what fun things his friends and teachers have done. It's a highlight of our day to see him smile, just as it was for our oldest child. Our oldest continues to excel in school. He is now in the 4th grade, participating in sports and challenge classes every year. His test scores are at the top of his class and best of all, he is a well-rounded child that's happy, polite and kind. As I have told his teachers, because of KinderCare and the basis of what they provided in the early years.

- Parents

Thanks to all of the KinderCare staff for providing a safe and fun environment for our boys over the last four years. They have learned so much, made several friends and come to love the teachers and staff. We couldn't have asked for a better place to help care for our children during these early years.

- Parents

We had to change care centers quickly and I was very impressed with how kind and welcoming everyone was. Our daughter became comfortable in record time thanks to Ms. Bev's calm, kind, happy demeanor. Thank you Ms. Bev!

- 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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