Skip to main content

Oak Park Ave. KinderCare

Tracy McCowan, Center Director

16100 Oak Park Ave. Tinley Park IL 60477
(708) 429-7277 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

Show other centers nearby

Special Instructions:
On Oak Park Ave. (South of 159th St.) Behind Menards

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
District 140: Helen Keller. District 145: Central Middle School, Foster, Gingerwood and Scarlet Oaks. District 146: Central Middle School, Fierke (Fair-ek), Fulton, Kruse and Memorial.

We are currently enrolling in our infant through schoolage programs. Check out our calendar for some of our yearly events.

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


Welcome to the Oak Park Avenue KinderCare! We are proud to say that we have been in our community for over 30 years and have a very passionate and tenured team of educators, with over 140 years of combined experience! Our enriched classrooms offer a wide range of learning opportunities that will allow your child's imagination to soar! Stop in and take a tour today.

Tracy McCowan, 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.

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.

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Sunday January 01, 2017
    1. January's Learning Focus

      Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Light and Dark, plus the Sky and Weather

      Through shadow play, experiments with flashlights, observing the Sun and more, infants and toddlers will enjoy learning about light and dark this month. Infants continue sensory development by looking at contrasting patterns and at objects that are clearly defined by sharp edges and bright colors, while toddlers will build on their understanding of the light and dark concepts with play around daytime and nighttime. The older Discovery Preschool children will turn their attention to the sky as they learn about weather, the Moon, the Sun, and stars.

      Children 4–5 years old: Transportation, Healthy Bodies, and Winter

      For children in the Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms, January is filled with variety! They’ll begin by learning about transportation and studying how things get from “here” to “there.” A few weeks later, the focus will shift to health and bodies, with an emphasis placed on how to make good choices for a growing body. Towards the end of the month, children will be introduced to the transformative nature of the winter season and learn how to dress and take care of themselves when it’s cold outside. 

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

Teachers & Staff

The staff at our NAEYC accredited Tinley Park Oak Park Avenue KinderCare welcomes you! We are looking forward to partnering with you and exceeding your family's expectations through building strong and caring relationships, problem resolution, frequent communication and best-in-class education. We live and embrace our 6 company Service Values:

1) We build great relationships with families.
2) An important part of our job is talking with parents about their children.
3) We anticipate and quickly resolve parents' concerns.
4) We respond to the unique needs and interests of every child.
5) We genuinely care about every child in our classrooms.
6) Our team works together to make our school warm and welcoming.

We would love for your family to be a part of our KinderCare family!

  • Tracy McCowan

    Tracy McCowan, Center Director

    Be the change you want to see in the world".

    Tracy started with the KinderCare Eduction family in February, 1999 as a Center Director at our location in Chicago, Illinois. Since the beginning of Tracy's employment with KinderCare Education, Tracy previously managed two of our community schools (Chicago and Evanston, Illinois) and spent the past 11+ years in our employer-sponsored division (CCLC - Children's Creative Learning Centers) in Lisle/Naperville as the Executive Director. Tracy joined our NAEYC accredited Oak Park Avenue KinderCare in Tinley Park as the Executive Director in March, 2015.


    Previous Experience:
    Tracy McCowan has managed four different locations under the umbrella of KinderCare Education since she started her employment with our company in 1999. Prior to joining KC Education, Tracy had previously worked as a Center Director for another child care provider. Tracy has over 25 years of experience working in the field of Early Childhood Education.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "I Love You Forever"
    Year Started:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    25 years
  • Jennifer Rivera

    Jennifer Rivera, Assistant Director

    Seeing all the smiles and getting to know each family is my favorite part of my job".

    Jennifer began working at KinderCare in 1999 as a teacher. Jennifer was promoted to Assistant Director in November of 2006 where she has continued in her current role. Jennifer's role consist of managing the building in the absence of the Executive Director.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    "The Kissing Hand"
    Year Started:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 years
  • Anjanette Ellis

    Anjanette Ellis, Program Specialist

    Previous Experience:
    Anjanette previously worked as a Program Coordinator for Governor’s State University Family Development Center prior to joining us in September, 2015 as our Program Specialist.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Brown Bear, Brown Bear"
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 years
  • Ms. Gayathri "G"

    Ms. Gayathri "G", Infant Classroom

    I love babies and want to give them a great foundation right from the start".

    Ms. G. is our Lead Teacher in our Infant classroom. Ms. G. loves nurturing babies and providing them with a home-away-from-home setting. Ms. G. is passionate about meeting the individual needs of every baby in her care as she partner with her families to help develop the whole child.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. G previously worked for a corporate child care program where she worked with children from Infants through schoolage.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    1 year
    BA in Accounting.
  • Ms. Dawn

    Ms. Dawn, DIscovery Preschool

    I love working with children and making a difference in their lives".

    Ms. Dawn has worked with every age group ranging from infants through school-age. Ms. Dawn believes a 'busy' child is a happy child so she enjoys keeping them engaged in lots of activites. When asked what she's passionate about she says "when a child learns something new, it makes her heart happy".

    Favorite Children's Book:
    "I Love You Stinky Face"
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 yeras
    Child Development Associate
  • Ms. Michelle M.

    Ms. Michelle M., Preschool Classroom

    I have been providing care for children since 1999 and it still fascinates me to watch them learn new things each and every day. I really enjoy watching a child's progress and I feel honored to be a part of their journey! You can always find me playing in centers with children, building ramps, dressing babies, sliding down slides and all the other fun things we do each day".

    Ms. Michelle M. graduated from Governor's State University in 2014. Michelle will be continuing her education at Lewis University with a major in Psychology specializing in Pediatrics/Adolescents.

    Year Started:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 years
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Ms. Michelle W.

    Ms. Michelle W., Preschool Classroom

    It takes a village to raise a child and I love being a part of so many villages".

    Michelle has studied Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education at Western Michigan University. Michelle loves working with children because it gives her the ability to positively impact young lives.


    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining the KinderCare Education family, Michelle W. had over 5 years of experience working with other child care providers as the preschool teacher. Michelle has also served as a Childcare Director at her church.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "Please Baby Please"
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    BA in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Trisha

    Ms. Trisha, Pre-Kindergarten

    I enjoy taking everyday moments and making them teachable moments".

    Ms. Trisha has experience working with children from Preschool through School-age with the majority of her time spent teaching Pre-Kindergarten.

    Favorite Children's Book:
    "The Bear Snores On"
    Year Started:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Early Childhood Education Certificate
  • Ms. Dena

    Ms. Dena, Kindergarten

    I love to inspire my students to ask more questions, to believe in themselves and treasure the value of reading".

    Ms. Dena has worked with multiple age groups including Infants, Kindergarten and School-age. Ms. Dena loves being an intricate part of her children's education and experiencing first hand all their educational milestones.

    Previous Experience:
    Dena previously worked in the public school as a Paraprofessional as well as a summer school teacher where she taught Kindergarten through 8th grade.
    Favorite Children's Book:
    "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    BA in Elementary Education

December 2016 Events

December Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Thursday December 01, 2016
    1. December's Learning Focus

      Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Family, Friends, and Things that Go!

      Infants and toddlers will be exploring family and friends, while three-year-olds will focus on things that go vroom! Social and emotional development is foundational to growth and development in babies, so this month, infants and toddlers will participate in activities that reinforce their connection to family while also exploring connections that exist outside their home, such as friends. Meanwhile, their older friends in Discovery Preschool will learn about and play around with things that move (like bicycles, cars, buses, trains, and airplanes), which are all very exciting for little ones as they continue to explore the world outside their homes. 

      Children 4–5 years old: My Country + Tools and Machines

      The four- and five-year-olds continue exploring the world around them by learning about the state and country they live in! They’ll sings songs, play games based on travel, and learn about flags, state foods, and more. Children will also be introduced to cardinal directions (east, west, north, and south) and gain an appreciation for travel and meeting new friends from different places. 

      Children are naturally fascinated with machines and how things work and are put together. So to encourage that fascination, during the second half of this month children will learn about and play around with tools and machines. In addition to building literacy skills by using the names of machines and tools, children will develop math skills by graphing information, counting wheels, and more.

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

About Our Center

Oak Park Avenue KinderCare is located on Oak Park Avenue just south of 159th street in Tinley Park, Illinois. Our school is dedicated to providing a high quality experience for all children and families. We are very proud to be a member of The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). By achieving NAEYC Accreditation we have demonstrated (and live) our commitment to excellence in the field of early childhood care and education. Our program uses an educational approach, providing unlimited opportunities for the development of the whole child. We offer a unique curriculum for every age level, centered around developmentally appropriate practices that encourage children to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. We believe in nurturing greatness in each and every child and would love the opportunity to have you join our KinderCare family.

Tracy McCowan, Executive Director


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

Here at Oak Park Avenue KinderCare, your child will not only have a safe, secure and stimulating environment to learn in, but they will have support from a team of child development experts who understand the importance of keeping children safe and healthy with the partnership of our schools Health and Safety Coordinator.

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 have trusted the KinderCare Staff with my only child for the past four-and-a-half years. I joined the KinderCare Family when my son, Matthew, was six months old. They are like a family and treat each child as if they were their own. As a single parent, I can honestly say they have helped me raise a smart, well mannered little boy. I struggle to send my son here, BUT it is well worth every penny. I was going to send my son to a public school this upcoming school year but decided against it after taking him for the Kindergarten screening. They were very impressed how smart my child was all THANKS to KinderCare. I decided that I will be sending Matthew to the Kindergarten at KinderCare, where I know he will get the attention and knowledge to prepare him for grade school. There is not enough words to thank KinderCare for all they have done for Matthew. He loves to go to school.

- Mother

The environment that is provided for my children is a positive, loving and caring place that I feel safe leaving my children. This center has truly been a blessing to my family and myself.

- Mother of Two

We are quite please with our center and staff. Every employee is genuinely nice, courteous and friendly and issues are addressed promptly. All in all, we are very happy for our daughter's experience at our KinderCare".

- Father

KinderCare was a life saver in our time of need. Due to a family member's sudden illness we frantically need care for our daughter and KinderCare saved the day. They made the transition to outside care easy and for us and our daughter. Everyone in the center is extremely helpful and many have been with the center for many years and their experience with children shows. The center was very flexible as we were adjusting to our new care situation. The interaction with the kids, instructors and staff members is great for our daughter. Also, the projects and crafts are always amazing.
KinderCare offers many services that we do not currently utilize. However, we like the fact we do not have to move around as our daughter grows and her care needs change. We have been very happy and plan on our daughter attending for a while, and possibly during her school years.

- Mother

My children have been coming to Oak Park KinderCare for quite some years now. They absolutely love going everyday! The staff is amazing! I woud never think my children could love a place so much. They both ask me daily if they're going to KinderCare and they remind me to not pick them up too early. I could not be happier with my child care center experience!

- Mother of Two

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.

Local Resources

What should I look for when choosing a childcare center?:

Enrollment Agreement: