Meet Kristen Southard, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2010
Education: Bachelor of Arts
Favorite Children's Book: Goodnight Moon
Meet Kristen Southard! She is the Center Director at Montclair KinderCare in Dumfries, VA. Kristen attended the University of Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She has been with KinderCare since 2010, and has worked in early childhood education since 2002. She won the Educator Award in 2012. “Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” Outside of work, Kristen loves spending time on the lake in her community.
Montclair 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.
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
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!
“ Ms. Tee has been SO SUPPORTIVE of me as I go through all the transitions a new mother goes through. She never pushes me out of my comfort zone with David. Always ready and willing to do anything I ask, even if deep down she thinks I'm completely nuts :) She loves to laugh with me and genuinely loves all her babies! Ms. Tee one day noticed hives popping up on David's cheek. She immediately called me and told me she was concerned and allowed me to have time to ask her lots of questions. I was able to use this conversation at the pediatrician's office to help clarify what was going on with David, and it all turned out to be a minor allergic reaction. Ms. Nelida LOVES her babies and you can tell. She is always smiling and always sharing fun stories of David when I pick him up. She is never sitting down, always up and on the go, tending to children all afternoon. Ms. Anna loves telling me stories about David when I come in. She shares his recent accomplishments and really takes notice of the things he likes and doesn't like. She showers him with complements like "he's soooo cute!!!" and it makes me feel so good! :) Ms. Kristen, the Center Director, and Ms. Sharon, the Assistant Director, make the center warm and welcoming for the parents EVERY DAY. There is always a warm smile and often a fun story about David's day when I walk in. I love you guys! Katie OrtegaShow more
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 Montclair 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 Montclair 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.
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.