Melissa Overland-Mckay, Center Director
Ages: 6 weeks to 5 years
Our center is accredited by NAEYC.
Meet Melissa Overland-Mckay, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2022
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Administrative Education, Associate Degree in Child Development
Favorite Children's Book: The Rainbow Fish
Meet Melissa Overland-Mckay! She is the Center Director at University City KinderCare in San Diego, CA. Melissa attended Arizona State University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Administrative Education, and Grossmont College where she earned an Associate Degree in Child Development. She has been with KinderCare for one year, and before that she was a program director. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys being outdoors, going to the beach, exploring San Diego, and spending time with her family. Her favorite quote is, “Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.” - John Wooden
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.
University City 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Music and 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!
We have now been with KinderCare for nearly 5 months. We have been very pleased with all Carter has learned and how his class has been managed. Additionally, we have been very pleased with the meal plans, nap schedule and enrichment classes. His teacher has worked with us in encouraging Carter to eat in their family style mealtime and has had a lot of success – one of Carter’s new favorites is now veggie soup! At one point this fall, Carter decided he didn’t want to nap any more. We worked with the teacher and had excellent results – not forcing nap, but allowing quiet time. We can’t believe how much he has learned in such a short time.”
Angela J. - KinderCare Parent
Our son Briggs has been enrolled in KinderCare since September of 2011. He loves his music class he’s enrolled in, as I hear him singing his favorite tune of the day on our ride home. He also loves to play outside with his friends, sing his ABC’s, count to 10, read stories and relay anything new taught to him, all of this due to his teachers here at KinderCare. I could name those individually and list all of the T.L.C shown to Briggs in his 9 month experience but, I would be naming everyone because the entire staff has shown care, unwavering patience and an interest in making him comfortable. For that I will be eternally grateful.”
April T. - KinderCare Parent
I have been with KinderCare since Wyatt was under a year old and my experience has been wonderful. Wyatt is always happy when I pick him up and has been learning more independence and enjoying playing with the other children. Although, Wyatt only attends part time I can see the advancement in his day to day activities. The toddler room is always clean and I feel my son is in a safe environment.”
Roxanne G. - KinderCare Parent
Our daughter has attended University City KinderCare since she was 15 months old. We have watched her grow and thrive under the supervision of wonderful and caring teachers. The Management staff has always been very positive and helpful if we have had concerns or questions. It is a relief to know that when I drop her off in the morning she is in a safe and nurturing environment with individuals who truly care about children.”
Mary - KinderCare Parent
Dear Prospective KinderCare Parent: I recommend KinderCare UTC without reservation! My daughter has thrived in the Prekindergarten classroom with Ms. Amanda and Ms. Gladys, and she adores the other teachers and staff too. As for results, she has just slam-dunked her Kindergarten assessment for Fall. I know with certainty that this is the result of her having been at KinderCare since last September because the trajectory she had been on would not have been so successful. I came to KinderCare as a skeptic of centers, and yet I have been thoroughly satisfied with the abundance of the very qualities I had thought I wouldn’t find: personalized, loving, thoughtful care; skilled, knowledgeable, and patient providers; an engaging, orderly yet varied and stimulating environment; and consistent peers for friendships and social skill learning. Since she was a baby, she had been in very small and good caregiver situations, but I had clung to outdated myths about larger centers and as a result, I gradually tolerated more and more aspects of her care that were less than ideal. Then, one week my caregiver situation abruptly fell apart. I am so glad that moment brought us to KinderCare UTC! I only wish we’d come sooner. Before she started last September she had been spending her days with several children significantly younger, from six months to two years younger. As a result she wasn’t being challenged by peers and was still just scribbling on paper and making the best of playing “big sister.” Within about a week after starting at KinderCare she was writing her name! She loved being with kids her own age, made friends, learned from them, and adapted to and even seemed to like the structure and the classroom, meal, bathroom, and playground routines. She seemed happier and more capable every week. She has benefited from genuinely caring relationships with her teachers—not only her classroom teachers, but also the other caregivers, teachers, and directors, all of who I have observed to be resiliently consistent with compassionate, friendly, caring approaches to the children. My daughter is a handful! She’s high energy and remarkably tenacious with pursuit of her ideas and preferences, and yet they have welcomed her and helped her to bloom into being herself, as well as acquiring and practicing many new skills for getting along, participating with peers, and communicating respectfully and effectively. I also have been grateful for the excellent, responsive center management of Director Beth Hall and Assistant Director Celida Diaz de Leon. When my daughter had a bout of naughty behavior with a friend, they heard my concern, took it seriously, and took swift action to minimize and extinguish it. Another time, staff managed to accomplish giving her doses of horrible tasting medicine (despite the flavoring) with exquisite compliance with the detailed needs like refrigeration and specific times for doses. Requests such as setting up to pay online or scheduling vacations are handled promptly. They have accommodated my daughter’s ovo-lacto vegetarianism. Plus the entire staff stages wonderful annual musical recitals, truly going above and beyond “just” providing good care. Good luck with your decision. It takes all of us in the village to raise our next generation!”
Sarah R. - KinderCare Parent
Our daughter has been coming to UC KinderCare since she was 21 months old. She will be five and entering Kindergarten in September 2012. She has gone from the toddler to prekindergarten classroom. UC KinderCare has provided a safe and nurturing environment for our daughter to learn and grow both socially and independently. All of her teachers have been great educators and take extra steps to care for their students. They put in tremendous effort in helping each child explore and develop various skills. We are very happy with the education and care that UC KinderCare has provided. She is now ready for Kindergarten. We have also started our three-year-old daughter at KinderCare a year ago to join her big sister. We found the flexible schedule of UC KinderCare extremely helpful as our work schedule and other obligations change occasionally. Also, the numerous KinderCare centers throughout San Diego helps make an easier transition if we were to move to a different area in San Diego. We hope this note will help you with your decision to come join the KinderCare family.”
Steve & Corine - KinderCare Parent
Now that our son is entering his final few months at KinderCare, I’d like to let you know how much he has enjoyed the programs, and how much we have appreciated the effort of all his teachers and the rest of the staff to keep him safe, happy, and stimulated over the past three years. The decision to hand over to another person or institution the responsibility of looking after your child is a major one, and one that is fraught with much anxiety. Our son started out in the toddler room, and the teachers there did an excellent job in helping him get used to saying goodbye to me in the morning. He was soon eagerly running in to play with his new friends, not minding when I left. The teachers talked to me every day about his activities and interests when I picked him up, and when I dropped him off in the morning I could tell them about any issues I wanted them to watch out for or be aware of. I really felt that although I was away at work, I was still very involved with his care and activities during the day. Our son has done so well while at KinderCare, both socially and intellectually. He has made lasting friends who he misses on the weekends when he is not in school, and he is bursting with new things to tell me that he learned during the day when I pick him up in the evening. He has been fortunate to have had some outstanding teachers who have stimulated his curiosity and creativity, especially Ms. Brittni, Ms. Erica, Ms. Gladys and Ms. Amanda. I know that he will miss his KinderCare teachers and friends when he starts Kindergarten in the fall, but I am sure that his experiences at KinderCare will enable a smooth transition to Kindergarten in the fall. He is very well prepared to face new challenges and meet new teachers and friends. I would be happy to discuss our experiences at KinderCare with any parents considering placing their children there. Thanks again for providing such a warm and stimulating environment for our son.”
Linda M. - KinderCare Parent
It is our great pleasure to write about our experience with University City KinderCare. Our daughter has been learning full-day, five days a week in the infant class since February 2012 when she was five months old. Based on the four months of experience with University City KinderCare, we highly recommend the center to those parents who are looking for a responsible, loving, and quality care provider in La Jolla/UTC areas. First of all, we are happy with KinderCare because our daughter looks happy with them. Every morning when we drop her off at the center, teachers give us friendly greetings, and my daughter smiles back to them. We regard this as a sign that she receives loving care at the center. Caring infants requires energy, patience, and skills. We believe that it can only be achieved at high levels based on love to children, and that it is what all the cares given at the center stem from. It is worth noting that since she started to come to the class she has been learning from the same teachers. This not only allows her to be familiar with and to trust the teachers, but also allows them to know her well enough to offer personalized care. Second, we like their flexibility on the curriculum. Every family and child is different, especially when a child is young. Therefore, their ability to accommodate a wide range of drop-off and pick-up times, meal plans, sleeping schedules, and so on, is invaluable. Teachers here strive to find the best solution for every child so that each child enjoys comfortable and enriching days for his/her development. They pay careful attention to our daughter, have good knowledge about child health care, and are always happy to tell us how our daughter spent her day. Because she is our first child, their suggestions as well as their openness to our requests and concerns have been particularly helpful for us. Overall, we feel that our daughter is in a safe, healthy, and joyful environment.”
Takeo & Kazumi K. - KinderCare Parent
Our son has been at KinderCare since he was three-and-a-half years old. He is now in Kindergarten and we use KinderCare for before- and after-school care. Carter loves the site and the staff. I have been very impressed with the daily homework help. Carter is thriving.”
Angela and Travis J. - 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 University City 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 University City 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.