Karen Grabow, Center Director
Meet Karen Grabow, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 1988
Education: Associate's Degree in Science
Favorite Children's Book: The Little House
Meet Karen Grabow! She is the Center Director at KinderCare McHenry in Illinois. She holds an associate degree from the College of Lake County. Karen has been with KinderCare for thirty-three years now. Her favorite quote is “Enthusiasm is contagious, be a carrier.” -Susan Rabin and Barbara Lagowski. In her words, “I think we need to remember that we set the tone of our center, and we need to make it exciting to be here.” Outside of work, Karen likes to read, go to the beach, and watch her grandchildren play.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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!
To all who have had an influence on my daughter, Kelli, I just want to let all of them know it is appreciated to the fullest. She learned a lot being at KinderCare and enjoys coming here very much. Everyday I ask her did you have fun not one day in three months has she said "no". That makes me feel very good about bringing her here. The songs they teach the kids are so cute-she performs them for everyone. You all do a very good job! (Kelli has only one problem - she says you have carrots and beans everyday! I laugh, but who knows, maybe someday she'll try them and like them.)”
Stacey S. - KinderCare Parent
To all the Teachers and Director for KinderCare,
Thank you for working with Jessica and making her feel comfortable, confident and happy away from home while Mom and Dad worked. It was such a relief to know she was in good hands. Mostly thank you for your enduring patience in working with Jessie and realizing her limitations and special needs. She's gained so much confidence in her short time with all of you.”
Bonnie B. - KinderCare Parent
My son Xavier has learned so much at KinderCare. They have taught him a lot! This place is great and very hands on!”
Stephanie M. - KinderCare Parent
We had bad experiences at daycares in the past including neglect, so I was very concerned about leaving my child at KinderCare. Not anymore. My son has been attending the McHenry KinderCare since September. The staff is wonderful! I never question what went on during the day. His teachers always keep me up to date. Miss Karen and Miss Tangee are awesome! They have been so amazing and are so helpful. Everyone makes us feel like they are part of their family. My son's pre-school teacher even made a comment about his progress since attending KinderCare. Last year he was behind and there were concerns, but this year, he has excelled. We are very lucky to have found such a wonderful and trusting place for my son to be!”
Danielle E. - 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.