Dina Schmalz, Center Director
Meet Dina Schmalz, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2004
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education
Favorite Children's Book: Harry Potter
Meet Dina Schmalz! She is the Center Director at Bay Meadows KinderCare in San Mateo, California. Dina attended Canada College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been with KinderCare since 2004, and before that she was a teacher. "Hope is the only thing stronger than fear." - Suzanne Collins. Outside of work, Dina enjoys hiking, painting, and knitting.
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.
Kindergarten Programs (5–6 Years)
Welcome to kindergarten: the gateway to grade school and everything that comes next! Offered in select centers, our kindergarten programs have small class sizes and curriculums that mix learning and fun. The basic building blocks of reading, writing, math, and science are key in kindergarten, so we make sure they get lots of practice in all of these areas.
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.)
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!
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'd just like to take a short moment to thank Bay Meadows Kindercare for doing such an amazing job. Every day I leave my child there he is happy to go there and looks forward to it with excitement in his voice. The teachers and staff are always smiling and there is a fantastic positive atmosphere.
I really feel like my child is safe in the facility because of the security provided, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to friends and family.
Michelle Morgan - KinderCare Parent
My son has been with Kindercare since he was 18 months old back in Seattle and I automatically decided him to transfer him to Kindercare when we moved to the Bay area- I picked Bay Meadows San Mateo as it was close to my work and now I'm so glad I did that- the center director/asst. director- Ms. Mimi and Ms. Jody are amazing when it comes to listening to parents and executing their requests in a prompt manner. I've always seen them to be very loving and caring towards kids as well. The day care itself is very organized, has very loving teachers and I love the routine they follow. My son's Kindergarten teacher Ms. Jasmine has always attended to my son's personal needs and my personal requests without a question. I decided to put my now 18 month old daughter in the same day care as well as I feels assured and confident that my kids will be well taken care of here and will grow as complete more educated and confident individuals. They have several summer activities that my son is always super excited about. They offer Phonics, Math, Music and Spanish classes and have several volunteer opportunities for parents to be involved in their classrooms. They organized a state based test for Kindergartners amongst all Kindercare centers and from what I was told this center really did well. I will recommend this center at a heart beat without any reservations to any one! Kindercare is one of the very few daycares that provides breakfast and lunch along with snack and for all those working moms out there I'm sure you will realize how important that is when you don't have to think what to pack every day. I would love to keep Kindercare as my long term aftercare program too but the only drawback is that they don't have a bus (yet) to pick up the kids from their school- I hope that's something they can start in the near future!”
Kokil C. - KinderCare Parent
My three-year-old currently attends KinderCare and she loves it. Our oldest daughter used to attend too over seven years ago, and her former teacher is now the Director. The Director is very helpful and accommodating.”
Heather S. - KinderCare Parent
This KinderCare is a great place. My daughter has been attending here for over two years now and we are very happy there. The level of service we get from everyone (director and teachers) is great. Mimi really listens to our concerns and is very accommodating to our needs. Together with the teachers, they have made us feel welcome since day one. My daughter loves her teachers and we love how nurturing and caring they are. During the two years my daughter has been attending I have been able to build relationships with some of the teachers and I trust them enough to even ask them to babysit on weekends when needed. They are not only concerned about my daughter's well being but also our own.
In addition, they have a great program; my daughter has learned a lot with them and I have noticed a great improvement in many areas.
I recently had a baby and she is going to daycare as well, but since this location does not take babies yet we had to put her in another daycare. It would have been easier for us to just transfer our older daughter to the new daycare, but she did not want to move. That tells us she is really happy where she is.
I would highly recommend KinderCare Bay Meadows to any parent.”
Isa G. - KinderCare Parent
I remember about one year ago, when searching for a daycare in San Mateo/Foster City, we came across KinderCare. We went through all available reviews online for day cares, including Yelp. While reviews here are mostly negative, we decided to give it a chance, considering they had a new administration. One year later, our now two-and-a-half year old son always runs from the car to his classroom, very excited to meet his little friends and spend the day with all the nice and friendly staff.
At the end of the day, he always share with us all the fun stuff they did, for example, learning about insects, ladybugs, having fun with the bubble lady, the jumpy house, etc. He regularly goes two days per week, however, when needed, they can accommodate for him to go five days per week.
We have no complains at all. One time he was scratched while playing with another kid.. that happens, and we got a full report of how it happened. No other incidents since then.
I was a little bit nervous about the meals. He has never had any stomach problems and based on the reports they feed them very healthy stuff.
Every day we are greeted by name. I can't thank enough the wonderful staff that really makes us feel safe, knowing that our son is in good hands. Ms. Janet, Ms. Noemi, Ms. Anna, Ms. Mimi, Ms. Aden and so many more names. Thank you all!”
Angel G. - KinderCare Parent
We decided that we wanted to get our 18 month old son into a more social environment after having a nanny share for almost 2 years. After touring and looking into several options the choice for us was clear, KinderCare! This truly is a place for learning and childhood development that is customized for each stage of your child's life. The teachers and center director are wonderful at Bay Meadows KinderCare. A typical day includes learning activities, meal time (all meals included bonus), nap times, and outdoor play. The staff sends you home with daily reports, so you know everything that your little one has been up to. Our son loves all of his new friends and after only 3 months his language & social skills are soaring. I really encourage anyone that is looking for an early education option to tour KinderCare today. KinderCare truly is not a daycare it is a learning center that prepares your child for school.”
Cealleigh M. - 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.