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Westlakes KinderCare

Ms. Rachel Ross, Center Director

6670 University Ave. West Des Moines IA 50266
(515) 221-0718 Contact this center

Ages: 6 Weeks to 5 YEARS
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Our center is accredited by NAEYC.

AMERICA’S MOST ACCREDITED

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.

SCHOOL-READY

What Learning Looks Like

Our talented early-childhood teachers set kids down the path toward becoming lifelong learners in a positive, safe, and nurturing environment.

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.

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

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.

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.

ABC Music & Me

Our Teachers

We're the only company in early childhood education to select teachers based on natural talent. Being a great educator isn't enough though. KinderCare teachers are also amazing listeners, nurturers, boo-boo fixers, and smile-makers. Put more simply, we love our teachers and your child will, too.

Meet just a few of our amazing KinderCare teachers!

A KINDERCARE TEACHER WITH

An Artist's Heart

"My classroom is full of art!” says Mary Annthipie-Bane, an award-winning early childhood educator at KinderCare. Art and creative expression, she says, help children discover who they really are.

teacher with artist educator dedicated teaching with her whole heart
gallup great workplace logo

We put our best-in-class teachers in a best-in-class workplace. We're so proud to have been named one of Gallup's 37 winners of the Great Workplace Award. When you put great teachers in an engaging center, your children will experience an amazing place to learn and grow.

Our Families

Don't take our word for it. Hear what our families have to say about our amazing center!

  • Our family has been at Westlakes KinderCare for over five years now. We couldn't be happier with the care and education that our children have received. Westlakes KinderCare is truly a learning center. The teachers are educated and have made a lasting impression on our family. They are an extension of our immediate family; we are so blessed to have them in our lives! Anna and Rachel are so accommodating and helpful. They care about us and the well-being of our children. All of the staff are the same way, they love my children and I feel so comfortable and confident leaving them in their care every day. They are amazing! I refer all of my friends because everyone should give their children the opportunity to have an education in this warm and safe environment! Thank you to Anna and the staff for everything that you do!

    P.L. - KinderCare Parent
  • My younger son started daycare with you guys at about ten weeks old. I was so excited to have him attend the school where his older brother had such success. The ladies in the Infant Classroom were so awesome! I had to pull him out about three weeks later, though, due to unforeseen circumstances at my job. When I was getting close to returning to work, I called Anna and Rachel, and found there were no openings. I was devastated. I put my name on the list and patiently waited and hoped I'd hear back. I looked at another daycare here in West Des Moines, and they seemed like any other average daycare. There were no warm and fuzzies when I visited. KinderCare had been such a stellar experience for us that I just hated the thought of putting him anywhere else. When I got the call that there was an opening, I was overjoyed! The teachers in his new room, Ms. Martha, Ms. Amanda, and Ms. Sydney, have been so sweet and patient with him. He has had a difficult transition from staying home with me to returning to daycare at 15 months old. They genuinely seem excited to see him every morning, and I can see the love and kindness they treat the other kids with as well. They truly love their jobs, and it shows. One morning a few weeks ago, I came in to see Ms. Martha sitting in the bathroom with one of the little ones. She was encouraging them to potty and making silly noises and playing with a light-up toy with them. I was just overwhelmed by a sense of how lucky I am to have these great people to care for my son. I could not be more pleased. It is truly a joy to bring my son to them every morning. From the smiling faces at the front door when we arrive to all the awesome teachers on the way to his room, his great teachers are the cherry on the top. KinderCare is by far the best daycare I have ever used, and, if I have it my way, I'll always use you guys. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking such good care of my little guys!

    Lindsay H. - KinderCare Parent
  • It is a great feeling knowing that while I am at work my son is receiving the best care imaginable at the Westlakes KinderCare located on University Avenue in West Des Moines. Right away in the morning, as we walk in the door, we are greeted with warm hellos and bright smiles from the management team; Tracy and Anna are always more than willing to assist me with whatever I may need and are always there to listen. As you walk through the secured access entry system, you hear sounds of laughter and the welcoming voices of the teachers greeting the children and parents as they walk in the classroom. It is certainly evident that the Westlakes KinderCare is not a daycare facility, but a true learning center. In fact, every time I enter our KinderCare, I am reminded of what makes the center so remarkable: the artwork, projects, and pictures of the children doing those learning activities are displayed neatly on each of the classroom walls. I can tell that these educated, tenured teachers are proud and happy to work with my child; their smiling faces and clean, curriculum-filled classrooms say it all. If you are looking for a safe and caring environment that gives your child an educational advantage while you are at work, the Westlakes KinderCare is the place for you!

    J.P. - KinderCare Parent
  • “You know what your problem is, don’t you?” my sister rhetorically asked me in August. “You make these people your best friends, and then every year you have to leave your best friends behind. That’s your problem.” It was so matter of fact, it stung. But she was right. I had made my children’s teachers my bestest of friends, then my children left their rooms, and there I was, mourning the loss of my beloveds.

    Everyone has a story. And for those of you who don’t know us, our story began almost six years ago, when we were told our baby boy had a heart defect--a lethal one. Modern medical advances could prolong his life through a series of surgeries, but there would likely be consequences. Saving his heart came at the cost of a few other things. He needed thickened liquids to drink, he barely ate, he needed g-tube feedings, his language and motor skills were behind, his body got tired quickly.  

    He’s perfect, of course, it’s his body that needs a little help. This was going to be my selling point when I met Anna.

    I stopped by for a tour of KinderCare on a day the power went out, and Anna still had a smile on her face. I had carefully constructed a speech in my head to convey my son’s needs without scaring her into thinking he might die under her roof, while also somehow telling her how amazing he was that investing in him would be worth it. And I had to admit my daughter needed to be hugged for 30 minutes by a teacher at drop off in order for her to feel secure. So not a needy family at all. I’d had lots of other tours at other daycares before. Anna’s face was the only one whose smile didn’t fade when I mentioned a feeding tube; hers the only eyes that stayed focused on mine as I outlined what it would take from his teachers. I fell away from my carefully crafted speech. I revealed details of our lives that were totally unnecessary. I shed a few tears. I took up way more time than her paper planner had lined out for me. And she hugged me in her perfect little well-dressed arms and said they would do whatever it took. And I believed her.

    My son landed in Miss Shannon’s room, and the thing about Miss Shannon is that you always know what she’s thinking--which is beautiful, and perfect for my son. I knew she wasn’t thrilled about the g-tube. I’m not a fan of it myself, either. Forcing him to put on his own shoes as he cries because it’s hard? Not easy, but totally necessary. Encouraging him to eat...every.single.day. Exasperating. Also necessary. Trying to decipher if he really does have to pee or he’s just trying to get out of writing? This requires an advanced medical degree. But she did it. And I think this is how I fell in love with Shannon. Because she was fighting my same battles with my exact same thoughts. And then, she got better than me. She got my son's friends to help him to eat. She got him to eat things at school that he won’t eat at home. She never let him get away with something other kids wouldn’t get by with. She advocated for him sticking up for himself, for him getting more and more independent. She was always paying attention. She put lotion on his dry hands, calmed him though dry-heaving spells, and managed to see my lovely sweet boy through all that extra work. 

    Now my son has this crazy schedule where he gets off a bus at lunchtime and is at KinderCare in the afternoons. Miss April, Miss Rachel, and Miss Anna all get him off the bus now. I want to be the one to see him get off the bus, but I can’t, so they do such a wonderful job of telling me exactly what he looked like and what he talked about. On his first day, they let him call me at work to talk to me when he got off the bus, and he had so much to say he could barely get the words out. In my absence, these girls still made it meaningful. 

    And then there is my daughter. I prayed when I was pregnant with her that God would somehow see to it that she wouldn’t get overlooked in the chaos that surrounded my son's needs. And for those who know her, she refuses to get overlooked. Miss April is especially adept at getting her out of her ornery moods when she’s giving you the “drop dead” look that is usually followed by high-pitched yelling. Miss Nicole used to play Frozen songs just for her (and probably every other girl in that class). Those teachers potty trained my daughter, because I was going to wait until she was ten (because who has time for that?), and they just asked one day if they could do it themselves. Yes, please. When Nicole got pregnant, I basically begged her to take my son's infant things. We didn’t need them anymore, but it was hard for me to part with them. I had such strong emotions attached to everything. His crib was the only piece of furniture we bought before he came home. I didn’t want to have a room for a baby that never got to come home. And Miss Nicole had become like family; I entrusted her with what I held dear. And Miss Payton, well, I asked her some hard questions about her life, her brother, and she sat and talked to me, with tears streaming down our faces, about life, and how beautiful and hard it all is. KinderCare is truly a place that just gets us.

    And I’d like to mention my nephew, because his teachers have always been so supportive of me coming in to see him. My visits are almost always ill-timed, like right in the middle of story time, or the end of nap time, and his teachers have never once acted irritated that I interrupted to give that little slugger a hug. I’m sure that’s annoying, but thanks for faking that it’s not. I remember when my daughter first started and my nephew and her were in the same class, fighting about who got to sit on my lap when I visited, and it was so disruptive to story time, but their teachers just acted like it was so great that I was there. And when people are this kind to you, when they are this invested in your life, you love them.     

    Like when I come in the front door and Anna and Rachel act like they have nothing better or more productive to do than listen to whatever drama I’m telling them about our lives. Or how Mr. Jerome always says “hey hey” to my daughter and points at her, and last week, she pointed back! It was like she and Mr. Jerome had some secret language, and it was so so adorable.  

    So how can I not love them all as my own? They are people that I look forward to seeing at the end of my day. People that I care about so much, it hurts when I don’t see them every day anymore. They are raising my children right next to me. What they do matters…and to my kids' new sets of teachers, prepare for being my future besties!  


    S.B. - KinderCare Parent

Share Your Story
If you have a story about your experience at KinderCare, please share your story with us .

Who Are KinderCare Families?

They hail from hundreds of cities across the country from countless backgrounds, and proudly represent every walk in life. What our families have in common, though, is the want to give their children the best start in life. We are so proud to be their partner in parenting.

Hear from just a few of our amazing KinderCare families.

A Globe-Trotting Family Finds A

Home in Houston

Four young children, four different passports, two languages, two full-time jobs…oh, and a few triathlons thrown in for good measure. Meet the globe-trotting Colettas—a family on the go.

home in houston inspiration family puts love first family busy with capital