Julie Johnson, Center Director
Meet Julie Johnson, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 1995
Education: Associate Degree
Favorite Children's Book: Goodnight Moon
Meet Julie Johnson! She is the Center Director at Kirkwood KinderCare in Missouri. Julie holds an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been with KinderCare since 1995, starting as a preschool teacher. Every day, Julie looks forward to meeting new families and inspiring children to learn and grow. "It takes a big heart to shape little minds." Outside of work, Julie enjoys painting classes with her mom, watching her son play hockey, and weekly game nights 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.
Kirkwood 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.)
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!
There are so many teachers I want to thank for their help! I'll start with Ms. Sarah. They have been so supportive and understanding of my son. They know all of the children in their class as individuals, which is very impressive with the number of children in their class! I've noticed this with all the teachers and staff as well. My child's speech has improved greatly since coming to Ms. Sarah's class. My child also seems to have a great bond with Ms. Karlee. Thanks to you all. I could imagine my child being at any other daycare!”
Eileen W. - KinderCare Parent
We love Ms. Melissa! You can really tell she loves these children so much. Her creative activities with the babies and proactive communication with the parents has been off-the-charts fantastic.”
Stephanie E. - KinderCare Parent
I love the pics! We hang them in our son's bedroom. My morning starts with beautiful smiles and friendly voices! My son knows what to expect... consistent, high-quality care! Thank you! The five-year-old room rocks!”
Monica M. - KinderCare Parent
They tell me funny stories from my son's day. They get as excited as I do when my ten-month-old does new things, which he seems to do every day! They are still excited to see my older kids, even though they are KinderCare graduates now!”
Amy Z. - KinderCare Parent
My child has been with Ms. Sam for a while now. She is awesome because she truly loves our child. It makes us feel great to drop him off every day and know he will be in the care of such a great person.”
Chris B. - KinderCare Parent
Ms. Kristen, we love your enthusiasm and thank you for your patience. Our child is learning so much! As I leave every day, everyone says something to my child, whether it's good-bye, a little story, or just a smile. It is obvious that everyone at Kirkwood KinderCare really loves every child. Thank you.”
Olivia R. - KinderCare Parent
Ms. Darcy is awesome because she's super organized and prepares our kids so well for kindergarten! Ms. Debra is awesome because she is so caring and loves the kids!”
Mary G. - KinderCare Parent
Ms. Kelly is awesome because when my child is feeling shy when I drop her off in the morning, Ms. Kelly is always ready with a big hug to make her feel better. Drop-off can be so stressful, but Ms. Kelly helps make it easy! Ms. Kelli is awesome because she is so engaged with the children. She treats them with respect and sincerity and I know my child responded to that--she loved Ms. Kelli immediately! Both "Kelly/ies" have helped make my child's transition to KinderCare really smooth, and I'm so happy with the way things are going--and my child seems pretty happy too!”
Anne V. - KinderCare Parent
Ms. Samantha is awesome because she makes my child love school and want to learn! Ms. Jessica is awesome because she teaches special subjects and makes them fun for kids. Ms. Darcy is awesome because she really trains the kids well for kindergarten. My child is advanced and breezing through his assignments now!”
Gabriela E. - KinderCare Parent
Ms. Darcy and Ms. Deborah, I would like to say thank you so much for preparing my child for kindergarten. His success in kindergarten is all because of the dedication you have for those prekindergarten children! He is in the top tier of readers in his kindergarten class because of the wonderful teaching you gave him.”
Nicole B. - KinderCare Parent
Ms. Jessica, thanks for the great instruction and positive reinforcement! My child comes home and excitedly tells us about music, phonics, and math. She always smiles when she talks about music class! Both Sarahs: The activities we do at home and the write-ups of the day help us feel connected. Thanks for the individual attention paid to each student and trying to find new and exciting things to keep them busy and learning!”
Heather T. - KinderCare Parent
We love our daughters' teathers! Mornings can be tough. It is always great to walk into classrooms with smiling teachers who seem genuinely happy to see my girls. They love coming to school and I especially appreciate the pictures from Ms. Kristen of my daughters playing and doing art projects.”
Kari F. - KinderCare Parent
How quickly time passes. We are fortunate to have been part of the Kirkwood KinderCare Family for over eight years. Coming into the center as first-time parents, with no family in the area, the teachers and staff could not have been any more supportive of our efforts and caring to us and our children. It might be unexpected to use the term “family,” but that is how we feel about the staff at the Kirkwood KinderCare. We were fortunate to be invited to several staff weddings and kept informed on several occasions on new births to the staff at KinderCare. In addition, the staff is always so caring, encouraging, and supportive that we couldn’t help but become as involved/active at the center as we could. After-hours programs and parties for families got us involved and introduced us to other families just like us – working adults trying to be good parents. In fact, several families continue to be close friends. Aside from the outstanding academic program, the entire center exposed our children to so much more than we could have at home or even with a home-based child care. Both our children were well prepared (perhaps even overly prepared) for their next academic step, but just as importantly, socially ready. While at KinderCare, our children were encouraged to interact with all the staff – teaching them the importance of respect for teachers and caregivers – as well as all the other children at the center. KinderCare’s environment gave our children the opportunity to interact with kids at every level (age or otherwise), and learn from and even lead other children. My kids are better people because of that interaction.”
Joe L. - KinderCare Parent
Our family moved from out of state about one year ago. Being in a new state, in a new house, and having left our friends and family behind, our kids were uncomfortable and hesitant in their new surroundings. We chose Kirkwood KinderCare based on their reputation and available hours of care. With both of us working full time, it was critical that we could access the daycare with some flexibility. The kids were clearly thrilled from the beginning. I credit their adjustment to the teachers and all the staff at KinderCare. The predictability and structure of their day made them feel safe. Our kids are curious and imaginative, they play well with others, follow directions, act with patience, and respond to structure. They are coordinated and confident from play and they show empathy from the friendships they have grown. They spend nearly ten hour daily, forty hours per week, in the hands of the more than capable and truly loving teachers and other staff at KinderCare. They excitedly prepare for "school" every day and happily recount their day at dinner. They are exposed to so many learning opportunities, as well as good old-fashioned play time. Their teachers guide them to explore and try new things; they do not try to make them anything other than who they are. The teachers provide feedback and are always available to discuss concerns or special circumstances, responding with love and care. These talented teachers have endless energy and patience: They are always smiling and encouraging to the children, celebrating their successes every step of the way. I could never ever do do what they do and with KinderCare, I can count on tireless love and care for my babies every day. My husband and I are so thankful for their genuine commitment to our children.
A special shout out to Sarah L., Sarah P., Samantha, and Darcy for loving our children and keeping them safe and happy every day.”
Ellen F. and Jared K. - KinderCare Parent
I just wanted to take a moment to share how much I think of the Kirkwood KinderCare staff. They always have a smile or kind word to say and that is just a nice way to begin and end the day. Not to mention, as a parent, I rest assured knowing the children are in good hands. In particular, the Sarahs, Karlee, and Dot go out of their way to tell me about the kids' day or mention an encouraging word. Jason and I truly appreciate their hard work.”
JJ G. - KinderCare Parent
Kirkwood KinderCare, thank you so much for providing a safe, nurturing, and learning environment during our daughter's tenure in your center. As first time parents, we were apprehensive about leaving her in the care of anyone outside of our immediate family. However, once we toured and took the leap of faith of putting our daughter in the care of someone else, we were not disappointed. We are grateful to the staff at KinderCare for partnering with us in our child's development, both socially and academically. We now recommend this KinderCare location to friends who are considering placing their child in the care of someone else. We know firsthand that this center is committed to making sure children have a safe place to explore the world around them, while developing the social and academic skills that will prepare them to enter the next stage of their development--kindergarten.”
J. Family - KinderCare Parent
After living in Ohio for a year, I have realized how much my two boys benefited from their years at the Kirkwood KinderCare center. One just turned five and is currently in preschool. He is significantly more advanced than his classmates. My wife and I feel like most of his schoolwork he already knows. Both of my boys love going to school, and I know this is a direct result of the great time they had at this center. I don't have any discipline problems with them at school and I feel like the time they had at Kirkwood was more than worth it. I highly recommend KinderCare, and the Kirkwood center specifically, to everyone I can and tell them about the excellent experience we had. You have top-notch teachers and my wife and I appreciate all that you taught our boys. I wish you continued success.”
Jack W. - 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 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 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.