Erica Firch, Center Director
Meet Erica Firch, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2013
Education: Master's Degree, Bachelor's Degree
Favorite Children's Book: The Goat Parade
Meet Erica Firch! She is the Center Director at West Lake KinderCare in Erie, PA. Erica attended Mercyhurst University, where she earned a Master's Degree in Education. She has been with KinderCare since 2013 and has worked with children for over 15 years. Every day, Erica looks forward to meeting new families and providing children with a nurturing learning environment. "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." – Malcolm X. Outside of work, Erica enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and 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.
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.
Elementary School Distance Learning
Healthy bodies, happy hearts, growing minds. We make distance learning easy on your whole family! Our teachers are trained to facilitate safe and dynamic learning experiences online and in-person. Since every school has their own learning plan, we’ve added flexible enrollment options to meet your family’s needs. Whether you choose to enroll full-time, part-time, or before and after school, we’re here for you!
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.)
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!
The staff at KinderCare are attentive, personal and caring. They are quick to note new developments in my sons' learning and verbal skills, as well as their likes and dislikes. I feel good knowing he is happy, socialized and part of a great group of educators.”
Brooke R. - KinderCare Parent
Our son has been going to KinderCare since he was only three months old. KinderCare has been wonderful from the first visit to view the facility. Ms. Robin gave the tour and was so pleasant and inviting, answering all our questions and making us feel at ease. The facility is very clean and all the teachers know us by name. The staff at KinderCare are great individuals who care about the kids and love what they do. They go above and beyond what is expected of them and are respectful of our individual parenting style, assisting us with our requests and listening to our concerns, trying to help out wherever and whenever possible. As we walk in the door every morning we are greeted cheerfully and our son is made to smile and laugh as soon as we arrive. The quality of education is also evident as he has learned so many new things since he has been going to KinderCare. He is 15 months now and has been going to KinderCare for a year. He is happy and excited to go to “school” every morning and we could not have asked for better service and people to take care and educate our son. Ms. Robin and her team truly are like our extended family and we appreciate them so much!”
Judy C. - KinderCare Parent
As a first time mother and a young one at that I am very happy sending my son to this child care. When i enter the center I see a lot of great things such as the certificates of the center and news that is posted about the center. It feels so warm walking straight into the big atrium. I have zero issues or concerns about my son's care and learning techniques. He started off in the baby room and I honestly could not be happier. He is such a smart little boy and I couldn't thank them enough!
Miss Katherine and Mr. Steve are his teachers now and I must say he suprises me every day with new words! It's not just a daycare, it's a learning center and they don't just watch your child. I could go on and on about this daycare! They have been wonderful to my son and I! I give them 5 stars!”
Alexis R. - KinderCare Parent
We enrolled our son at KinderCare at 16 months of age and every member of the staff was beyond wonderful. They were so caring and loving towards him and were understanding and compassionate in helping us ALL deal with being away from our son for the first time. They welcomed our almost daily phone calls to "check in" on him and made what was initially a very difficult situation into one where our child thrived. I would absolutely, without reservation, recommend West Lake KinderCare. The experience has been better than we could have ever imagined.”
Nicole R. - KinderCare Parent
I love the staff at KinderCare! My grandson has been here for 3 years and he had delayed speech which quickly improved. He has learned so much his alphabet, counting, and learning how to write letters and numbers. Miss Erica, Miss Angela, and Miss Stephanie went above and beyond to make his preschool time comfortable and easier even on his rough days. I can't thank them enough for all their help. The staff really does care about these children and that they feel safe and comfortable!”
Melissa R. - 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.