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Phillip Road KinderCare

Michelle Piacenza, Center Director

5 E. Phillip Rd. Vernon Hills IL 60061
(847) 680-7771 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
"Off Rte. 60 and Deerpath Rd." across from Condell Acute Center

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
We currently bus to and from: Hawthorn South and North Townline Fairhaven Freemont- NO PM PICK UP Rockland Willow Grove Country Meadows Diamond Lake Ivy Hall Aspen East Lake Academy Oak Grove


Welcome to the Vernon Hills Center on E. Phillip Road serving families in Vernon Hills, Libertyville, Lake Forest, and Mundelein communities. We have a strong teaching staff and offer educational programs in every classroom. Our Curriculum is designed to prepare your child for success. Our Preschool and Prekindergarten classrooms work in alignment with our local schools to ensure Kindergarten readiness for every child. Our center prides itself on the safety of your child, learning, growing, as well as small class size and meeting national and state standards. A Before and After School Program is offered throughout the school year, while our Summer Camp program for ages Preschool and up provide perfect solutions for families who need care during school break. It is very important to all of us at KinderCare to encourage strong family and community involvement through: Open Houses, Parent Events, Parent-Teacher Conferences, Curriculum Nights and Special Programs designed for children. We honor our families and the relationships that we build with them each and every day. We’re excited to show you how everything in our center is designed for learning and fun for your child. Can't wait to see you soon!

Michelle Piacenza, Center Director

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  • Seeking NAEYC Accreditation

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.

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

The teachers at our Vernon Hills KinderCare are so passionate about that they do. They walk in every morning to the children running up to them and giving them BIG hugs. Our teachers are dedicated to their careers and the children.

  • Michelle Piacenza

    Michelle Piacenza, Center Director

    I love coming to work everyday and seeing the smiling faces of all the children. Watching the children learn and grow, as well as getting to know each family through out the years is so enjoyable.

    Michelle has been with KinderCare Learning Centers since 2006. She has worked in all classrooms, making her a wonderful resource to her teachers and parents. She has been in her current role since 2011. Michelle is passionate about maintaining her center's high quality for the enrolled children and their parents. She is always available to assist her families and would love to have your child join her program.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to becoming the Center Director Michelle worked as an Assistant Center Director and as a lead teacher in various classrooms.
    Year Started:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    10 Years
    Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education & Infant Toddler Specialist
  • Sierra Ristow

    Sierra Ristow, Assistant Director

    Working in the Early Childhood Education field is a great pleasure. I love coming into work knowing that my coworkers and I are helping shape the young children of today.

    Sierra has worked at the Phillip Road KinderCare since September of 2012, but has been in the Early Childhood Education field much longer. She was recently promoted to the Assistant director position. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education in March of 2013. Sierra hopes to go for a Master's Degree in Administration and Leadership. She has been working in Early Childhood Education and childcare as a nanny, teacher, babysitter and more for the last seven years. She has taught as an Infant, Toddler and Prekindergarten teacher.

    Previous Experience:
    Sierra has previous experience working as a nanny, an assistant teacher, Toddler, Infant and Prekindergarten teacher.
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 Years
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education, New Jersey Certified in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a focus on Special Education
  • Ms. April

    Ms. April, Infant Classroom

    I love to see the children's faces when they learn something new.

    Ms. April has worked at KinderCare since 2010. She started in the Kindergarten classroom and then moved to the Infants. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. She loves to spend time on the floor with her children and also gives them lots of one-on-one love.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. April worked at Peppermint Stick Preschool.
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    6 Years
    Bachelor's of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Dora

    Ms. Dora, Infant Classroom

    I love seeing all the kids laugh and smile throughout the day!

    Ms. Dora began working at KinderCare in 2010. She took a short break from work to stay home with her children Valeria and Emiliano, and returned to our Infant room Ms. Dora is attending Rasumussen College earning her Child Development Associate. She loves spending time with her children and her fiancé, Milton.
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Currently working on her CDA
  • Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike, Pre-K and School Age

    Mr. Mike recently graduated with his Bachelor's of Science in Education. His goal is to eventually become a physical education teacher with young children. He would also enjoy coaching sports teams for young children. In his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar, hunting and spending time with his family!

    Year Started:
    Bachelor's Degree in Education
  • Ms. Paola

    Ms. Paola, Toddler Classroom

    I love coming to work every day and spending quality time with the children.

    Ms. Paola is married and has one son named Caleb who attends KinderCare in our Toddler classroom. She went to College of Lake County for several years to study Early Childhood Education. She has a lot of experience with children and enjoys working with them and making a difference in each child's day.

    Previous Experience:
    Before working at KinderCare Paola attended school and babysat frequently.
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    Early Childhood Education Credits
  • Ms. Grisel

    Ms. Grisel, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    The best part about teaching is watching your caterpillars turn into butterflies.

    Ms. Grisel has been working with KinderCare in Vernon Hills for about 4 years. She has earned her C.D.A throughout that time. Ms. Grisel is our Discovery Preschool Teacher. She enhances potty training, sharing, social and language skills in her everyday curriculum. She also loves to expand her students creativity by letting them explore that cause and effect on everything that they do, as well as creating different fun and educational crafts and activities.

    Previous Experience:
    5 Seasons Country Club Day Care
    Year Started:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    9 Years
    Child Development Associate Credential
  • Ms. Emily

    Ms. Emily, PreSchool Classroom

    I've always loved working with Toddlers! Everything is new and exciting and I love being a part of that. Teaching the students important skills like language and problem solving is such a fulling way to spend my day

    Ms. Emily has been with our center since 2011. She has spent time in our Infant Classroom, Waddler Classroom and now calls the Toddler Classroom her home. Ms. Emily received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in May 2011 and is currently working on furthering her education in Early Childhood. In her daily activities Ms. Emily applies engaging, hands on lessons to increase language development as well as social and emotional life skills.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Emily has previous field work experience, as well as student teaching and working as a nanny.
    Year Started:
    4 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Megha

    Ms. Megha, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love coming into work every day because the children put a smile on my face.

    Ms. Megha was born in India and came to the United States when she was about eight years old. She has a younger sister who is eighteen years old. Ms. Megha lives with her parents and sister in Gurnee. Most of her family lives in India and Australia and Ms. Megha loves visiting them when she can.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Megha has worked in the Early Childhood Education field for two years. Before joining our staff at KinderCare she worked in a group home for young adults with special needs. She has joined our Prekindergarten room and is having a blast!
    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2 Years
    Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Family & Child Studies
  • Ms. Jaclyn

    Ms. Jaclyn, School Age Classroom

    Working with my school agers is so rewarding. I enjoy being able to just spend time with them and watch them grow.

    Ms. Jaclyn began working at KinderCare in our School Age room in 2014. Ms. Jaclyn is currently working towards finishing her Associates Degree with a focus in Special Education. She enjoys spending time with fiancé, Mike. She also enjoys reading and crafting, but stays very busy planning her wedding on Pinterest.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
    Years in ECE industry:
    Currently working on Associates Degree

October 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

  • Hindi
  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • PM Snack

Additional Menu Options

  • Vegetarian
  • Special diets

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

The safety of your children is our number one priority. Our center has a keypad at the front door, with this no one can get in our building unless they know the correct code. There is always someone present in the front of the building to ensure top safety of the children. All of our outside doors are locked at all times. The playgrounds at our learning center are fenced in all the way around the building. There is child proof locks on the gates as well. All the teachers in our building are CPR and First Aid certified. They renew their certificate every two years when they expire. Our learning center has a certified nurse come in once a month to check-in. The nurse will observe all classrooms as well as our teachers procedures. Our teachers make sure that all toys and equipment is highly sanitized every night. We take our health and safety very seriously and make sure that we follow all necessary policies and procedures to keep your children safe.

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 wasn't planning on putting my son in daycare however, my circumstances changed and I had to find a daycare that best fit my needs and budget. After researching different daycares I decided to stop by the KinderCare on Phillp Road. Good thing I did! Not only was the director, Michelle, nice enough to sit and speak with me without an appointment, I got to sit in the classroom with the infant teachers and get to know them! Before I enrolled my son I brought him to KinderCare a few more times to get him acquainted with his teachers and the other kids in his classroom which made me feel more comfortable on his first day. We love his teachers and this daycare!

- Mother

As a KinderCare parent for just over a year, I can say with confidence that each day my son spends in their care is to his benefit. He is always excited for “school days” and frequently speaks of his teachers and directors with great fondness. The KinderCare staff is friendly and welcoming. There is an obvious passion for their craft and they are just as excited to tell me about my son’s day as I am to hear about it! I have found communication with the teachers and directors to be easy and accommodating regarding both simple everyday things and also with more difficult issues. They will always make time to talk and are quick to provide answers to question or information that I inquire about. I trust KinderCare completely with my son and am continuously impressed with the joy and knowledge he comes home with each day. I am proud to recommend to KinderCare to anyone searching for a place for their child to grow in love and education.

- Mother

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my daughter’s school, KinderCare.

It’s difficult to be working parents. We miss our daughter, Julia, throughout the day and count on her teachers to do really important things for her, such as feed her breakfast and lunch, teach her how to share and hug and kiss her when she falls down. The teachers at KinderCare have a way of making this very easy for parents. It is evident that the teachers and directors love our 18-month old daughter in a way that only family could.

When we first started at KinderCare, Julia was about five months old and in the infant room. At drop off, instead of putting her on the floor with a toy, Ms. April would take her out of my husband’s arms and hold her until she felt comfortable. It was so nice to know that she was going from one loving set of arms to another. When Julia started walking, she would go right up to Ms. April and give her a hug and kiss every morning. It showed me that Julia really felt a connection with her. Now that she’s graduated to the Toddler room, Julia insists that we visit the Infant room on our way out to say goodbye to Ms. April. She likes to blow her kisses through the window.

Ms. April was also a great resource for us as first-time parents. She helped us understand how to get Julia to hold her own bottle, improved her nap schedule, made great suggestions when we introduced table food and coached us through the beginning of Julia’s temper tantrum stage. She always took the time to answer our questions and we were fortunate to be able to carry a lot of her advice over to what we were doing at home.

Julia is also having a great experience in the Toddler room with her new friends and new teacher, Ms. Emily. When it was time for Julia to transition, Ms. Emily took Julia into her room for special visits so that she wouldn't feel scared or intimidated. Ms. Emily understands that it is difficult for kids (and parents) to move into a room with no cribs, no pacifiers and no highchairs. She worked with Julia so that she felt comfortable falling asleep on a cot and sitting at a table. In fact, my daughter now sleeps better in the Toddler room than she did in the Infant room. When I pick her up in the afternoon I see that Julia has a big smile on her face. The kids are often sitting in a circle, dancing, or even playing outside. In just a matter of months, Julia has started putting words together to make phrases. She counts to three, knows animal noises and can distinguish shapes and colors.

Lastly, I cannot say enough good things about the two directors, Michelle and Jill. They are so communicative throughout the day. I never hesitate to email or call when I have a question or concern. Although I realize they are extremely busy, they always take the time to speak with me. It is clear they have a pulse on what is going on in each classroom. When I call to see if Julia is having a good day, Michelle can tell me how much she ate for lunch and what time she went down for a nap. They even send un-prompted email updates with beautiful pictures of Julia attached.

I am 100% confident that the women who work at the Vernon Hills KinderCare on Phillip Road love my child, and although it is hard for us to be away from her during the day, my husband and I know she is in wonderful hands.

- Parent

My daughter, who is fourteen months, has been attending KinderCare in Vernon Hills on Phillip Road n the infant classroom for the past six months. As a new parent the idea of daycare was overwhelming and scary. KinderCare has more than met my expectations and I feel very fortunate to have my daughter attend. Every morning we are welcomed with a smile from the teachers and directors, who always make time to listen and discuss any changes or concerns I may have. The center is organized with a developed curriculum, which is shared through constant communication to parents. I look forward to pictures and art work I take home and proudly post on my refrigerator. I cannot thank KinderCare staff enough for the love and care they have provided not only for my daughter but for all the children they care for.

- Mother

My son Vincent, who is seventeen months old and has been attending your KinderCare since he was seven weeks old. As parents, we all wish that we would not need the services of a day care for our children but the reality is that some of us do and subsequently we are faced with the ever so important decision of finding a facility that will provide the love and care that they deserve. It gives us parents the peace of mind knowing that while we are away from them that they are being loved, that they are safe and secure and are learning to interact with other children of the same age group which is so important. KinderCare has more than met my expectations in these areas and I feel very fortunate to have Vincent at KinderCare. He loves the teachers that he has and loves the friends he has made. I cannot thank the KinderCare staff enough for the love and care they provide for my son Vincent and for all the children they care for.

- Parent

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.