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Oak Grove Knowledge Beginnings

Rena Larson, Center Director

570 Oak Grove Pkwy Vadnais Heights MN 55127
(651) 765-0555 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds
Open:

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Special Instructions:
On Oak Grove Parkway

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Lincoln, Otter Lake, Centerville, Island Lake, Turtle Lake, VadnaisHeights, St. Odelias, St. Mary's, and Central Middle School.

Knowledge Beginnings is Vadnais Heights' premiere child development center.  We provide special Enrichment Classrooms and curriculum in the areas of literacy, math, science, creative arts and imaginative play for better focus for all of our preschool programs.  Our highly educated, strongly committed, long term staff provide our students with the highest quality early childhood education programming.

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

Welcome

Welcome to Knowledge Beginnings Child Development Center in Vadnais Heights. We are very excited to meet with you and your family. We believe in developing the whole child with an emphasis on assisting your child’s growth in the areas of literacy, math and science, creative play and the arts. Here at Knowledge Beginnings, we believe that a quality early childhood education program is an extension of your family. We support this belief through a strong focus on communication and family inclusion, from a team of child development experts who have a true passion for education and nurturing children.

Rena Larson, 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.

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

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.

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Thursday September 03, 2015
    1. Knowledge Beginnings' Birthday

  2. Wednesday September 23, 2015
    1. Lifetouch Picture Day

      Lifetouch will come in and take portraits of the children and class pictures as well.

Teachers & Staff

Knowledge Beginnings is unique for the Minnesota area. They offer additional enrichment classrooms for preschoolers. Every classroom of preschoolers attend various enrichments programs at least once a week. The enrichment programs include writing, reading, math, science, art, and drama.

  • Rena Larson

    Rena Larson, Center Director

    Rena Larson is the Executive Director and helped open the Vadnais Heights Knowledge Beginnings in the fall of 2001. Rena received her Bachelor's of Science Degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Currently, she enjoys having the opportunity to support all of the wonderful children, parents, and teachers here at the center to provide the best educational experience. Rena was born and raised in Minnesota and lives in Vadnais Heights with her husband and three daughters. Rena has been working with children in a variety of settings for over 20 years–working as a nanny, camp counselor, behavior specialist, teacher and Assistant Director. She enjoys working with families and children as they grow and develop.

    Previous Experience:
    Before joining Knowledge Beginnings, Rena has worked as a nanny, camp counselor, behavior specialist, and teacher.
    Year Started:
    5/14/2001
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science in Child Psychology
  • Ms. Stephanie Becher

    Ms. Stephanie Becher, Assistant Director

    I understand the importance of allowing children to learn, grow and discover the world around them

    Stephanie Becher is the Assistant Center Director at the Knowledge Beginnings in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. Stephanie has a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin, Stout. Stephanie started working with children when she was just sixteen years old where she began working at an elementary afterschool program. It was this job that encouraged her to make working with children her career. After graduation from college, Stephanie taught preschool for three years before being promoted in 2005 to her current position. The experiences that Stephanie has had since have only furthered her goal of enriching the lives of children through rich and developmentally appropriate curriculum, positive guidance and support. .

    Previous Experience:
    Stephanie has also worked in an after school program and taught preschool for three years before her promotion to Assistant Center Director.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2003
    Tenure:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 years
    Education:
    Bachelor's of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Stefanie

    Ms. Stefanie, Infant classroom

    Ms. Stefanie works with our younger infants as an Assistant Teacher.  Stefanie is the mother of two young boys and loves talking with parents about the magical things that infants do on a daily basis.  Stefanie has worked with Consuelo in our Infant classroom since 2006, before that she worked with our Preschool and Pre-K programs.  Stefanie is most pasionate about building relationships with the families she serves so that she can give the infants in her classroom the best start in life.

    Year Started:
    8/22/2002
    Tenure:
    13 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    13
  • Ms. Consuelo

    Ms. Consuelo, Infant Classroom

    Ms. Consuelo has a wide range of experiences working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Her true passion is working everyday with infants. Her vision for her students is to build a strong base for early learning. She does this everyday through gentle encouragement and positive interactions with both the infants in her care and their families.

    Year Started:
    1/1/2002
    Tenure:
    13 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 years
    Education:
    Degree in Preschool Education from Incepre University in Bogota, Columbia
  • Ms. Becky

    Ms. Becky, Toddler Classroom

    Ms. Becky is the lead teacher in the Young Toddler classroom. Ms. Becky began her career with Knowledge Beginnings in 2006. She has worked in a variety of classrooms at our center, but has spent the most time as our Young Toddler lead teacher. Ms. Becky obtained college credits towards a Child Development Degree at Century College. She says that she loves how fast toddlers pick up on things. They are a lot smarter than people think. Her vision for her students is that they learn as much from her as she learns from them. She hopes her students carry their zest for learning as far as it can take them!

    Year Started:
    1/1/2006
    Tenure:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 years
  • Ms. Kimberly

    Ms. Kimberly, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Kim is the lead teacher in the Discovery Preschool classroom. She has worked at Knowledge Beginnings since 2001. Ms. Kim has her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She began working with children in 1996 and currently works with two year old children in our Discovery Preschool classroom. Ms. Kim feels that children learn through play and by interacting with their peers. Kim’s vision for her students is that they are happy, socially adept, able to express themselves and their creativity. She also hopes her students will have a love of learning and a love of reading.

    Year Started:
    1/1/2001
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota
  • Ms. Jenni

    Ms. Jenni, Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Jenni is the lead teacher in the Young Preschool classroom. Ms. Jenni has worked at Knowledge Beginnings since 2001. She has her Diploma in Early Childhood Education from Rasmussen College. Ms. Jenni began working with children in 1998 at a before and after school program for school-age children. Her career at Knowledge Beginnings started in the Young Toddler classroom and Ms. Jenni made her move to the Young Preschool classroom in 2008. Ms. Jenni believes children should be able to learn through play and have as many experiences as possible. Her vision for her students is for them to be able to have fun and learn at the same time!

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining Knowledge Beginnings, Ms. Jenni worked at a before and after school program for school age children.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2001
    Tenure:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    13 years
    Education:
    Child Care Specialist Diploma from Rasmussen College
  • Ms. Jennifer

    Ms. Jennifer, Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Jennifer is the lead teacher in the Older Preschool classroom. Ms. Jennifer has worked at Knowledge Beginnings since 2002. She began working with children in 1995 when she started teaching swimming lessons. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Ms. Jennifer’s vision for her students is to provide them with a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences in a safe and respectful learning environment.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to coming to Knowledge Beginnings, Ms. Jen has worked as a swimming instructor.
    Year Started:
    1/1/2002
    Tenure:
    13 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota
  • Ms. Marie

    Ms. Marie, Preschool Classroom

    Ms. Marie is currently attending Rasmussen College working to complete her Child Development Associate Credential.  Ms. Marie loves working with our youngest preschoolers.  You will often hear Ms. Marie laughing with her students as they learn new and exciting material.  Ms. Marie's vision for her students is that they discover the world with a joyful attitude.

    Year Started:
    3/1/2011
    Tenure:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3
    Education:
    CDA credential
  • Ms. Debby

    Ms. Debby, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Ms. Debby is the lead teacher in the Prekindergarten classroom. Ms. Debby began working with children in 1996 and started her career at Knowledge Beginnings in 2002. She has worked previously in our Preschool and School-age classrooms and now currently in our Prekindergarten classroom. Ms. Debby has a degree from the University of Minnesota in Family and Social Science. Her educational philosophy is that no matter how old one is, we learn by taking chances, making mistakes and interacting with others. Ms. Debby’s vision for the students she serves is for them to learn in a creative and fun environment.

    Year Started:
    1/1/2002
    Tenure:
    13 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    20 years
    Education:
    Bachelor's Degree in Family and Social Science from the University of Minnesota
  • Ms. Amy

    Ms. Amy, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Ms. Amy is a teacher in our Preschool program.  Ms. Amy worked in the industry as a teacher for many years prior to coming to Knowledge Beginnings.  Amy blends fun and learning in creative ways.  Amy enjoys decorating our Imagination Station and taking care of our multitude of center pets.  You will often find Ms. Amy running around with children on the playground or engaging children in a fun activity in the classroom.  Amy's vision for her students is that they leave Knowledge Beginnings with a life long love of learning and that they remember Knowledge Beginnings and their time with her fondly.

    Year Started:
    10/1/2003
    Tenure:
    11 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    18

August 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.

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Holidays Observed

New Year's Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and Christmas Day.

Health and Safety

Our center offers coded access with security cameras and phones in every classroom. We are a peanut free center with separated play areas for different age groups.

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.

Rena, I really wanted to send a few memories and nice thoughts about teachers that Calvin has had at Knowledge Beginnings. There are quite a few great memories that I have about Knowledge Beginnings, but I am going to list three that focus on some special teachers there. 1. One of the very first things that so impressed me early on when we had made the decisions to move Calvin from his current daycare to Knowledge Beginnings was how knowledgeable the staff seemed to be instantly about Calvin. I loved that Consuelo and Stephanie and Sahnaj seemed to know details about his personality that made me confident that they had really spent time with him. One day Consuelo brought me a very special laminated book of pages with photos of Calvin. I was so touched and adored the great book that obviously had taken some time for her to create. What a kind and wonderful gesture. I was extremely touched. 2. Nikki was Calvin's second teacher. She was always so talkative and informative about Calvin also mentioning very specific details about his likes and dislikes what he had done during the day that made her laugh etc, it was so comforting knowing that Nikki was paying that close attention to him. The very best Mother's Day present that I ever received was one that Nikki and Calvin gave to me - a precious miniature flower pot with candy inside and his hand prints all around the outside edges to make a decoration. That is something that I am sure I will keep forever. 3. Now Calvin is in Becky's class. One of the first memories that I have about Becky is that I heard wonderful things about her before even meeting her. A few families gave me rave reviews, "Becky is the best" and so you can imagine that I went into this third class with confidence knowing that he would be in good hands. Becky is very, very good with Calvin and I imagine she is with all of her students. I am so impressed that he goes to her every morning without a tear. She must have an amazing amount of patience and kindness in her heart and I am so lucky that Calvin can spend his days with her. One of the things that make me smile every day is how Becky and Calvin do their special "High Five" and "knuckles". It is so adorable and I love that she taught him something so cute. Generally I can't say enough great things about the amazing staff at Knowledge Beginnings. It is heads and tails about any other daycare that I have experienced or visited. Please do whatever you can to let these very special teachers know how much they are loved and appreciated by us parents. There is nothing more comforting than to know that you are bringing your child to a place every day where he is truly going to be loved and cared for and I am exceedingly grateful to all of the teachers, staff, cooks, and you as well Rena. PLEASE share these thoughts with the teachers. We adore them.

- Parents

Our son Brock started at Knowledge Beginnings (Vadnais Heights) this past August, 2012. Prior to his enrollment, we looked at many different pre-schools. I was a very anxious and apprehensive dad. I was the youngest child of a youngest child, so I was fortunate to always have family members around to watch me. As such, I was staunchly against the thought of enrolling Brock in any pre-school. I can’t tell you how wrong I was. The staff at Knowledge Beginnings has been nothing short of fantastic. Top to bottom everyone has been so welcoming and so kind. The atmosphere at the school is just wonderful. It’s really turned a difficult decision into an easy transition for our family. We have not had a second thought about our choice of schools. While each member of the staff has had a tremendously positive impact on Brock, I would like to especially thank Jenni (Brock’s Homeroom teacher), & Jen (Brock’s morning teacher). As a homeroom teacher, we could not have asked for better than Jenni. She’s a perfect fit for Brock. She’s always there for him with whatever he needs; be it a hug, a kind ear, a helping hand, or a bit of discipline to keep him in line (he takes after his mother, you know).  Her communication with us has always been top notch and the pictures that she sends out help us feel like we’re with Brock during his fun day at school. When Brock first started out at KB, there were many “hard drop-offs”. Lots of tears, from not only Brock, but mom and yes, I’ll admit dad too. During those tough mornings Jen was always there to let us know that better days were ahead. It made a world of difference to know that Brock’s sadness would be extremely short-lived and the fun was just around the corner. Thank you again to everyone at Knowledge Beginnings. It’s really given this dad piece of mind to know that the “pre-school moms” are always watching out for his little boy.

- Father

My children have attended Knowledge Beginnings for some time now and I have never been so happy with the choice I made! All of the teachers are compassionate and very caring, to all children not just the children in their classes. They have many activities and have a daily schedule that teachers follow which really prepare children for school. I loved the sight word flash cards that my children received. They helped my children learn to read. From nutritional lunches, to the compassion and understanding that my children needed, to beginning steps toward learning, Knowledge Beginning provided my children all of these and more! I would highly recommend Knowledge Beginnings to anyone looking for a wonderful child development center that will provide learning, nurturing, and a fun environment!

- Mother
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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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