Marie Walsh-Epperson, Center Director
Meet Marie Walsh-Epperson, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2002
Education: Master's Degree
Favorite Children's Book: Where the Wild Things Are
Meet Marie Walsh-Epperson! Marie is the Center Director of Mesa KinderCare in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Marie attended Concordia University, where she earned her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Marie has been with KinderCare since 2002. Her favorite quote is, "Children do learn what they live. Then they grow up to live what they learned." -Dorothy Nolte. Outside of work, Marie likes to spend time with her family.
AMERICA’S MOST ACCREDITED
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.
Mesa KinderCare Programs
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.
Before- and After-School Programs (5–12 Years)
You can count on us to provide reliable care for your school-ager while you’re at work, with safe transportation from our center to your child’s school and back! Whether your child wants to start a drama club, build a volcano, or create a comic book, they will have a place to follow their dreams. Your child will start and end the day with a whole lot of fun!
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.
Participating Child Care Aware Center
KinderCare partners with Child Care Aware® of America to offer fee assistance for Active Duty military families and flexible support to fit their needs when care at a Child Development Center on the installation is not available.
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.)
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!
Happy Feet & Dance
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.
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.
Don't take our word for it. Hear what our families have to say about our amazing center!
My name is Gracie Rivers and my son William Rivers, now three, has attended the KinderCare on Mesa Rd. in Colorado Springs since October of 2010. Each day I bring my son to the center, I leave knowing he is being cared for by the most phenomenal staff I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Elisabeth Jaqua, the Center Director, has made the greatest impact in my sons life. She takes time to greet each parent and child upon arrival and at the end of the long day. She has created an atmosphere there where any parent can have a sense of well being and peace of mind. There are so many uplifting times where I myself find great pleasure in spending time with the staff even if for a few minutes talking about the children and sharing a few laughs. My son has engaged in their extracurricular phonics/math program instructed by Ms Andrea. Another part of many incredible aspects this center has provided. William has not only excelled in scholastics, he has continually shown growth within his social skills outside of the center. I would like to thank everyone at this center for showing my son love, knowledge, and giving him continual reassurance of his individual importance as a beautiful child. ~ Sincerely, Gracie Rivers ~”
Gracie Rivers - KinderCare Parent
KinderCare has turned out to be such a great choice for our family! My 3 yr old Marissa started at KinderCare when she was 1 year old and has grown so much with KinderCare in the last couple of years. The teachers are friendly and take an extra interest in anything I mention to them that may be going on with Marissa, - from potty training to learning new words. The most exciting time with KinderCare has been Marissa's participation in the KLA program. I am excited that this program is really preparing her to "learn how to learn". She is learning so much and is so excited about the program. The most important thing at the end of the day for me is if my child is happy and feels safe. Every day when I pick her up and see her playing in a different area with her different friends, I am confidant she is happy and being well taken care of. I would recommend KinderCare and especially the Mesa KinderCare to anyone. From the interaction from the Director to the teachers and the other parents and children, I am 100% satisfied with my choice in choosing KinderCare. And really, this is one of the most important decisions you can make for your child. ~Jennifer Picard ~”
Jennifer Picard - KinderCare Parent
I chose KinderCare for my daughter to improve her social skills since she is an only child, and to improve her vocabulary in English language since I speak a foreign language to her at home and I am happy to say my daughter is bilingual! I feel very secure and happy every time I leave my daughter to her teacher because I know she is in good hands. I put my hands together to all the staff at KinderCare for having a lot of patience to all the kids that they care of. And lastly even though the daily report is through email my daughter's teacher always let me know what my daughter does regardless if it is a bad or good behavior. I am so glad that I chose KinderCare.”
Valerie Gagaza - KinderCare Parent
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What accreditations does KinderCare have?
We are your trusted caregiver. Our centers are state-licensed and regularly inspected to make sure everything meets or exceeds standards, including child-to-teacher ratios and safe facilities. Our centers aren’t just licensed—most are accredited, too! Find out more.
Do you offer part-time schedules at Mesa KinderCare?
Everybody’s schedule is different. We’re happy to offer quality, affordable part-time and full-time childcare. Drop-in care may also be available. Reach out to your Center Director to learn more.
How does naptime work at Mesa KinderCare?
Our teachers meet every child’s needs during naptime. Our teachers know how to get babies to nap. In fact, they are pros at getting children of any age to nap. Visit our article on "10 Ways We Help Kids Get a Great Daycare Nap" to learn more.
Do you support alternative diets?
We strive to be as inclusive as possible. To that point, we provide a vegetarian option at mealtime, take care to not serve common allergens and can adapt menus based on your child’s food sensitivities. If your child has additional needs, we’ll work with you to figure out a plan.
Are meals included in tuition? Can I choose to send my child with lunch?
We provide nutritious meals and snacks developed by a registered dietician to meet the needs of rapidly growing bodies and minds. If your child has special dietary requirements and you would prefer to bring in their lunch, please make arrangements with the center director.
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Every child begins toilet learning at a different age. Until your child shows an interest in toilet learning, we’ll provide diaper changes on an as-needed basis. When your child shows an interest, we'll discuss how to work together to encourage toilet learning.