Theodore Gansmann, Center Director
Meet Theodore Gansmann, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2015
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Master's Degree in Kinesiology
Favorite Children's Book: The Giver
Meet Ted Gansmann! He is the Center Director at Kirkwood West KinderCare in Missouri. Ted attended Fontbonne University, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. He also holds a Master's Degree in Kinesiology from Southern Illinois University. He has been with KinderCare since 2015 and was a teacher and an assistant director previously. Outside of work, Ted enjoys playing soccer, being outdoors, and spending time with his family. His favorite quote is, "I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."
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.
Kirkwood West 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.
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.)
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'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 wife, Suzanne, and I have two children. While researching learning centers for our children, we came down to three choices. We chose the KinderCare Learning Center on Big Bend Road in Kirkwood, Missouri. This has been our learning center choice for two and a half years. Samantha and Courtney exemplify great leadership in leading a great team of teachers at this location.
From day one, all of the teachers at this learning center are attentive, approachable, kind, good-hearted, and caring. This positive environment fosters a culture of teaching, learning, and developing social skills for the child. The environment presents a chance for the child to meet other kids, learn, play, experiment, and the opportunity to try new things. The teachers are very attentive and want to help the children do well. If a situation arises, Samantha, Courtney, or the teacher will call you directly and give you a heads up on what is or has taken place. Every employee at this center is solution minded and has the best interest of the child at heart. We recommend KinderCare Learning Center on Big Bend Road. This is an outstanding team that Samantha and Courtney have assembled.”
Chris B. - KinderCare Parent
As a parent, leaving your children in someone else’s care while you work is never easy. But after seeing the loving, caring, safe, and fun environment that the teachers and Directors at KinderCare Kirkwood West provide, I felt so comfortable and confident knowing that my two sons (two and a half years and three months old) were in great hands. I watched as my oldest son came home knowing his ABCs, could count to ten, and always had amazing artwork to share with us. His teachers, Sara, Mona, Crystal, and Kelly, cared so much about him and his development. They gave me great pointers on everything from potty training, to developing positive behaviors, to becoming a big brother. They always had well thought out lesson plans that incorporated everything from art to music to reading to dramatic play. We loved reading about his day at school on his daily reports that gave us a detailed snapshot of his day. And when it came time for me to go back to work after maternity leave, I felt very comfortable having my three-month-old in the loving care of his teachers, Kim and Hira. They both gave me detailed information on his day so I knew exactly where to pick up so his routine was seamless. They always had fun activities for the babies so that they were in a fun, loving, and most importantly, safe place. And of course, Courtney and Sam were always available for questions and support. I love that they are always in and out of the classrooms, so they know exactly what your kiddo has been up to. We moved to a different part of town recently, otherwise we would have kept KinderCare Kirkwood West our home away from home until the boys were old enough to go to school. I highly recommend them to any and all working parents!”
Anne C. - KinderCare Parent
We chose Kirkwood West KinderCare for our daughter when she was born because of the programs and location. It made me very nervous to leave a 13-week-old infant with people I barely knew and I honestly cried the entire way to work the first day I left her there. She had a rough first day, but eventually got into a rhythm and she grew to love the teachers and the programs. She has grown into an outgoing four-year-old and every teacher has helped her learn something different. I feel that she is loved at school because every teacher tells me how sad they are to see her move up to the next room. She loves her friends at school and has really thrived under the curriculum at KinderCare. I know she learns so much more at school than I would be able to teach her at home. Needless to say, when our second daughter was born, I was so comfortable with the staff at KinderCare that I didn't cry a single tear on the way to work when I dropped her off (although I was sad to leave her). The KinderCare staff does a terrific job taking care of our girls and I believe our girls learn so much while they are there during the day.”
Julie - KinderCare Parent
What an amazing place! When I was pregnant ten months ago (first baby), I was very nervous about placing my child with anyone else. I went on approximately 60 tours and when I came to this KinderCare, I felt at home and loved it instantly. My daughter is now ten months old and loves the entire staff so much! She is growing and learning new activities each day. My favorite part of my day is pulling up to KinderCare and she is smiling and kicking her feet with joy to see her friends and teachers. She loves it! I love the daily forms that the staff takes the time to fill out the entire day to keep us completely informed of our child’s activities and food and sleep schedule. This keeps me and my husband organized at home and staying on a schedule. My daughter is sensitive to many foods, and she is at the age now to start table food. The teachers and staff have been so helpful and working with my daughter daily (one-on-one) to help start her on new foods. I know my child is in good hands every day and is getting the best care provided! Thanks to this wonderful staff for all your hard work! Thank you for taking care of my little cupcake!”
Febe S. - KinderCare Parent
We have been with Ries Ballwin KinderCare for about six years. We have had a wonderful experience. The classes are not too large, so each student can get a little extra attention when needed. For us, that was usually at drop-off time. The teachers do a great job of teaching the children in a way that is fun for the kids. My son loves to come home and tell me what he learned at school and show me all the artwork that he did that day! It is a great feeling being able to drop off my son in the morning and know that he is in a safe, nurturing environment with all of his buddies having fun.”
Phyllis G. - 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 Kirkwood West 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 Kirkwood West 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.