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Mill Plain KinderCare

Tara Nelson, Center Director

622 S.E. 117th Ave. Vancouver WA 98683
(360) 254-8583 Contact this center

Ages: 1 YEAR-OLDS to 12 Year-Olds

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Elementary Schools Bussed To:
We offer transportation to the following elementary schools: Crestline, Burnt Bridge Creek, Ellsworth, Endeavour, Fircrest, Hearthwood, Marrion, and Riverview.


Welcome to Mill Plain KinderCare. We are located in Vancouver, Washington on SE 117th Avenue (across from Cinetopia). Our center provides quality care and education for children aged 12 months to 12 years. Our center was awarded NAC accreditation for the second time in 2012. Accreditation is awarded to centers that consistently provide a high level of care and education for young children. Our tenured staff is committed to on-going communication and building long lasting relationships with our families. Children have their own unique qualities and sometimes challenges, we approach each day with a sense of adventure. We focus on children’s individual needs and working with your family to give each child the best opportunity to succeed on their own personal journey. We hope you will take the time to visit our center and see all the fun adventures your child will experience as part of our family at Mill Plain KinderCare.

Tara Nelson, Center Director

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

Image Gallery

children with teacher


We’re so proud!

Nationally only 10% of daycares are accredited–nearly 100% of our learning centers are. That’s a big difference, and that means KinderCare kids are getting the very best. Here’s why.

illustrated bear in rocketship


Our kids are taking off!

By kindergarten, our kids are testing ahead of their peers. Read all about it.


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

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.

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


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.

Teachers & Staff

Our team is solidly focused on ensuring your child is successful at our center. We work together to address any challenges an individual child may be having, and have also partnered with schools locally as our children transition to Kindergarten. Ultimately, our goal is for every child's unique needs to be met and for them to feel at home in our center. We have a commitment to work with every child and help them thrive in a group setting. We have a mix of tenured and newer staff, but each of them holds the same passion and commitment to the success of your child.

  • Tara Nelson

    Tara Nelson, Center Director

    Tara started with KinderCare in 2015 with nine years experience in Early Childhood Education. Tara has her bachelor of science in human development and family science with an option in child development, as well as a minor in health promotion and health behavior. She has spent her career volunteering and working with children, even spending time in Thailand as an Outdoor Educational Instructor. Tara is committed to ensuring every child and family has an amazing experience in our center, and that our staff has the support and encouragement they need to help provide that experience. She was recently promoted into the acting Center Director position at Mill Plain.

    Previous Experience:
    Before joining KinderCare Tara worked as a teacher at an after school center in Oregon, then as an Assistant Director for that same company. She joined the KinderCare team in January as an Assistant Director at one of our Oregon sites and recently transferred to the Mill Plain center.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 years
    Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science with an option in Child Development and minor in Health Promotion and Health Behavior
  • Tyreca Sylvester

    Tyreca Sylvester, Assistant Director

    I am passionate about giving every child a chance to learn and grow in a safe, happy, and healthy environment.

    Mrs. Tyreca is new to this center, but not new to the KinderCare brand. Tyreca has worked at KinderCare since 2010. She has held various roles from cook, to bus driver, lead teacher and Program Specialist. She was promoted to Assistant Director in 2015 and has plans to continue to grow in our company. She is currently pursuing her degree in early childhood education. Tyreca has a gift for building relationships with families and staff. She is passionate about our curriculum being brought to life in each classroom. She believes in each child receiving the best quality of care and education. 

    Years in ECE industry:
    Child Development Associate
  • Ms. Jesica

    Ms. Jesica, Program Specialist

    The families and children inspire me come to work everyday. I love seeing the development in the children we take care of.

    Jesica has her child development associate and a passion for education. She is our Learning Adventures teacher as well as the Program Specialist, so she has the opportunity to work with many of our age groups on a daily basis. Jessica's years of experience coupled with her passion for making sure every child is successful make her an amazing asset to our team at Mill Plain.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Jesica has worked with various ages in her time with KinderCare.
    Year Started:
    10 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 Years
    Associate of Arts Degree in Medical Assisting
  • Danielle

    Danielle, Toddler Classroom

    Danielle is currently enrolled at Portland State University for her Teaching Degree. Danielle loves Disneyland and has a very outgoing and nurturing personality! You can always count on her smile when you walk in the door.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Pursuing her degree
  • Eloisa

    Eloisa, Toddler Classroom

    Eloisa is new to our team but we are confident she will be an amazing addition to our toddler room. She has seven years of experience working with children and we are very excited to have her on board!

    Year Started:
    Years in ECE industry:
  • Samantha

    Samantha, Toddler Classroom

    Samantha joined our team this summer and is doing a fantastic job helping our youngest children explore their world. She find it extremely rewarding to see the children expand their knowledge during each daily activity.

    Year Started:
  • Erin

    Erin, Preschool Classroom

    Erin is currently in her second year of college to receive her elementary education degree. She is incredibly patient and loving with the children and wants to help them experience new things everyday. Erin and Desiree balance each other's teaching techniques and together provide a warm and enriching learning experience for our young preschool children.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Pursuing degree in elementary education
  • Desiree

    Desiree, Preschool Classroom

    Desiree has her bachelor's degree in elementary education and joined the Mill Plain team in 2016. We were lucky enough to have her transfer to our team from a wonderful sister center in Spokane, WA where she was an incredibly loved and sought after member of the center. With the great combination of Desiree and Erin, our young preschool children have the opportunity to truly experience all elements of our curriculum every day and learn in a patient and loving environment.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bachelor of Art in Elementary Education
  • Stephanie, Preschool Classroom

    Stephanie is team teaching with Mr. Jordan and Ms. Crista in Preschool.

    Year Started:
  • Crista

    Crista, Preschool Classroom

    Crista is team teaching with Mr. Jordan and Ms. Stephanie.

    Year Started:
  • Kimberly

    Kimberly, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Kimberly enjoys watching each child grow with excitement when they learn something new! She helps bring the curriculum to life for our Prekindergarten children every day!

    Year Started:
  • Shannon

    Shannon, School Age Classroom

    Shannon and Dorothy work together to keep our School Agers engaged when they aren't in school.

    Previous Experience:
    Shannon has been working in early childhood education for three years prior to joining our team.
    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Working on a degree in early childhood education
  • Ms. Laura, Health and Safety Coordinator and Cook

    I love to cook and the ability interact with the children and their families.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Laura has seven years of experience cooking at Burger King and one and half years cooking at a retirement center and nine years at SEH.
    Year Started:
    10 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    7 Years
  • McKenna

    McKenna, Substitute

    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Working on her Bachelor of Art in Elementary Education

Upcoming Center Activities

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April's Learning Focus

Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Growing Gardens

What better time to explore the beauty and science of flowers and gardens than the spring? Infants’ learning will focus on sensory experiences with different plants and flowers, while toddlers and three-year-olds have the opportunity to learn how to care for plants. We’ll plant seeds in soil, water the plants, observe bugs and discover how they help plants grow, and even plant a butterfly garden outside! We’ll build math skills by counting seeds, learn new vocabulary words related to flowers and plants, and as always, sing songs and read books involving gardens. 

Children 4–5 years old: In the Spring + Wild Animals

For children in the Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten Classrooms, April is about exploring all things spring and discovering wild animals! Preschoolers will look for signs of spring outdoors, make mud cakes and count the twigs placed in them, and paint still-life paintings of things related to spring. When our learning turns to wild animals, we’ll learn about the habitats and habits of creatures big and small while maintaining a focus on learning lowercase letters. 

The older children in Transitional Kindergarten will focus on project-related work and pick something to work on together. In years past, children have painted a mural, made spring parade floats, painted wild animal masks, and created a model of a wild animal’s habitat. Both of these units focus on expanding the children’s understanding of the natural world around them.

Monday April 10, 2017
Come get a sneak peek of summer at KinderCare during our Open House event, from April 10th – 14th.

At KinderCare, our summer adventures are designed for learning and fun. We love taking our experiments outside, having special guests visit our centers, and even exploring our senses on walks outside or by rolling around in the cool grass. We can’t wait to meet you and show you what makes our centers special and why we would love to spend our summer with you!

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.

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • AM Snack
  • 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

 From our key code entry system to our vigilant cleaning and sanitization practices you can be assured that your child's health and safety is always our top priority. Our staff is CPR and first aid certified, and we even have a Health and Safety Coordinator on staff to ensure we stay on track. We invite you to stop by and see for yourself any time.

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.

My son has been attending Mill Plain KinderCare for almost five years. I started him at just three months so I could return to work and he just celebrated his 5th birthday, so it has been a long journey. Everyone there has been a part of raising my son, teaching him and loving him, I cherish each person who has come into contact with him over the years. As we start a new chapter in our lives, called Kindergarten, KinderCare will even be transporting him to and from school. The comfort of knowing that he is ALWAYS in safe, caring and loving hands is priceless!

- 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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