Mariah Rakestraw-Kirk, Center Director
Meet Mariah Rakestraw-Kirk, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2016
Education: Director's Credential
Favorite Children's Book: I Love You, Stinky Face
Meet Mya (Mariah) Kirk! Mya is the Center Director of 12th Avenue KinderCare in Oklahoma. Mya holds a Silver-level Oklahoma Director’s credential. Mya has been with KinderCare since 2016 and loves it. Her favorite quote is "Let them be little." When she is not working, Mya likes to play any sport and coach youth sports.
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!
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.
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!
My daughter has been at this 12th Avenue KinderCare location for over a year, and our experience has been extremely positive. I have had a couple of very minor issues over the course of this time that were handled in a positive and professional manner. I really appreciate that the Director, Ms. Katherine, and the Assistant Director, Ms. Whitney, regularly check on me, my daughter, and the rest of our family. Every teacher is so genuine with my daughter that I know I can trust the staff to keep me informed of her progress. They notice and tell me about anything out of the ordinary right away in a kind and caring way. Also (and this was very important to me), the staff are very transparent about things that are going on in the center, such as a contagious illness with signs on the door. I appreciate this because it helps me be a more proactive parent, knowing ahead of time to look for signs of sickness and to keep my daughter home if I notice them so these illnesses are not spread around even more. I would highly recommend this care facility to any family in the area.”
Christina M. - KinderCare Parent
My two-year-old started at 12th Avenue KinderCare this past August (2016). I have been beyond happy with the facility and employees. He loves to go to "school," which means that he is happy and feels safe--the most important things to a mommy and daddy. I love that they stick to a routine and that my child isn't just being babysat, he is learning and he keeps busy all day! I feel that my child is respected and loved, and I couldn't ask for more from a daycare facility. Thank you, KinderCare!”
April B. - KinderCare Parent
12th Avenue KinderCare is one of the most organized facilities I've ever seen. The teachers are all very caring, they greet my child each morning and gives lots of hugs. I love that my child eats three healthy meals every day, has an hour a day to play outdoors, and has rest time. I always feel that my child is in good hands when I drop off at KinderCare.”
Z. T. - KinderCare Parent
My children have been attending 12th Avenue KinderCare for almost three years. Their teachers Ms. Jessica and Ms. Patricia show love and guidance every day to my children. My two-year-old has cultivated a love for playing music thanks to Ms. Patricia, who brought in a flute for the class. My four-year-old loves all the art that happens in Ms. Jessica's class and can't wait to bring it home for her dad to see. As a parent, I am so happy to have such a wonderful group of people to help mold my children into the wonderful individuals that they have become.”
M. M. - KinderCare Parent
Upon entering the 12th Avenue KinderCare center, I was nervous about my son attending somewhere new. It has been the greatest thing for us yet! His teacher is absolutely amazing with him. There isn't a staff member who hasn't been helpful and caring in his transition. I am so happy that we chose to come to 12th Avenue KinderCare!”
Whitney - 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.