Melissa Zapata, Center Director
Meet Melissa Zapata, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2011
Favorite Children's Book: In Grandma's Arms
Meet Melissa Zapata! She is the Center Director at Woodward Park KinderCare in Fresno, California. Melissa attended Fresno City College, where she earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood. She also holds many certifications including infant/toddler quality care, infant/child CPR, mandated reporting, and curriculum development. She has been with KinderCare since 2011, and before that she was and assistant director. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with family. Together they love being outdoors, riding bikes, swimming, and going to the beach.
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.)
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!
Soccer and Dance classes with TumbleAmerica
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!
Parents stop looking! You've found the best! I am so thankful to the amazing staff at KinderCare. I enrolled my daughter when she was 18 months and it was worth it. I am a full-time working mom and let me tell you, it gets tough during the day when I miss my baby who is now four years old. What I love about KinderCare is their open-door policy. I can pop in at any time to visit, even to pick my daughter up to have a lunch date, and take her back to the center after. Now that she is in preschool, I am confident that choosing KinderCare was the right choice. Her preschool teacher is constantly expressing to me how smart my daughter is and well mannered. I appreciate a school who teaches the same values I teach at home. Thank you KinderCare!”
Adriana - KinderCare Parent
CLEAN, SAFE, and FRIENDLY is what best describe Woodward Park KinderCare! As a working mother I wish I could stay home and educate my girls at a personal level, but I can't. I feel the caretakers do just that and I am so blessed to have my girls enrolled here. Oh and I have traveled to nearly all day cares in Fresno and none have pleased me like this one.”
Brenetta S. - KinderCare Parent
I absolutely love it here. As a new single and working mom (previously stay-at-home mom) the ladies have made me feel so comfortable with leaving my two-year-old in their care. Putting him in daycare was a scary thought for me, but my little one loves it and so do I! His teachers are wonderful and show him so much love. Thank you so much to all the teachers at KinderCare!! You guys are awesome!!”
Shelby W. - KinderCare Parent
My twins have been at this facility since they were six months old. The love and care that they got from the teachers was wonderful. The everyday educational and creative activities they provide are quite impressive. The overall facility is clean, bright and welcoming. The Director and Assistant Director were always available to answer questions. Without any reservations, I would recommend this center to others.”
Shreya K. - KinderCare Parent
As a parent of a two-year-old I am excited that he is attending KinderCare Learning Center. Once I walked in I suddenly felt the warmth and welcoming spirits from the Director and all of the KinderCare staff. I love the fact that they are committed to not only watching over the children, but also instill creativity and personal skills. The joy is great when I am able to pick up my child and he cries to stay longer. That speaks wonders of the teachers there and I will definitely stay committed to the KinderCare Learning Center of Fresno, California.”
Mushana M. - 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.