Skip to main content

University Place KinderCare

Jill Ripley, Center Director

5424 Orchard St. West Tacoma WA 98467
(253) 474-5295 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

Show other centers nearby

Special Instructions:
at 56th & Orchard next to 7-Eleven & Subway

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Whittier Elementary 777 Elm Tree Ln, Fircrest, WA 98466 (253) 571-7500 (public school bus drops off and picks up at center.)

Here at the University Place KinderCare, we offer Learning Adventure programs to allow for enhanced learning in a small group setting. These programs have curriculum designed to be sensitive to children’s multiple learning styles and small group size that allows for high-quality interactions with the teacher. Our Interactive Kindergarten class, led by Ms. Ebony and Ms. Lisa, will introduce your child to whiteboard and computer technology while offering plenty of hands-on exploration. Your child will enjoy a small class size and focus on building skills that lead to academic success
  • Accreditation Seal Every Day · Every Child · Excellence · Accreditated · Knowledge Universe
  • NAC Accreditation NAC
  • NAEYC Accreditation NAEYC


Welcome to the University Place KinderCare Learning Center. We are excited to meet with you and your family. We believe in developing the whole child with an emphasis on assisting your child’s growth with their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Here at the University Place KinderCare we consider you to be family. Our supportive environment stems from our long-serving teachers who have a true passion for educating and nurturing children. Your child will not only have a safe, secure, and stimulating environment to learn in, but will have support from a team of child development experts. Whether your child has first words or first grade on the horizon, we’re excited to show you how everything in our center is designed for learning!

Jill Ripley, Center Director

Image Gallery


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.

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


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.

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Friday October 02, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  2. Thursday October 08, 2015
    1. Soy nut Butter on Graham Crackers

Teachers & Staff

Our team of teachers brings dedication, passion, education and over ninty seven years of combined experience in Early Childhood Education. The majority of our teacher’s have advanced education ranging from Child Development Associate's Degrees to Bachelor's Degrees.

  • Jill Ripley

    Jill Ripley, Center Director

    "The best Teachers are those who show you what to look for but don't tell you what to see."

    Jill has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past twenty two years. She has been with KinderCare Learning Centers since January 1998. She has held positions as Kindergarten teacher, supervisor of curriculum programs and Assistant Director, ultimately leading her to become the Center Director in 2008.

    Previous Experience:
    Before coming to KinderCare Jill provided home based child care for the State of California, and also managed a nursery in a fitness center.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Guess how much I love you -by Sam McBratney
    Year Started:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    22 years
    Child Development Associate's Degree
  • Vicki Arcuri

    Vicki Arcuri, Assistant Director

    "They may not remember what you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel"

    Vicki has worked in the Early childhood field for a total of 9 years. She graduated in 2010 with her Certificate and Associates in Early Childhood Education. She joined the KinderCare team in 2012 as the toddler teacher. Since then she has also worked in the preschool classroom, infant classroom and the Kindergarten Classroom. She has been the Health and Safety Coordinator since 2013 and the programing supervisor before becoming the Assistant Director in July of 2014.


    Previous Experience:
    Before coming to KinderCare Vicki worked at a daycare center in University Place for 3 Years. She also worked as a private nanny for a year.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Love You Forever - by Robert Munsch
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 Years
    Associates in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Amanda

    Ms. Amanda, Infant

    "While we try to teach children about life, our children teach us what life is all about"

    Ms. Amanda started working for KinderCare in June 2012, she has worked as an early childhood educator for ten years and has obtained her Child Development Associate in 2013. She enjoys working in our infant classroom and provides a loving and caring environment for the children and families.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to coming to KinderCare Amanda worked as a teacher in a daycare center for two years and a private nanny for four years.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    How do I love you -by PK Hallinan
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate
  • Ms. Carolyn

    Ms. Carolyn, Toddler

    "I enjoy getting to spend every day watching children grow into the best they can be."

    Ms. Carolyn is one of our caring, loving, and comforting teachers in our Toddler classroom. She graduated in August 2014 with her Associates in Human Services Degree. Ms. Carolyn loves spending her days with the infants watching them grow and learn.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to coming to KinderCare Carolyn worked as an Assistant Director with a before and after school program
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Associates in Human Services
  • Ms. Tina

    Ms. Tina, Toddler

    "I get very excited knowing that I constantly make a positive impact in my student's lives."

    Ms. Tina is one of our fantastic toddler teachers. Tina is funny, energetic and thrives on the children's laughter. Her creative approach to teaching our curriculum is fun and exciting for the children in her class.

    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Child Development Associates
  • Ms. Porsha

    Ms. Porsha, Infant

    "I love working with the little ones they bring me joy"

    Ms. Porsha has worked with children of all different ages for the past five years. Porsha is passionate about her job. She is caring and loving to all of the children in her classroom.

    Previous Experience:
    Three years prior to coming to Kindercare Porsha worked with foster care children.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    STARS Training
  • Ms. Tunya

    Ms. Tunya, Discovery Preschool

    "While we try to teach our children all about life. Our children teach us what life is about"

    Ms. Tunya has worked with children for over 20 years and started working at KinderCare back in 2003. She enjoys working in our Discovery Preschool classroom and she provides a creative environment for the children to learn every day.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to coming to KinderCare Tunya worked as a preschool teacher.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Green eggs and ham -by Dr. Suess
    Year Started:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 Years
    STARS Training
  • Ms. Raquel

    Ms. Raquel, Preschool

    "My favorite thing is to watch the children grow and learn new things every day."

    "Go Seahawks!"

    Ms. Racquel is one of our fun and energetic preschool teachers. As you walk into her classroom you can't help but to smile. The children gravitate towards her fun, caring, energetic and silly personality. She finds ease in making learning fun.

    Previous Experience:
    Raquel owned a daycare and was a Program director for the Boys & Girls Club.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    The little engine that could.
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associates
  • Ms. Angelina

    Ms. Angelina, Preschool

    "My passion is teaching the children every day while they are also teaching me."

    Ms. Angelina thinks of bright and creative ways to keep her students engaged in her classroom activities.

    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    STARS training
  • Ms. Nicole, Discovery Preschool

    "A person is a person no matter how small"

    Ms. Nicole has worked for KinderCare since 2004. She has over 10 years experience working with children and loves to work with them every day. Nicole provides the children with a fun and engaging environment.

    Year Started:
    11 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associates
  • Ms. Ebony

    Ms. Ebony, Kindergarten

    "One of the most important things we adults can do for children is to MODEL the kind of person we would like them to be."

    -Carol B. Hillman

    Over the past eleven years of working with children Ebony has shown her passion for providing a safe, fun engaging environment for her children to learn in.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    Where the sidewalk ends by- Shel Silverstein
    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    STARS Training
  • Ms. Michelle

    Ms. Michelle, School Age

    "I am Passionate about quality childcare and providing a fun and safe environment for children to learn"


    Ms. Michelle is not only a great cook but she also teaches our older school age children. Her excitement to teach the children fun and new activities creates a silly happy environment for the children to create and explore new things.

    Previous Experience:
    Wonder School and a Japanese teacher for Anne & Charles Wright Metropolitan School.
    Year Started:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    BA in family consumer studies and Japanese 1992, Child Development Associate 2012, and Masters in TESOL 2014

October 2015 Events

October Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Friday October 02, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

    2. Play Father Says Game

    3. Find your name game

    4. Slice Cooked Carrots

    5. Match Clothing Cutouts

  2. Saturday October 03, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  3. Sunday October 04, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  4. Monday October 05, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  5. Tuesday October 06, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

    2. Explore the inside of a Pumpkin

    3. Run rhyming race

    4. “Apples”

    5. Flannel Board Stories

  6. Wednesday October 07, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  7. Thursday October 08, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

    2. Soy nut Butter on Graham Crackers

    3. Sort 3D Shape

    4. Explore textures

    5. Practice Writing Names

  8. Friday October 09, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  9. Saturday October 10, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  10. Sunday October 11, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  11. Monday October 12, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

    2. CLOSED (Teacher Training Day)

  12. Tuesday October 13, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  13. Wednesday October 14, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

    2. Walk on a curved line

    3. Tell stories with finger Puppets

    4. Complete agility course

    5. Sort Objects

  14. Thursday October 15, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  15. Friday October 16, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

    2. Learn poems about pets

    3. Texture Books

    4. play listening game

    5. Look for leaves

  16. Saturday October 17, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  17. Sunday October 18, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  18. Monday October 19, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

  19. Tuesday October 20, 2015
    1. “Falling Leaves”

    2. Play Fall Bingo

    3. Play with wet sponges

    4. Explore items related to trees

    5. Shape puzzles

  20. Thursday October 22, 2015
    1. Make house collage

    2. Spread Butter on bread

    3. Play with washcloths in water

    4. Count Dots in Book

  21. Monday October 26, 2015
    1. Sort items by size

    2. Move objects on activity gym

    3. Play Dominoes

    4. Play Instruments

  22. Wednesday October 28, 2015
    1. Books about fall

    2. Play Hide and Seek

  23. Friday October 30, 2015
    1. Explore Fall Foods

    2. Learn about Community Helpers

    3. Play in a tub of water

    4. Match Leaf Rubbings

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

  • American Sign Language
  • Japanese

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • AM Snack
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Vegetarian

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, and Christmas Day.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of children is something we pride ourselves in. Our entire staff is CPR and first aid certified and the building has a secured entry. We have a Health Nurse who visits us once monthly to support our teachers with any health and safety concerns. We also have a dedicated health and safety coordinator who is committed to monitoring our center on a daily basis. This ensures that the standards we have in place are maintained at all 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.

I love my center! I looked at many different daycares when we were putting our three children in daycare.  We had a new born, a little one-year-old and another who was three-years-old at the time. I went to the other daycares and was horrified at what I saw. I started talking with my husband and letting him know I was not going to go back to work, because I was so uncomfortable with the daycares that we had toured.
We then decided to tour KinderCare on Orchard Street and my kids left my side immediately and started playing with the other children. They did not cling to my legs the entire visit. The center also allowed me to come and sit with my children for a couple of weeks before I had to go back to work. They catered to me making sure I knew that my children were being taken care of and that they were comfortable in their new surroundings. Since that day, almost two years ago, I have told everyone I know that needed daycare to go to KinderCare, especially other Military families since they are an accredited center and accept NACCRRA! This is very useful for military families. This center feels more like a home than a daycare!

- 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

Download helpful guides and other resources to make your child care decisions easy.