Meet Colleen Freeman, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2023
Education: Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling
Favorite Children's Book: Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Meet Colleen Freeman! She is the Center Director at Candlewood KinderCare in Omaha, NE. Colleen attended Joliet Junior College where she earned an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Lewis University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, and Grace University where she earned a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. She is currently earning a PhD in Organizational Psychology as well. She joined the KinderCare team this year, and before that she was a teacher. Outside of work, Colleen enjoys going to arcades and waterparks, and spending time with her family and dogs. Her favorite quote is, "Do not wish to be anything but what you are and try to be that perfectly."
Candlewood 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.)
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!
“ Like many parents who struggle with daycare options, I was overwhelmed. My wife and I narrowed our list down to three after a long search. While she was focused on our daughter's ability to express herself and grow artistically, I was more concerned about the quality of education. With that in mind, I was also a bit scared by the weekly cost of attendance. With that said, I would pay the weekly amount again and again if asked! Not only was I impressed immediately with the quality of education, we took it a step further and enrolled our daughter in phonics and later in math. She knows a few words in Spanish, can count to 100 on a regular basis, has embraced the rule structure that will be needed in kindergarten, and made lots of friends. Ms. Holly and Ms. Ally are not only great teachers, but great people. My daughter will truly miss them next year. I cannot forget to mention the Director Lee-Ann and and Assistant Director Geoff. I have never seen people in such positions know the name of every child and take a interest in their well-being. Oh, and they are completely approachable and will always work with you about anything. In summary, despite my initial concern about cost, I would repeat this experience for my daughter in a heartbeat and know she will miss her teacher and friends. Do not forget: If education is what you are most concerned about, you cannot do better than Kindercare at Candlewood!Show more
“ Ms. Kristi is wonderful and truly deserves to be honored. She takes time out every day to chat with me since we are part time and do not always have a clear picture of what happens at school. She is always willing to share the day's news, and makes sure to have a report written for us in addition to her verbal report. I've seen our son grow so much since he started a mere four months ago. He absolutely adores Ms. Kristi. She has such enthusiasm and patience. I don't know how she does it with all those boys! I am very grateful to have her as my son's teacher.Show more
“ Monday through Friday, we get up out of bed to get ready for school. I ask my daughter: “Wanna go see Ms. Sue?” She replies “Yes, Mamma!” with great enthusiasm. It’s such a comfort knowing your child is so well taken care of. Ms. Sue welcomes my daughter every day with a hug and a big smile! Ms. Sue is so patient and calm with all the children, and her room runs like clockwork. She takes the time to write my daughter's favorite part of the day on her sheet. Most of the time as I read what she wrote, it puts a big smile on my face and I can see my daughter doing it right then. As working mothers, we miss out on so much, so it really makes it easier knowing they are having so much fun at school. We listen to our music CDs every day to school and back home. My daughter is now singing songs to her baby sister and looks forward to music each and every Friday with Lacy!Show more
“ My son is thriving at Candlewood KinderCare! Last summer we had him enrolled in a Montessori program. He cried every day. It broke our hearts. This summer is a completely different story! He loves KinderCare, his teachers, and his friends. He looks forward to going every day. He loves the field trips and other fun activities. It is extremely comforting to know he is happy and well cared for when he is not with us. Thank you, Candlewood KinderCare, from the bottom of our hearts! We'll see you next summer!Show more
“ My kiddos have been attending Candlewood KinderCare since July 2010. We are so grateful to have found such a wonderful place for our children! We know our children will be well cared for and provided with an early education atmosphere, which will more than prepare them for kindergarten. The staff at Candlewood are all amazing people who really take the time to get to know the children and the parents. They do an awesome job working with the children, from learning to walk to learning the ABC’s. I know we never would have survived our potty training days without them! The staff is very understanding and willing to work with parents on everything. They truly do have the best interests of our children in mind. It is such a relief knowing we do not need to worry about our children when we are at work.Show more
“ My experience with Candlewood KinderCare has been wonderful. My three oldest children attended one summer while I was expecting my fourth child. I immediately noticed the cleanliness of the facility, which is huge for me and the whole “daycare” experience. The other wonderful thing was the education the faculty has to have to work with the children that attend. I feel anyone who works with children needs to be trained to do so. These factors contributed to my decision to place my new baby in the care of the Candlewood KinderCare. The acting Director at the time was fantastic. She was understanding and knowledgeable about everything concerning daycare. She actually cared about the family as a whole. She made the facility very “homey.” I was afraid things would change dramatically with the new Director as far as how clean and accommodating the faculty was. I’m thrilled to my ears that things haven’t changed; they have, in fact, exceeded all my expectation. Deborah Clute is doing a fantastic job!Show more
“ After an exhaustive search for the best learning center for our kids three years ago, we discovered Candlewood KinderCare. Three years later, we couldn't imagine a better place for our kids. The staff is very professional and maintains a core group of teachers who have remained there since we started. Our children look forward to each and every day at "school." The best compliment we can pay Candlewood KinderCare is that we don't worry about our kids when they are there. We know they are in a safe, kid-friendly learning environment that fosters imagination and self-confidence.Show more
“ Making a choice around your child’s care is a very stressful and difficult decision to make! However, my husband and I feel so fortunate to have found a daycare like Candlewood KinderCare to bring us peace of mind. While I cannot wait to pick up my sweet girl at the end of each day, it helps knowing she enjoys her time here and the affection she has for the staff. It warms my heart seeing the staff’s interactions with her and I cannot rave enough about how genuine they are! The staff is extremely friendly and updates me on what progress our daughter is making or silly things she did throughout the day. It definitely feels like a team effort (strong parent/teacher communication). I cannot stress enough how much it means to find a center that is clean and organized. We actually had our daughter enrolled in a different center prior to Candlewood KinderCare. After about a month, my gut was telling me something wasn’t right. Cleanliness and organization were the primary reasons we left the other center and Candlewood KinderCare is leaps and bounds ahead in these areas. I would absolutely recommend Candlewood KinderCare to any family seeking care for their children. The staff and facility continue to find ways to improve and impress me.Show more
“ I have been a part of the KinderCare family for 7 years! My oldest is 9 and has been attending since he was 2. My youngest 2 children are 2.5 and have been at Candlewood since 12 weeks old. I'm a health care professional and had so much anxiety about being on the front lines and having my child care disappear but the Candlewood family has been with us every step and made sure that I was able to focus on the impossible task facing hospitals while my children were being expertly cared for!This last week brought me to new appreciation for the depth of expertise and quality of characters of the employees you partner with. The Assistant Director of our center has been off-site assisting another center for 6 weeks. Although we love Ally and miss her dearly, we have felt no change in the quality of care. Then, this last week, our Director had to quarantine leaving the center in the care of non director level staff. I am an in-tune parent who knows almost every staff member by name and my children can sense changes in care... however, the Program Director, Traci, met me with a smile at the door, she was friendly and never let on that the center might be stressed. I had called during the week to discuss changes in my school agers school schedule and had billing questions regarding the changes. All my questions were answered on the spot without hesitation. I had my school ager signed up for unplanned days an had a plan for billing all without ever needing to speak to a director as the program specialist was able to answer everything! I just want to give a huge shout out to Traci and the entire staff for making what I would assume would be a stressful transition/week not impact childcare, quality or delay in answers! We Love KinderCare!Show more
Frequently Asked Questions
What accreditations does KinderCare have?
Do you offer part-time schedules at Candlewood KinderCare?
How does naptime work at Candlewood 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.