Meet Maria Vargas, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2009
Education: Associate Degree in Early Childhood
Favorite Children's Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Meet Maria Vargas! She is the Center Director at Matteson KinderCare in Illinois. Maria earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood. She has been with KinderCare for thirteen years, and before that she was an assistant director. Outside of work, Maria enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite quote is, "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." - Dr. Seuss
Matteson 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.)
“ Nearly twenty-five years ago, I was fortunate to begin my professional journey at KinderCare Learning Center. While employed, I had the luxury of caring for children of various ages and stages, engaging with parents, working along-side dedicated staff members and learning skills that I would take with me on my future endeavors. Due to my work experience, there was no doubt in my mind that someday my children would be afforded the same opportunities that I had the pleasure of offering to other children. My first bundle of joy attended KinderCare in 1998 after I had to make tough decisions about returning to the workforce. Knowing what I knew about the quality of KinderCare’s brand, I had no hesitation in driving from Chicago’s city to the suburbs, twice daily, to ensure his child care needs. In 2007, my family was blessed with not one but two special “additions.” My boys were presented with special needs and after two failed enrollments at centers of convenience, I made simple sacrifices so that they could attend KinderCare Learning Center in Matteson, IL where I knew they would both receive the care and attention that they needed and where I knew that I would have peace of mind knowing that their safety, developmental, educational, and social-emotional needs would be nurtured. My boys are now five years old and enjoy all of the luxuries that KinderCare has to offer. They have the most fun with their “best” friends and simply love all of the KinderCare staff members. They have especially enjoyed summer camp, music and cooking classes, art projects , and believe it or not, the structured learning environment. Thank you KinderCare Learning Center for an awesome adventure!Show more
“ I have two boys who attend KinderCare Learning Center in Matteson, Illinois. I just wanted to express how pleased I am with the services that are provided for my children and I. It's a great feeling to know that when I drop my children off at KinderCare they will be cared for. My youngest son, 3 years old, is being taught in a school environment. He looks forward to going to KinderCare daily and even asks to go on the weekends. My oldest, 8 years old, enjoys being able to socialize with friends, and especially loves the summer program. Matteson KinderCare has a great staff that genuinely cares about every child that walks through their door. To them I am grateful for everything they have done for my children and I. Keep up the great work!Show more
“ I have two children that attend the KinderCare Learning Center in Matteson, Illinois. When I say this is the best KinderCare Center for your children to attend take my word for it. Every time you walk in the door you are welcomed with a warm smile from every teacher. The center is always clean and smell great which is very big for me and my husband to know our kids will be in a well kept environment. I also like how are children teachers keep us up to date in the KinderCare app about what are kids are during throughout the day from the time we drop them off to when they get picked up. My son who is being taught in the pre-k environment loves coming to school everyday and looks forward to learning something new each day. My 2 year old who is very shy and did not like talking to new people is a social butterfly now thanks to his teachers. The teachers really work with him on making new friends and with his speech to help him start talking. I would recommend this center to anyone. I am so grateful for everything they have done for my children, and say keep up the great work Matteson KinderCare!!!Show more
Frequently Asked Questions
What accreditations does KinderCare have?
Do you offer part-time schedules at Matteson KinderCare?
How does naptime work at Matteson KinderCare?
Do you support alternative diets?
Are meals included in tuition? Can I choose to send my child with lunch?
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Child Care You Can Trust
It’s More Than Daycare, It’s KinderCare!
Whether your child is just starting to explore the world or on their way to big-kid school, we have exactly what they need to foster their love of learning and build confidence. See proof that our Early Foundations® curriculum prepares kids for kindergarten, elementary school, and beyond!
Leading the way as America’s most accredited child care provider.
Meet Our Classroom Heroes
From ABCs and 123s to social-emotional skills and problem-solving, our amazing teachers build kindergarten readiness and Confidence for Life™.
See how they bring learning to life at every age and stage!
Babies Are Reaching New Milestones
Babies are giggling, wiggling, and exploring the world one tiny step at a time! In our infant classrooms, little ones are discovering language, experimenting with problem solving, and practicing social and emotional skills.
Toddlers Learn Through Creating, Playing, and Exploring
Toddlers are on the move! At this age, that’s totally normal as they learn and discover the world around them. In our toddler classrooms, they’re building confidence through creating art, learning their ABCs, imaginative play, and so much more.
Discovery Preschoolers Practice Independence
Discovery Preschoolers are channeling their creativity, learning how to express themselves, practicing motor skills, and experimenting with language and literacy in new, exciting ways.
Preschoolers Are Building So Many New Skills
Preschoolers are exploring science experiments, creating artwork, and playing pretend with friends. We’re also boosting literacy and social skills through letter-building and group art projects!
Teachers You Can Trust
When we say we’ve got the best teachers around, we really mean it. You can rest assured that every team member clears rigorous national and state background checks. Plus, our hiring process includes the Gallup® Talent Assessment to make sure we hire educators who have that special something it takes to work with kids.
7-time Gallup® Exceptional Workplace Award Winner
Every year we check in with our amazing team to survey how engaged they are, and for 7 years running we’ve earned the Gallup® Exceptional Workplace Award! We’re the first and only early childhood education provider recognized, and one of just four companies worldwide to receive the honor seven years in a row.
Peace of mind from pick-up to drop-off.
Child care isn’t just about caring for children—it’s about families and communities too! We’re committed to valuing the experiences and traditions you bring with you and honoring them within our community. Whenever you step through our front door, you’ll know that you’re in a place where your family is safe, happy, and celebrated for who they are.
Read on to see the KinderCare difference.
Stay in touch with the KinderCare App.
Find your partner in parenting.
Our teachers join forces with families to help kids become lifelong learners while building confidence to live happy and healthy lives.
Take a moment to watch a KinderCare teacher and mom chat about how we’re the ultimate partners in parenting.
Hear from families like yours.
When it comes to deciding on a child care center, we know there’s nothing quite like hearing from other families! Hear what Becky has to say about being a part of the KinderCare community:
“As a parent, I entrust my greatest blessing to the staff at KinderCare every day, and I am grateful for the loving care and guidance he receives. The teachers and director look at each child as an individual, with their own strengths and needs. My son has been blessed with awesome teachers who understand his challenges, and handle him with grace. My child has learned so much and continues to share with me the great activities that go on each day at "school!" Thank you to the KinderCare child care organization for an incredible early childhood curriculum that engages and teaches at all steps of the day, and a special thanks to Karen and her staff; they continue to do amazing works of ‘heart’ with all children.”
- Becky T.