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KinderCare on Smallwood Drive

Heather Murphy, Center Director

2011 Smallwood Dr. West Waldorf MD 20603
(301) 843-8485 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds

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Special Instructions:
at Smallwood Dr & St Patricks Dr next to the Dash in Gas Station

Smallwood Dr. & St. Patricks. Next to Food Lion.

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Wade, Barnhardt, Jenifer, Diggs, Berry, Neal, Eva Turner, James Craik.

Our Nationally Accredited KinderCare Learning Center is now accepting enrollment for the upcoming Fall season.
We are proud to serve families of the Westlake community and Waldorf area.
Please contact us to reserve your spot today!

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


Welcome to NAEYC accredited Westlake KinderCare in Waldorf, Maryland, proudly serving the community since 1988. It is our mission here to provide a safe, nurturing and educational environment for each child we serve.

We believe in developing the whole child with an emphasis on assisting your child's growth with their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. Here at Westlake KinderCare, your child will be provided a safe and stimulating environment to learn in and have the best teachers who believe in education and care for the children as if they were their own. We are proud to have a team of long-term staff with an average 10-year tenure.

The Westlake KinderCare staff offer superior child care services as every staff member makes it a point to know every child and family individually. Each classroom's curriculum is research-based and designed by experts. In addition to the curriculum, we offer Learning Adventures Enrichment Programs: Phonics, Math, Cooking, and Music. The enrichment programs offer individualized, small-group lessons.

We welcome you and your family to come by and witness all the fun and learning happening here at Westlake KinderCare.

Heather Murphy, Center Director

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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


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.


Spanish Adventures provides young learners with a foundation for later success with the Spanish language. Music, games, children's Spanish literature, and other tools give children multiple opportunities to hear, practice, and see Spanish language for vocabulary and conversational development. Curriculum includes lessons on greetings, numbers, colors, animals, family, body parts and pets as well as how to get engage conversationally during common scenarios at home, a restaurant, or at the zoo. Qué pasa?

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

Our team of teachers would like to welcome you to visit our learning center. We strive each day to provide the best care for your child and hope you will be a part of our KinderCare family today!

  • Heather Murphy

    Heather Murphy, Center Director

    I really love seeing the children grow at my center and enjoy building relationships with my families.

    Ms. Heather has been Center Director at Westlake KinderCare since 2005. She draws on her previous experience as a teacher and Assistant Director to uphold Westlake KinderCare in maintaining NAEYC accreditation. Day to day, Ms. Heather can be found helping the children, assisting teachers, and communicating with families. She genuinely values the education offered through the expertly designed curriculum. Outside of work, Ms. Heather devotes her time to her husband and two sons.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to her employment with KinderCare, Heather was employed at two private child care centers where she taught Kindergarten.
    Year Started:
    15 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    Bacchelor of Science Degree in Family Studies
  • Deanna Elsbury

    Deanna Elsbury, Assistant Director

    Deanna been working for KinderCare for 12 years. She started out as a school age teacher and was promoted to Assistant Director within the first year. Deanna is married and has two grown children - one who also works for KinderCare.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to her employment with KinderCare, Deanna worked at another childcare center, spent many years working for the United States Air Force youth center and Child Development Centers.
    Year Started:
    17 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    25 years
    Child Development Associate's credential, Senior Staff Certification, Group Leader Certification

  • Ms. Shauntia, Cook & Floater (All Classes)

    I love that my job has a very warm, welcoming environment and every day is a great learning experience. I am passionate about being a part of the children's everyday learning and growing process.

    Ms. Shauntia joined the Westlake KinderCare team in 2010. She is very outgoing, loves to laugh, loves to see others smile, loves to draw, and is very creative. Ms. Shauntia is planning to further her early childhood development education. Working in childcare makes her happy because she loves that the children can take what you teach them and grow from it. A Maryland native, Ms. Shauntia comes from a large family with 3 brothers and 1 sister. In her free times, she enjoys cooking, shopping, going to the movies, writing poetry, and scrapbooking.

    Year Started:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    5 years
    Child Development Associates Credential
  • Ms. Janice, Infant Classroom

    Children are a big portion of the world, they are what the future will be left up to. I am happy to be a part of their lives.

    Ms. Janice joined the Westlake KinderCare team in 2013. She loves to bring fun songs into her class to get the children moving and smiling. She even teaches sign language through songs to help the infants develop their communication skills. Ms. Janice's passion for children is evident as she turns her classroom and teaching style into more than just a daycare. Outside of work, Ms. Janice devotes her time to her son and two daughters.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Janice was previously a babysitter for children newborn - 4 years of age.
    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    2 years
    Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Shelby

    Ms. Shelby, Toddler Classroom

    It makes my heart happy to watch the children grow and learn!

    Ms Shelby has recently transferred to Westlake Kindercare. In the short time that she has been here she has already proven herself to be a valuable asset to this program. Ms Shelby has spent time working in both the Toddler and Infant classrooms and has added a lot to both classrooms. Ms Shelby is an amazing teacher who has a genuine love for young children!
    Outside of work, she keeps busy with her two childn. She is also married. Her favorite thing is being able to spend her free time with her family and friends.

    Previous Experience:
    Shelby worked at White Plains KinderCare for two years in the Discovery Preschool classroom.
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 Years
    State of Maryland Senior Staff Certified
  • Ms. Jennifer

    Ms. Jennifer, Discovery Preschool Classroom

    Being around children has made me a better person. Children keep me focused on the important things in life and keep me young.

    Ms Jennifer is a caring person and a dedicated Educator who has a genuine desire to help children learn and be successful. When entering her classroom the first thing that you will notice is that the children are engaged and having positive interactions with their peers. Ms Jennifer loves to sing to the children to spark the children's interest in participating in everything from cleaning their play areas to doing their curriculum activities.
    Ms Jennifer was born and raised in the Southern Maryland area. When not at work, Ms Jennifer can be found spending time with family, or friends who are like a second family to her. Ms Jennifer's hobbies include cooking and baking and she loves to try new recipes!

    Year Started:
    8 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    14 Years
    State of Maryland Senior Staff Certified
  • Ms. LaKaya

    Ms. LaKaya, Preschool Classroom

    I love childcare because I play a huge role in developing strong learning foundations that children can build their educational futures on.

    Ms. LaKaya has worked for Westlake KinderCare for the entire twelve years that she has worked in the childcare field and has worked with Infants, Toddlers and Two-year-old children. Ms. LaKaya has been married for fourteen years and assists her husband in running a family business so she stays very busy. She is always very professional in her interactions with everyone she meets and always has a smile on her face. Ms. LaKaya has a true gift for working with young children as she is very nurturing and gentle in her teaching style, which seems to bring a sense of security and comfort to not only the children, but to the parents as well.

    Year Started:
    15 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    12 Years
    Child Development Associate's Credential (Infant & Toddler)
  • Ms. Rebecca

    Ms. Rebecca, Pre-Kindergarten

    I love being able to teach children something new every day and to witness the joy they experience from learning.

    Ms. Rebecca has worked for KinderCare Learning Center for the past two years. During that time she has worked as the Lead Teacher in the Infant Room. Ms. Rebecca has a natural ability to work with Infants, which is reflected in her interactions with the children in her classroom. She is very creative and has a caring, nurturing qualities about her, which are very important traits to have when working with young children. Ms. Rebecca has been married for seven years and loves to read, crochet and run. While she and her husband do not currently have children, they plan to start a family soon.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Rebecca worked at a Child Development Center on a military installation.
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 Years
    Bachelor of Arts Degree in English
  • Ms. Marietta

    Ms. Marietta, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love being around the children, teaching them, playing with them, interacting and sharing laughs with them.

    Ms. Marietta was born and raised in the Philippines. She is married and has two children who until recently also attended KinderCare for the Before and After School Program and Summer Camp. Ms. Marietta graduated from St. Peters College in the Philippines with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. Over the past seven years of working at Westlake KinderCare, Ms. Marietta has proven herself to be an outstanding educator and has successfully assisted her students in their transitions into Kindergarten. Ms. Marietta is viewed by the staff in the building as a motivator and a source of fresh and creative ideas for implementing curriculum.

    Previous Experience:
    Ms. Marietta began teaching Elementary Education with the Department of Education in the Phillipines in 1997. She taught first through third grades for four years. Ms. Marietta also taught second grade for two years in a private school, also in the Philippines.
    Year Started:
    10 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    13 Years
    Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Elementary Education
  • Ms. Ashley

    Ms. Ashley, Infant Classroom

    I love childcare because it provides an opportunity to teach children all of the fun, creative and educational things that I enjoyed as a child. It is an amazing feeling to know that something that you have taught a child might inspire them for the rest of their lives.

    Ms. Ashley came to KinderCare Learning Center as a Teacher's Aide and progressed to the title of Lead Teacher within a year of starting. While the majority of her experience has been working with older School Age children (2nd-5th grades), Ms. Ashley has, over the years, worked with all age groups and has a well rounded knowledge of all the age groups. Ms. Ashley has an Associate's of Arts Degree in General Studies, an Associate's of Arts Degree in English and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in English at University of Maryland University College. She also has her certifications in teaching School Age Children, Preschool Children as well as Infants and Toddlers. Walking into her classroom is always a pleasure. Her weekly theme is consistently evident and the room is always decorated and enriched to reflect the theme. It is obvious that the children enjoy their experiences while in Ms. Ashley's classroom as they are always engaged and busy.

    Previous Experience:
    Prior to joining KinderCare Ms. Ashley worked as a volunteer at the Whiteman Air Force Base Youth Center.
    Year Started:
    16 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    13 Years
    Associates of Arts Degree in English, Associates of Arts Degree in General Studies, Bachelor of Arts Degree in English
  • Ms. Alicia

    Ms. Alicia, School Age Classroom

    I love seeing children grow and learn!

    Ms. Alicia was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is fluent in Spanish. She is happily married with two wonderful daughters and two amazing grandchildren. She has over fifteen years of experience working in childcare. Although the majority of her experience in childcare has been in working with School Age children, Ms. Alicia is very comfortable working with all age groups. Herlong term goal is to one day be promoted to an Assistant Director.

    Year Started:
    11 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 Years
    Pursuing Child Development Associates Credential
  • Ms. Kim

    Ms. Kim, School Age Classroom

    I love working with children because you can learn new things everyday and the children can always make you laugh!

    Ms. Kim has been a teacher in the school age program at Westlake Kindercare for 15 years. She has primarily worked with the younger school agers (five - seven years old) but is very comfortable working with all other age groups as well.
    Ms. Kim is like a big kid herself and has a unique way of connecting with her students by educating herself on all the current trends, hobbies and other things that the children are interested in and incorporating all of that into the classroom activities.
    Ms. Kim enjoys watching and attending hockey games and baseball games. She also loves to scrapbook and make her own greeting cards.

    Year Started:
    18 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 years
    Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education

December 2016 Events

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  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

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

  • Tagalog

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

Westlake KinderCare adheres to the highest safety, cleanliness and maintenance standards. The center has a secure entry to the building with keypad access, there is daily sign in/out procedures from the parent as well as the teachers. We also have a health and safety coordiantor, Ms. Kelly who conducts monthly fire and disaster drills. She also ensures that all of our classrooms are maintaning all health and safety procedures every day.

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 Kai started at Smallwood when he turned one. My son is now three and has shown such an amazing improvement. The staff is absolutely amazing and I couldn't have my put my son in better hands.
- Mother

My daughter, Mya, has been with KinderCare from the time she was a baby. I have been with the Director of KinderCare, Heather Murphy, on Smallwood since my child was in the womb and she was the Center Director of KinderCare on Post Office Road. Heather Murphy eased my nerves and fears of being a first time mother who would have to entrust her most precious blessing in the hands of, at the time, strangers, daily. Heather has always been warm and welcoming and entertained several tours, conversations and meetings throughout my years at KinderCare.
When Heather moved over to the KinderCare on Smallwood is when I really saw her blossom as a Center Director. The whole staff at KinderCare on Smallwood works as a team. It took me a year to move my daughter over to the Smallwood center from Post Office Road, but most of the staff that was there had moved there already, knew and loved my daughter and the new staff to my family was nothing but welcoming and embracing. What most eased my transition to the new center was the consistency. My daughter and I saw the same staff daily and I was able to get to know and bond with staff.
I pride myself on being a parent who knows her child and it comforts me that the staff at this center is more than ‘caregivers’. They are educators who are interested and invested knowing the children under their care and having and watching them grow. While I, of course, feel my child was always bright and advanced, I saw a marked difference in her growth and learning when she moved over to the Smallwood Center from the age of 3.
The staff at KinderCare has set my daughter up for success in her early developmental years. When she entered Kindergarten she was already above the standard level due to the daily preparation and education of the team at Smallwood. She remains at the top of her class since starting school and she continues to grow. Outside of education, KinderCare also nurtures their children with other interests to include all the programs and trips they take during their summer camp, after school activities such as additional reading and math classes and cooking for those interested.
In my eight years of working with Heather Murphy and KinderCare I cannot imagine me and my daughter’s life without them. I know that everyone at the center genuinely cares about and loves my family and they are more than just a team of educators, but family.
Elissa (With KinderCare since 2006)

- Mother

My daughter is nine-years-old and has been attending the same KinderCare for six years. Every day when I drop her off and go to work, I am 100% confident that she is loved and well taken care of by our "family" (her wonderful teachers). The Phonics program and the teachers are amazing! She has also enjoyed their cooking club and made yummy foods.
As a parent, knowing your child is so loved and safe means more than anything. I can't imagine her being in another environment!

- 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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