Ernestine Cray, Center Director
Ages: 6 weeks to 12 years
Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Ed Franz, Royal Ridge, Crestview, Miller's Point, Montgomery, Olympia, Coronado/Escobar, Ricardo Salinas
Our center is accredited by the National Accreditation Commission.
Meet Ernestine Cray, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2014
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies
Favorite Children's Book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Meet Ernestine Cray! She is the Center Director at Toepperwein Road KinderCare in Live Oak, Texas. Ernestine attended the University of Texas, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has been with KinderCare since 2014, and before that she was a program specialist and an assistant director. Outside of work, Ernestine enjoys spending time with her family. Together they like being outdoors and playing games. "A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark." - Robert Heinlein
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.
Toepperwein Road 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.
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!
I was terrified when I needed care for my two-year-old daughter. She had never been around other children and was a very shy girl. I was so relieved when I entered the center and got to know the Director and the Teachers from the first day! My daughter flourished in the classroom and learned her alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes within a few weeks. She learned how to play nice with others, and came out of her shell so much. It has been a few years now and my daughter is in school. I owe her development to Toepperwein KinderCare.”
Joy J. - KinderCare Parent
Ms. Julie has made it easy for me to be able to be "okay" with trusting someone else with my child. My son has never been to daycare but he's fallen in love with this place because of her! Thank you!”
Monica P. - KinderCare Parent
Toepperwein KinderCare has provided care for my children for over four years! They are the only people I trust with my children. All four of my children have gone through several of the classrooms and I have developed such great relationships with the ladies there. I am a lucky mother to have found KinderCare!”
Sarah G. - KinderCare Parent
I met Ms. Erika about four years ago when she became the Director of the center. She always wears a smile. There have been two or three times I have needed help with things at the center and she is always there to make me and my children feel comfortable and happy. You can tell she puts her whole heart into this establishment. When a career is taken seriously like this, the children flourish and grow. I wouldn't take my children anywhere else! Ms. Julie has been such a loving and truly caring Pre-K teacher to two of my three children. They are always laughing together and she presents the information to the children while they are learning in such a fun and entertaining way! My child came home and explained the complete life cycle of a frog to me. I was amazed.....he is four years old! Ms. Jemeika has been with all of my children from their beginning days at Toepperwein KinderCare. She has such an upbeat and positive attitude every day. She goes out of her way to show her class how much she cares for them. Her smile brightens my morning every day. She transitioned from the two-year-olds to Pre-K and I think it was a great move for her! She really knows how to connect with her students! Ms. Natasha makes my day, and all three of my children's days, brighter. She has such a loving and gentle approach that even the most timid children love her. She helped transition my baby girl into her new classroom and it really gave my baby the confidence with her teachers and the ability to feel safe and comfortable in her new class. Ms. Cynthia really is the heart of the two-year old classroom. You can just feel the love she gives to the children. They all flock to her and it makes my heart melt to see my baby happy with her! My daughter started her class about two months ago and she is already coming home singing songs that she learned that day. I can really see a big improvement in her social skills.”
Alicia W. - KinderCare Parent
What a wonderful surprise to find this learning center! I see my daughters growing and flourishing at KinderCare. The teachers are very sweet, genuine and really care about my kids. Even though it's a bit far from my house, I'm so happy and satisfied with this place.”
Heather D. - 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 Toepperwein Road 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 Toepperwein Road 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.