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179th Street KinderCare

Suzie Wilkerson, Center Director

9460 179th St. Tinley Park IL 60487
(708) 444-0906 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds
Open:

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Special Instructions:
One block east of LaGrange. On 179th St.

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Tinley Park: Fernway, McAuliffe, Bannes, Millenium, Cardinal Bernardin, Memorial Orland Park: Center Frankfort: Arbury Hills, Rogus, Indian Trail Mokena: MES

Our center is dedicated to providing a quality experience for all children and parents. We have acheived a Gold Circle of Quality through EceleRate Illinois.
 
  • Accreditation Seal Every Day · Every Child · Excellence · Accreditated · Knowledge Universe
  • NAC Accreditation NAC

Welcome

Welcome to the 179th st. KinderCare! We can't wait to share with you and your child all the wonderful and exciting activities happening at the Center. Your child will have the opportunity to explore their surroundings and learn through hands on experiences. Our KinderCare features classroom monitors in the main lobby where you can observe your child learning and interacting with their friends. What a great feeling to be able to head off to work and see first hand that your child is happy and having fun. Our KinderCare features separate classrooms for each age group from infants through school age. Each classroom is print rich and staff members work at helping each child recognize and print letters and numbers as age permits. We understand that each and every child is unique when it comes to learning. Some children are visual, auditory, kinesthetic or a combination of learners. We believe in developing the "Whole Child". We extend an open invitation to join our KinderCare family.

Suzie Wilkerson, Center Director

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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.

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.

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.

Math

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.

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

The staff at Tinley Park welcomes all families. We pride ourselves on great family connections and making sure all families leave happy and satisfied each and every day. We provide a hands on curriculum and a fun-filled learning experience.  We hope you decide to take a moment to set up a tour to see our teachers in action!

  • Suzie Wilkerson

    Suzie Wilkerson, Center Director

    My goal as Center Director is to make each and every family feel special and part of the KinderCare family. The early years are such a memorable time and being a part of the children's lives is an honor and a privilege.

    Suzie has been in the Early Childhood field since 1975. Her career began as a preschool teacher at a locally sponsored program and became the director/lead preschool teacher for the next 17 years. Suzie has also been on the management team for centers such as Argonne National Laboratory, the former Lucent Technology, Mobil Oil and Empress Casino. Suzie's KinderCare career began in 2001 at Lucent as the assistant director. In January 2004 she accepted the director position at the Tinley Park location.

    Previous Experience:
    Previously Suzie has worked as a teacher, team leader and assistant director.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Guess How Much I Love You
    Year Started:
    3/2/2001
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    40
    Education:
    Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Early Childhood Education
  • Karen Podrazik

    Karen Podrazik, Assistant Director

    My goal is to partner with the staff and families to make their children's experience at KinderCare the best possible.

    Karen has been in Early Childhood since 1986. In 1987 she began her career with KinderCare as a part time school age teacher in Orland Park. Within a year Karen began full time and not only taught the after school program but also preschool. In 1992 Karen was promoted to assistant director and in 2001 Center Director. In January 2003 Karen became part of the corporate team as a field trainer for the Chicago market, with the responsibility of training all new hires. In July of 2003 Karen joined the team in Tinley Park as assistant director. Karen partners with the staff to ensure the children and families have the best possible experience as part of the KinderCare family.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to taking the job of Assistant Director Karen was a teacher, center director and a field trainer focusing on new employee training.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Fox in Socks
    Year Started:
    8/31/1987
    Tenure:
    28 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    28 years
    Education:
    Associate's in Liberal Arts
  • Ms. Vickie

    Ms. Vickie, Infants

    I love to see the look an the children's faces when they do something for the first time!

    Ms. Vickie received her Child Development Associate Credentails (CDA) throught the Counsel of Professional Recognition.. She has demonstrated competence in the area of infants and toddlers.
    Vickie has experience caring for children ages 6 weeks through school age. Her career at KinderCare began in the pre-school classroom but has spent the majority of her time as the lead infant teacher.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Vickie has worked for a village sponsored program teaching preschool and specialty classes. While raising her four children Vickie ran a home daycare..
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Love You Forever
    Year Started:
    10/25/2005
    Tenure:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    17
    Education:
    Infant, Toddler Child Development Associate (CDA)
  • Ms. Lauren

    Ms. Lauren, Toddlers

    The children have a bright future ahead of them and I love being a part of that each and every day.

    Lauren has known since 1st grade that her lifelong dream would be to become a teacher. Lauren has taught children from infancy to the age of 12. When Lauren came to our KinderCare we were lucky enough to get a 2 for 1 package deal with her son Brody joining the Center. Her room is colorful and always full of music, dancing and laughter.

    Previous Experience:
    Lauren has experience working with child from infants through 12 years old. She has worked in a hospital sponsored childcare center, after school program as well as a Montessori setting..
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Pout Pout Fish
    Year Started:
    2/3/2015
    Years in ECE industry:
    5years
    Education:
    Associates in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Debbie

    Ms. Debbie,

    It makes my day when parents tell me I'm a huge influence on their child. The thank you's I receive make every day extra special.

    Debbie joined KinderCare after working for a hospital sponsored childcare center for 15 years. When the center closed her job hunting brought her to our Discovery Pre-school classroom. Debbie believes her role is to keep each child safe, taken care of and loved every day.  She knows that the children are little sponges and building a foundation for the love of learning is her main objective.

    Previous Experience:
    Debbie has experience working with children ages infants through kindergaten. She spent 15 years working at a hospital childcare center with 13 of those years in a 2 year old classroom.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Love You Forever
    Year Started:
    3/18/2015
    Years in ECE industry:
    15
    Education:
    Associates in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Sara

    Ms. Sara, Pre-school 1

    I love seeing the children and being  able to help them learn and grow.

    Sara is passionate about the children and helping them through the learning process. Sare believes that observation is the key to assessing the strenghths and learning opportunities for each child in her class.

    Previous Experience:
    Sara has experience working with children ages infant through 12 years
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Rainbow Fish
    Year Started:
    1/28/2013
    Tenure:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10
    Education:
    Associates in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Tricia

    Ms. Tricia,

    I love seeing the smiles on the children's faces when I walk into the classroom to start the day.

    Tricia's career has included teaching as well as assistant direcor and director while with KinderCare. She comes to our KinderCare after 11 years at the Frankfort site. Tricia loves singing and sings with a band on the weekends. If you think you hear Elvis singing in her classroom look again, it's Tricia. Tricia wants to see each child succeed in her classroom. Tricia will admit she's just a BIG KID.

    Previous Experience:
    Tricia has experience working with children ages 3 through 12 years, with 4 years olds being her favorite age group.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Year Started:
    12/10/1997
    Tenure:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    23
    Education:
    Associates in Early Chilhood Education
  • Ms. Mica

    Ms. Mica, Pre-Kindergarten

    I am passionate about coming up with new ideas and techniques that will enhance learning as well as spark each child's interest.

    While working on her degree Mica mentored in a grammar school. During her time at KinderCare she has been a lead teacher working with 3-5 year olds. When offered a chance to teach Pre-Kindergarten Mica jumped at the chance. She works very close with our Private Kindergarten teacher ensuring that the children are ready for their next big adventure.

    Previous Experience:
    Mics has experience working with children ages 3-12. Before joining our KinderCare family Mica spent 2 years working with school age children. Her experience at KinderCare has focused on Pre-school and Pre-Kindergarten.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Chester Learns a Lesson
    Year Started:
    3/24/2008
    Tenure:
    7 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Education:
    Master's of Art in School Counseling and Guidance
  • Ms. Nicole

    Ms. Nicole, Interactive Kindergarten

    Seeing the children's enthusiasm to come to kindergarten every day and leave each day sharing what they learned is what I love about my job!

    Ms. Nicole has designed her classroom to be very hands on and tailored to the individual needs of each child.  Nicole has had the opportunity to assist in the expansion of the SMART BOARD program in many KinderCare centers. She was instrumental in our center being one of the first to receive SMART BOARD interactive technology. Nicole accepts children age 5 and also children who miss the cutoff for community based kindergarten who have birthdays between Sept. 2nd and Oct. 15th who have completed our Pre-Kindergarten program.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Nicole previously worked as a tutor and after school teacher while in college.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    There's A Wocket In My Pocket
    Year Started:
    5/1/2007
    Tenure:
    8 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7 years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Ginny

    Ms. Ginny, School age

    I love watching a child as they discover new things. Their unconditional love makes my job so much easier

    Ginny began her career at the Orland Park KinderCare and has worked with ages infants through school-age. Ginny also spent some time as an assistant director. She transferred to the Tinley Park Center in 2004 as the lead Pre-Kindergarten and School Age teacher.  Ginny believes every child is a unique individual who learns at their own pace. Her teaching style encourages children to learn through auditory, visual and hands on activities.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Ginny taught a preschool class of 3 year old children.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Year Started:
    3/1/1991
    Tenure:
    24 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    24 Years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education

September 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.

Awards and Recognition

  • Gold Circle of Quality

    Gold Circle of Quality

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Holidays Observed

New Years Day
Presidents Day (Teacher Inservice)
Memorial Day
4th of July
Labor Day
Columbus Day (Teacher Inservice)
Thanksgiving
Friday after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day


 

Health and Safety

Health and Safety is a team effort at our 179th st. KinderCare. Staff under the watchful eye of the director, assistant director and safety coordinator are diligent about health and safety throughout the Center. A keypad allows admittance to the Center for parents and staff. The fenced playground sits behind the Center away from the parking lot for added security. Each staff member is CPR and First Aid certified for infant through adult. The health and safety of the children in our care is of the utmost importance.

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 daughter went to KinderCare from the time she was two years old and continued through Private Kindergarten. These were the most formative years of her life and the foundation for her educational growth. We could not have been happier or more pleased with the experience from the center. When she finally left, it was like leaving family behind. The staff at this center remains consistent; our daughter had the same people caring for her year after year. The Center Director, Suzie, runs a fantastic place. I have never regretted having to leave our daughter at the center. I knew she was in capable, caring and, above all else, loving hands. She excelled in the extra activities offered, such as Spanish and cooking. The Private Kindergarten was worth more than any money we did or could have paid. Our daughter started first grade leagues beyond the other children due to the rigorous and advanced curriculum that KinderCare offered. Choosing this center was one of the best decisions we have made for our daughter. I am so thankful to the staff and teachers for their consistent love and support to the children and families who make this a "second home" during the week.

- Parent

KinderCare is an amazing place. The quality of care and understanding the staff has for my children brings a sigh of relief and much happiness. To know that they are well cared for and loved, where else could I find such a place that I consider a second home and family for my children.

- Parent
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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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Resources for Parents

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