South Loop KinderCare
Meet Karissa Foltz, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2022
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Public Health with a minor in Early Childhood Education, Master's Degree in Social Work, Doctorate in Social Work
Favorite Children's Book: Madeline
Meet Karissa Foltz! She is the Center Director at South Loop KinderCare in Chicago, IL. Karissa attended Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health with a minor in Early Childhood Education and a Master's Degree in Social Work. She has also attended the University of Pittsburgh where she earned a Doctorate in Social Work. She has been with KinderCare for one year, and before that she was a director. Outside of work, Karissa enjoys baking, cooking, running, doing yoga, exploring her city and coffee shops, and spending time with family and friends. Her favorite quote is, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” - Maya Angelou
South Loop KinderCare Programs
Infant Programs (6 weeks–1 year)
Leaving your baby in someone else’s care is a big step. Everyone at our centers—most importantly, our naturally gifted infant teachers—will work with you to make sure the transition goes smoothly. When you step into our infant classroom, you’ll see how much we want your infant to feel safe, loved, and ready to explore their world.
Toddler Programs (1–2 Years)
Everything in our toddler classroom is designed for little explorers. That’s because a lot is going on at this age. When your child is wandering all over the place, that means they’re learning and discovering new things every day. We’ll help them explore their interests (and find new ones!) as they play and learn.
Discovery Preschool Programs (2–3 Years)
This age is filled with so much wonder and curiosity. That’s why we offer a ton of books and toys and bring artwork down to kids eye level. Children in discovery preschool also begin to learn how we all work together in a classroom. Simple math and science, pretend play, and group play help them get used to a more structured school setting.
Preschool Programs (3–4 Years)
This age is all about expression, when kids really start to form their own ideas about what they want to play and how they want to create. Every day in our preschool classroom, your child will explore science experiments, create artwork, and play pretend—all the skills needed for their big next step: kindergarten!
Prekindergarten Programs (4–5 Years)
When you walk into one of our pre-K classrooms, you’ll see artwork and writing displayed around the room. Labels are everywhere to help kids connect letters with words. You’ll also see pictures on the walls that reflect the families in our community. Your child will also deepen their knowledge in language, math, science, Spanish, and social skills.
School Break Programs (preschool, prekindergarten, and school-age)
Winter break, spring break, summer break—when school’s out (but you still need to work), you can count on KinderCare to provide a safe and supportive learning environment that’s focused on fun. We welcome children ages 5–12 during school break times and make sure they have a sensational, screen-free experience they won’t forget.
Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program
Cooking Academy™ (3 – 12 Years)
In Cooking Academy, kids learn new recipes from cultures around the world and develop a healthy relationship with food. They’ll whip up everything from Southwest rainbow lettuce wraps to pumpkin muffins, building their skills in STEM, communication, and more along the way. And yes—little chefs get to eat their culinary creations!
Music Explorers™ (2 – 4 Years)
KinderCare families are already giving a standing ovation to our newest Learning Adventures program: Music Explorers! Kids will learn to sing, move, listen, play instruments, and even create their own tunes. Our original curriculum blends math, science, social studies, literacy, and mindfulness (think yoga!) for a uniquely KinderCare way of learning the foundations of music.
Phonics Adventures® (2 – 4 Years)
Learning how to read is a whole lot of fun at KinderCare! We help kids grow to love books and words (and get ready for kindergarten) in our Phonics Adventures program. From discovering the basics of vowels to practicing poetry, kids learn all about letters and sounds in small-group lessons made just for their age group. (Bonus: Kids who attend our phonics program are more prepared than their peers for school—and we have the data to prove it.)
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 to develop vocabulary and conversation skills. Curriculum includes lessons on greetings, numbers, colors, animals, family, body parts, and pets, as well as how to engage conversationally during common scenarios at home, a restaurant, or at the zoo.
STEM Innovators (3-8 Years)
You’ve probably heard a lot about how important STEM education is for your child, but what does that really mean? Our STEM Innovators program takes kids’ natural ability to make sense of the world and applies it to robotics, chemistry, coding, geology, and more. While your child experiments, they’ll discover how to use technology to do amazing things!
“ We enrolled our son in South Loop KinderCare when he was three months old. We have always been amazed at his connection with his teachers, at his closeness with his peers, and especially at how much he has learned! Our second child was born with Downs Syndrome. After our experience with our son and speaking with the center director, we were sure South Loop KinderCare would be the right choice for her as well. It truly has been. We have been thrilled with the relationships she has developed with her teachers and grateful for all of the support they give her development. We couldn't be happier with our choice to send our children to KinderCare.Show more
“ We enrolled our daughter Emma at 3 months in 2006. Her experience at KinderCare was nothing short of amazing. She had fantastic teachers along the way and her academic achievements at KinderCare allowed her (and several of her classmates) to test into a selective enrollment schools here in Chicago. We were so pleased with the success of her early childhood development that we enrolled our son Maddon when he was 3 months in 2011. His experience has been just as amazing and has even had many of the same teachers that Emma previously did. Thank you KinderCare for being an important part of our children’s educational and social development.Show more
“ It is hard to put into words how wonderful this center is. I am a pediatric nurse who sees how accidents happen on a daily basis. So when I had my first child, the idea of sending her to be cared for by others was terrifying to me. However, from the moment I walked into this center on my first tour, I knew it would be a great fit. As soon as we walked into the classroom, the children ran up calling him name and hugging him. As a mother, to see this response to the assistant director who doesn’t spend the whole day with the children showed me what a warm and caring environment this is. That, amongst other positive experiences on the tour convinced me to sign her up that day. She started attending KinderCare in January 2013 and I haven’t looked back since. My second daughter now attends and I could not put into words how much I love having her there. There are so many things I could say about KinderCare, but this would be a novel if I did. The most important thing I can say is I truly feel my daughter is cared for in a safe, nurturing, clean environment with people who are in her words “my best friends.”Show more
“ “My 5 year old daughter has gone to South Loop Kindercare since she was three months old and our experience has been so positive. The teachers and staff have been patient, engaged and supportive and my daughter has formed attachments to many of them. In fact, she will be attending kindergarten in the fall and I am very sad that that era of her life is ending. When we first enrolled her at the South Loop Kindercare we were very nervous as new parents should be, but I always tell people we got really lucky about how well it all turned out. Remember, no one is ever going to care for your child exactly the way you do, but the staff at KinderCare have definitely cared for my child in a way I appreciate.”Show more
“ “My daughter has gone there for the past 18 months and the changes in her are dramatic for the positive. We had a nanny before and decided to put her some place with interaction with other kids. The front staff is amazing. They are not fake or phony. They have always gone the extra mile. I have even called to ask them to measure her so I could figure out what tickets I needed to order for an event I was taking her to and they did it right away. If that is not amazing I don't know what is. I love South Loop KinderCare!”Show more
“ Darcy, I wanted to let you know that my son and I think of you and all the ladies at KinderCare often. I could never tell you how much we appreciated the care and attention that he received at the South Loop KinderCare. It saddens me to know that when we have a second child, he or she won't be able to have the same experience. -Laura, Parent of infant that moved awayShow more
“ My youngest son is attending Poe Classical and my oldest is attending Lenart -- both schools are selective enrollment schools in CPS. We know the wonderful care and education they received at KinderCare contributed to their readiness for accelerated classes. They both continue to be honor roll students and are avid readers. -Kim, mother of two boys who attended South Loop KinderCare for a period of six yearsShow more
“ For the Wonderful KinderCare Staff and Teachers: Gosh, it's hard to even know where to begin in expressing our appreciation for all that you have done for Kayla and Connor during their time at KinderCare. (And, we had to type this because trying to express these thoughts in person would have been far too tearful). From the first day we brought Kayla here (when she was four months old), we were met with warmth, care and concern. KinderCare has been a place where our children have learned to roll over, to crawl, to sit up, to walk, to eat solid foods, to talk, to feed themselves, to write, to count, to drink out of a cup, to use the potty (well, almost), to push elevator buttons, to do art projects, to appreciate music and many more. But, more importantly, they have learned how to make friends, to use their imaginations, to show concern for others, to love, to place nicely with others, to use their manners and to be confident in their abilities. So many milestones have happened within these walls and so many lesson that they will carry with them forever. There are really no words to describe the feeling you have, as a parent, when you know that your child is in a place where they are well cared for and look forward to going every day. That fear and guilt of handing over our most precious gifts each day is immense. But, hearing the enthusiasm with which they tell us about what they did during the day and seeing the smiles on their faces when they are with their teachers and friends (and the occasional groan that we showed up too early for pick-up), is constant reassurance of us having made the right choice in sending them to KinderCare. We're sure there are many times when it may feel like a thankless job, but we just wanted you to knowhow incredibly valuable the work you do is each day and how much of a difference you are making in people's lives. Even though we will no longer see you every day (just during school breaks), you will always hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you again for all you do!Show more
Frequently Asked Questions
What accreditations does KinderCare have?
Do you offer part-time schedules at South Loop KinderCare?
How does naptime work at South Loop KinderCare?
Do you support alternative diets?
Are meals included in tuition? Can I choose to send my child with lunch?
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Child Care You Can Trust
It’s More Than Daycare, It’s KinderCare!
Whether your child is just starting to explore the world or on their way to big-kid school, we have exactly what they need to foster their love of learning and build confidence. See proof that our Early Foundations® curriculum prepares kids for kindergarten, elementary school, and beyond!
Leading the way as America’s most accredited child care provider.
Meet Our Classroom Heroes
From ABCs and 123s to social-emotional skills and problem-solving, our amazing teachers build kindergarten readiness and Confidence for Life™.
See how they bring learning to life at every age and stage!
Babies Are Reaching New Milestones
Babies are giggling, wiggling, and exploring the world one tiny step at a time! In our infant classrooms, little ones are discovering language, experimenting with problem solving, and practicing social and emotional skills.
Toddlers Learn Through Creating, Playing, and Exploring
Toddlers are on the move! At this age, that’s totally normal as they learn and discover the world around them. In our toddler classrooms, they’re building confidence through creating art, learning their ABCs, imaginative play, and so much more.
Discovery Preschoolers Practice Independence
Discovery Preschoolers are channeling their creativity, learning how to express themselves, practicing motor skills, and experimenting with language and literacy in new, exciting ways.
Preschoolers Are Building So Many New Skills
Preschoolers are exploring science experiments, creating artwork, and playing pretend with friends. We’re also boosting literacy and social skills through letter-building and group art projects!
Teachers You Can Trust
When we say we’ve got the best teachers around, we really mean it. You can rest assured that every team member clears rigorous national and state background checks. Plus, our hiring process includes the Gallup® Talent Assessment to make sure we hire educators who have that special something it takes to work with kids.
7-time Gallup® Exceptional Workplace Award Winner
Every year we check in with our amazing team to survey how engaged they are, and for 7 years running we’ve earned the Gallup® Exceptional Workplace Award! We’re the first and only early childhood education provider recognized, and one of just four companies worldwide to receive the honor seven years in a row.
Peace of mind from pick-up to drop-off.
Child care isn’t just about caring for children—it’s about families and communities too! We’re committed to valuing the experiences and traditions you bring with you and honoring them within our community. Whenever you step through our front door, you’ll know that you’re in a place where your family is safe, happy, and celebrated for who they are.
Read on to see the KinderCare difference.
Stay in touch with the KinderCare App.
Find your partner in parenting.
Our teachers join forces with families to help kids become lifelong learners while building confidence to live happy and healthy lives.
Take a moment to watch a KinderCare teacher and mom chat about how we’re the ultimate partners in parenting.
Hear from families like yours.
When it comes to deciding on a child care center, we know there’s nothing quite like hearing from other families! Hear what Becky has to say about being a part of the KinderCare community:
“As a parent, I entrust my greatest blessing to the staff at KinderCare every day, and I am grateful for the loving care and guidance he receives. The teachers and director look at each child as an individual, with their own strengths and needs. My son has been blessed with awesome teachers who understand his challenges, and handle him with grace. My child has learned so much and continues to share with me the great activities that go on each day at "school!" Thank you to the KinderCare child care organization for an incredible early childhood curriculum that engages and teaches at all steps of the day, and a special thanks to Karen and her staff; they continue to do amazing works of ‘heart’ with all children.”
- Becky T.