Jessica Gathercole, Center Director
Ages: 6 weeks to 12 years
Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Southeast Polk Community School District: Altoona Elementary, Clay Elementary, and Four Mile Elementary. Des Moines Public Schools: Pleasant Hill Elementary and Brubaker Elementary.
Our center is accredited by NAEYC.
Meet Jessica Gathercole, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2021
Education: Associate Degree in Business certification in Human Resource Management
Favorite Children's Book: The Giving Tree
Meet Jessica Gathercole! She is the Center Director at Pleasant Hill KinderCare in Iowa. Jessica attended Des Moines Area Community College, where she earned an Associate Degree in Business and certification in Human Resource Management. She joined the KinderCare team in 2021. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys gardening, volunteering, traveling, camping, and spending time with her family. "Every child is a different kind of flower, and together, make this world a beautiful garden."
AMERICA’S MOST ACCREDITED
We’re so proud!
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.
What Learning Looks Like
Our talented early-childhood teachers set kids down the path toward becoming lifelong learners in a positive, safe, and nurturing environment.
Pleasant Hill 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.
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.
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!
ABC Music & Me
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!
I just wanted to take a moment to share our KinderCare journey and also to say "Thank You" to our current director. Our family has been with Pleasant Hill KinderCare for the last six years. We have journeyed through four directors and the COVID-19 pandemic and I can truly say that the Center has emerged stronger than ever.
The Center's strength has much to do with the Center's new director, Jessica Gathercole. Upon her arrival, she took a shaken staff and fatigued group of parents in stride. She brought with her a positive attitude and a welcoming environment to make the Center bright and beautiful again :) I appreciate her spirit and care for all who enter the Center doors!!
As my youngest goes into her last year with KinderCare as she will enter Kindergarten, I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Center. Four years ago, with a 6 month old baby and a 2 year-old I embarked on an adventure to attain my PhD in Education. I could not have successfully completed this journey without the care provided by KinderCare. In order to balance working full-time and taking courses, I relied on the Center to take care of my girls while I studied. I would go to the library near the Center after work, study for a few hours, and then pick up my girls. Three years later, I completed my PhD and could not have done it without the Center's service. I never had to worry about my girls as I knew they were in good hands!
Thank you to all of the staff who have loved and cared for my girls! This has not been an easy time and I am grateful.”
Brittany B. - KinderCare Parent
I have been taking my child to the Pleasant Hill KinderCare now for two years and we love it. The first thing that you will notice about the Pleasant Hill KinderCare is the neighborhood; the center is in a very inviting location, surrounded by nice houses along the Pleasant Hill Lake. Once you walk in the doors, you are greeted with genuine smiles from Ms. Anna and Ms. Erica. They are wonderful; they truly care about our family and we certainly consider them, and my daughter's teachers, to be an extension of ours! Ms. Anna definitely has every child's interests in mind when it comes to staffing the building or making decisions regarding the safety, education and happiness of the children. The building is so clean and sounds of laughter and singing add so much sunshine to the building. The staff is professional and educated; many of them have furthered their education by obtaining college degrees and I know one of her previous teachers has been with KinderCare for ten years, which is amazing! The education and experience of the Pleasant Hill KinderCare staff sets this center apart from others in the area. My little girl has learned so much while attending the center. I love that her classroom has evidence of learning hung all around the classroom and that once the unit is over, we can take it home and put it in her scrapbook. My husband and I wanted the best education for our child. We definitely have set her up for success by enrolling her in KinderCare! I owe so much to the staff at the Pleasant Hill KinderCare!”
K.C. - KinderCare Parent
I wanted to let you know how thankful we are to the KinderCare staff...all of my child's teachers are amazing - they are so thoughtful and calm. They fill me in every day about something wonderful that my daughter has done - that means a lot to working moms and dads! We're aware that we're missing out on all the wonderful things our humans are doing during the day, so to hear that her favorite song is the ABC's or that she helped a friend up on the playground, is really special! I love that I don't have to worry about her during the day. I think of her often, but I'm able to picture her sitting on a teacher's lap reading a story, or painting a picture, or washing her own hands after trying to use the potty. I appreciate being able to tell them my concerns, and know that it will be handled. I giggle when a teacher who isn't even in my daughter's classroom tells me a funny story of her - how cool, that it's like a family! My kids are so lucky to have KinderCare. We extend our deepest and sincerest thanks!”
K.C. - KinderCare Parent
We enrolled our son, who is now 4, at KinderCare when he was about 8 months old. Our daughter is 12 weeks, and started there when she was 8 weeks. We couldn't be happier with the care, attention, and education that they provide our children. As soon as you walk in to the center, you are greeted with a smile. The director, assistant director, and the teachers know everyone by name and make time to ask about our day. It is so much more than just a daycare. It is a surrogate family for our children, while we have to be away for the day. I would love to be able to stay home with our kids, but since I can't, I'm glad that we have KinderCare. Without them, dropping them off every morning would be much more difficult than it is. I leave with a smile every day knowing that my kids will have a fun-filled, educational day with teachers that truly do love them. Any questions or concerns that we have are addressed right away, and they listen to us about what we want and expect for our kids. It's amazing all the things my son has learned there. Almost weekly he surprises us with something that we had no idea he knew. We have finally figured out to stop asking where he learned it, because his answer is alwasys, "at daycare!"”
K.C. - 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What accreditations does KinderCare have?
We are your trusted caregiver. Our centers are state-licensed and regularly inspected to make sure everything meets or exceeds standards, including child-to-teacher ratios and safe facilities. Our centers aren’t just licensed—most are accredited, too! Find out more.
Do you offer part-time schedules at Pleasant Hill KinderCare?
Everybody’s schedule is different. We’re happy to offer quality, affordable part-time and full-time childcare. Drop-in care may also be available. Reach out to your Center Director to learn more.
How does naptime work at Pleasant Hill KinderCare?
Our teachers meet every child’s needs during naptime. Our teachers know how to get babies to nap. In fact, they are pros at getting children of any age to nap. Visit our article on "10 Ways We Help Kids Get a Great Daycare Nap" to learn more.
Do you support alternative diets?
We strive to be as inclusive as possible. To that point, we provide a vegetarian option at mealtime, take care to not serve common allergens and can adapt menus based on your child’s food sensitivities. If your child has additional needs, we’ll work with you to figure out a plan.
Are meals included in tuition? Can I choose to send my child with lunch?
We provide nutritious meals and snacks developed by a registered dietician to meet the needs of rapidly growing bodies and minds. If your child has special dietary requirements and you would prefer to bring in their lunch, please make arrangements with the center director.
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
Every child begins toilet learning at a different age. Until your child shows an interest in toilet learning, we’ll provide diaper changes on an as-needed basis. When your child shows an interest, we'll discuss how to work together to encourage toilet learning.