Deana Kinsley, Center Director
Meet Deana Kinsley, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2015
Education: Child Development Associate Credential
Favorite Children's Book: Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Meet Deana Kinsley! She is the Center Director at Hylton Heights KinderCare in Manhattan, KS. Deana earned a Child Development Associate Credential and has been working in the child care field since 1997. She has been with KinderCare for six years, and before that she also held a Center Director position. “If a child cannot learn in the way we teach, we must teach in a way the child can learn." Outside of work, Deana enjoys spending time outdoors, and having fun on family outings and vacations.
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!
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!
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!
Finding daycare, especially as a new parent, can be stressful and frustrating. However, when you find that great fit where you know your child will be taken care of, looked after, challenged educationally, and provided with numerous fun activities, it is a feeling of great relief. My husband and I have been fortunate enough to have that situation with Hylton Heights KinderCare. I appreciate the daily updates and the individualized feedback from the staff as to how our daughter handles each day with regard to behavior, eating habits, and whether or not she enjoys the activities, and her long-term progress in development. I'm thankful that the staff is easily accessible and willing to help with any question or issue. But most importantly, there is no substitute for the feeling of comfort I have when I drop off our daughter in the morning, and as we walk in, we are greeted by teachers and children from the other age groups. I have the sense that everyone - teachers and kids alike - look out for each other, like a family. We are incredibly grateful for the positive experiences we've had with KinderCare.”
Kristin - KinderCare Parent
Hylton Heights KinderCare has been an extension of our family. The teachers here are caring, nurturing, and target their students' strengths to engage them in activities. My son has emerged a confident, bright, and curious individual ready to go to kindergarten.”
Teresa - KinderCare Parent
I am writing to you to tell you about our KinderCare experience. It started last August (2012), our son who was two years old at the time and was scheduled to start when classes resumed for me. Our daughter, who was born in July, was going to stay at home with a nanny until September/October when there would be a spot for her in the baby room.
To give you a short background, we moved to Kansas from Massachusetts. We have no family out here to help in emergencies. I am a full time veterinary student and my husband works full time. Knowing this we contacted the nanny agency in April to get a nanny for end of August. Five days before classes began, two of which were the weekend, the agency informed us that they did not have a nanny for our daughter. They were of no help, and really left us hanging and desperate. I called Lisa for help and advice. I figured she knew the daycare systems and the area better than anyone and would be the best resource. After talking with her, she said “hold on, I’ll call you back”. When she called back, she told me that she figured out a way to accommodate us and would allow Lucy to start when Nate did.
We were beyond grateful for her help and understanding. We did not expect that from her, we honestly were just looking for advice. Lisa and the staff at KinderCare in general, have become people we know, trust, and can count on for advice and help when needed. I literally had no other options, help or support. Lisa came through for us and went above and beyond what we expected. For this, among other things, we are truly eternally grateful.
The following Monday I went to drop off both kids. I was a wreck; I had been feeling overwhelmed by guilt for months, and leaving my five week old daughter in the care of someone else was almost more than I could take. Not that I didn’t trust Jeanette and Amy, but I just felt beyond guilty about leaving her. Everyone was fantastic throughout the day. I received texts and pictures of both kids, updates on how well they were doing and how much they were enjoying themselves. It made me feel so much better. Other than my family, there is no one else I would trust with my kids. I never worry about them or wonder if they are receiving the kind of love and kindness we would be giving them. I know that when they are at “school” they are cared for and loved and nurtured, and this means the world to us.
I also really appreciate that whenever I had an extended lunch period, I was able to go and feed my daughter. It was the best hour out of my day. I got to see Lucy and I could get updates on how her day was going. I got to see her interact and grow with the other babies. I would find my cheeks hurting often after my “lunch dates” from smiling and laughing because it was such a pleasure. Jeanette, Amy, Denise or anyone else who happened to be in the baby room were always welcoming. For a nursing mother that kind of support and understanding is so important.
Our son loved his time at KinderCare. He constantly talks about his friends from school, and his teachers. We were making a puzzle one night at home, and he kept telling me which letters were Miss Debbie’s and Miss Kim’s favorites. I asked his teachers if they had talked about those letters recently and they hadn’t. He really was just including them in what we were doing at home.
Every afternoon when I would go to pick up the kids I would have to stop in his room first. I’d ask him if he was ready to leave or if I should go and get Lucy first. He always replied that he wasn’t ready to go yet and I should get Lucy so he could play longer. Additionally he was always excited to show me what art project he did, any new pictures they had, or new toys. On the way home our car was usually filled with stories about what they did or talked about during the day.
What amazes me most are the times when he tells me something that is correct, but something we haven’t talked about with him or taught him. He started telling me the days of the week one morning at breakfast. And then told me which day it was. He took off his shoe one day and when I told him to put on his shoes he said “I only need my left one” and was correct! These are things that we don’t teach him, but obviously are taught at KinderCare and in a way that does not appear to be lectured. The information comes up in appropriate times and settings. So the teaching must be done in such a way that it doesn’t seem like teaching to the kids, just another fact of life that they are learning. I think my favorite time was when he said “we don’t spit on our friends, but we spit out our toothpaste. We don’t bite our friends, but we bite food. We don’t kick our friends, but we can kick balls.” I was thrilled that that sort of teaching and understanding was going on with my son and his teachers.
I love the KinderCare methods and philosophies. I love the way you teach our children and care for them. I was talking with someone who used to work at another KinderCare. She was telling me that she didn’t enjoy it. They had a mouse problem in the kitchen, mold in the classrooms, and they were supposed to hide it from the parents as much as possible. I was telling her about how much I love ours and she said, “I love what KinderCare stands for, I just didn’t like this one”. And I said, “You know what? I never feel like anything is hidden from us. They are very upfront about everything. They take the time to talk to me every day about my kids and what’s going on. I’m sure part of that is KinderCare, but I think that reflects more on the type of people that work at our KinderCare.” And I have to say that is absolutely true. If Lisa, Denise, Kim, Jeanette, Amy, Anna, Holly or any of the other staff all left and went to a new location, you better believe we’d follow them there. It was very sad for us when Debbie moved, because these people have truly become such an important part of our lives.
Jeanette is one of the kindest, sweetest, most caring people I know. After spending just five minutes with her it’s obvious that she loves her job, and truly loves the babies. And they in turn love her. She handles a crying baby with such care, and they laugh and smile with her constantly. She’s the type of person that I would want to care for me, and I love that we had her to care for our daughter. Every morning our son enjoyed talking to her and showing her his shirt. She is loved by all. I will miss my time with her in the baby room next year.
Amy was also great with the babies. Again, you could tell that she loved her job and the babies. She cared for them like an experienced mother. My daughter was always excited to see her. She taught her so many cute tricks like moving her tongue back and forth and “pat the baby.” We were thrilled when we learned that Amy would be a new mom herself.
Anna spent many afternoons with the babies. Every time I picked up with her she was so pleasant and would update me on how my daughter's afternoon was. She’d share any concerns with me or tell me about her accomplishments. She always took the time to talk with me and let me know just how she was, and would answer any questions I had. She was fantastic.
This year was the first opportunity I had to really get to know Denise. She would often help out in the baby room during lunch. She would jump right in to help with the babies. She would feed, rock, burp and play with whichever baby needed her attention. I was very impressed with her willingness to help with whatever work needed to be done. And again, she was so welcoming and supportive of me and that is something I really appreciate. Not to mention my son loved his time with her as well!
I cannot say enough good things about Debbie. When we first visited KinderCare she was working with the one-year-olds. We heard her sing, saw her interact with the kids, and knew that this was going to be a great place for our son. When our son started, Debbie had moved into the two-year-old room. I was upset since I had loved her so much (and not to worry, we loved our son's first teachers just as much!). So we were thrilled when he got to have her this year. She handles the children so professionally and with such care. Our son absolutely loved her and would tell us stories about her all the time. And again, she always took the time to discuss things with me and listen to my concerns or even my proud parent stories. We were so sad to learn that we would be losing her, but Omaha is so lucky to get her.
Kim has been a wonderful addition to the KinderCare family. She is just wonderful with the kids and it’s so clear that they love her. She is always playing and interacting with them. You can tell she’s just like a big kid. She handles difficult situations well and is always upfront and honest with us. It’s obvious why the kids love her so much. I love the mornings when she arrives during breakfast and the kids yell “Yay! Miss Kim is here!”, she’s like a rock star with them. I know that my son will miss having her next year as a teacher, but am glad that she will be right next door so he will still get to see her. I was so impressed with her care, knowledge and professional manners, as well as her ability to connect with the kids.
To say that we love, admire and are grateful for all the teachers at KinderCare is an understatement. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for everything that this KinderCare does for our family. My kids are my whole life and world; if anything were to ever happen to them I don’t know what I would do. But every day that I leave them at KinderCare, I know that they are being cared for, but more importantly, they are being loved and nurtured. Anyone can change a diaper, put some food on a plate, and make sure that they receive the minimum and most basic care they need. Lisa, Denise, Kim, Debbie, Jeanette, Amy, Anna, Danelle, and all the others who have helped are truly special people. They discuss concerns that we have or they have with us, they update us, they listen to us. I recommend KinderCare to everyone I know who is having a baby. I honestly cannot say enough good things about these individuals and how they work to care for my children.
I could write volumes on these people and this KinderCare in particular. But to conclude, I thought I would let you know what my son said about his teachers during teacher appreciation week. I asked him, “What should we write on this card? What do you want to say thank you for to your teachers?” After thinking about it he said, “Thank you for not biting me.” See? These truly are the kindest, most caring individuals I know and clearly they can be trusted with our most valuable treasures.”
The D. Family - KinderCare Parent
Our experience with KinderCare has been very rewarding. Throughout the past four years, we have had the experience with three different KinderCare facilities due to moves across the country. Each time we looked to KinderCare without hesitation as our day care of choice. KinderCare staff have always been extremely helpful, friendly, professional, and supportive of our family. The curriculum that KinderCare offers is amazing and has given our daughter and son the tools they need to excel in their development. I am amazed at the growth both my children have made and do believe I owe a lot to the staff at KinderCare. Since the drop off when my daughter was six weeks old, I shed my tears, and also shed many more when we had to move each time. I have found a family with all of the KinderCare facilities, and value their programs and teachers without waver. I was amazed at the book that was put together with all of the activities my daughter had done from six weeks to 24 months prior to our first move. My husband had been deployed and had missed a great part of my daughter’s development, which he was able to look back on and see with this book. I still shed tears when I look back on how much she has grown.
As we traveled cross country from Washington to New Jersey, we enrolled my daughter again in KinderCare for a few months before our final transition to Kansas. The New Jersey KinderCare welcomed us with open arms and my daughter finally had the opportunity to be in a class with lots of little girls (Washington was all boys). We are very grateful for the ease of transition for both me and my daughter. Her new brother had arrived and we were still awaiting Daddy’s return. It was a busy few months but we prevailed and finally moved on to the next chapter in our life Kansas.
We were not able to start our journey in Kansas at KinderCare. Yes, I am still trying to recover. However it didn’t take long before some spots opened up and we were able to send both of our children there. But the time apart was when I noticed how much my daughter really learned at KinderCare and how she would progress with the curriculum that was in place. The daycare our kids were in prior was nothing more than a glorified babysitting service and this was brutal. I am a person who thrives on learning, and not seeing progression in my children or my daughter or son bringing something home to show me what they learned was difficult. We were so happy when we finally got our feet in the door at KinderCare.
Overall our experience has been wonderful and I do encourage others to check out KinderCare and their offerings. I was that person who always said I would never use KinderCare before I was a parent because I wanted something more personal like a home daycare. I could not have been more wrong. I have had nothing but a great experience and am looking forward to the next few years to come. We love our KinderCare family!”
Kelly - 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.