Sandy Jenner, Center Director
Meet Sandy Jenner, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2019
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Art Education, Master's Degree in Early Childhood Administration
Favorite Children's Book: Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp
Meet Sandy Jenner! She is the Center Director at Phillip Road KinderCare in Vernon Hills, Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education, and National Louis University, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Administration. She also holds various director, early childhood, and infant/toddler credentials. She has been with KinderCare since 2019, and before that she was a director. Outside of work, Sandy enjoys spending time outdoors and with her family. She also loves animals of all kinds and has many pets at home and in the classroom.
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.
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.
Elementary School Distance Learning
Healthy bodies, happy hearts, growing minds. We make distance learning easy on your whole family! Our teachers are trained to facilitate safe and dynamic learning experiences online and in-person. Since every school has their own learning plan, we’ve added flexible enrollment options to meet your family’s needs. Whether you choose to enroll full-time, part-time, or before and after school, we’re here for you!
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!
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 had a great experience at the Phillip Road KinderCare! The baby room teachers were great--very warm and caring as were the other teachers we met. It was such a comfort to know that our baby girl was so well cared for (makes it so much easier for a first time mom to go back to work). We had to leave this location when she was seven months old due to my job relocating which was very sad for us but we would recommend this location to friends and family. Excellent baby care!!!”
Stacy H. - KinderCare Parent
My daughter, who is fourteen months, has been attending KinderCare in Vernon Hills on Phillip Road n the infant classroom for the past six months. As a new parent the idea of daycare was overwhelming and scary. KinderCare has more than met my expectations and I feel very fortunate to have my daughter attend. Every morning we are welcomed with a smile from the teachers and directors, who always make time to listen and discuss any changes or concerns I may have. The center is organized with a developed curriculum, which is shared through constant communication to parents. I look forward to pictures and art work I take home and proudly post on my refrigerator. I cannot thank KinderCare staff enough for the love and care they have provided not only for my daughter but for all the children they care for.”
Bethany B. - KinderCare Parent
My son Vincent, who is seventeen months old and has been attending your KinderCare since he was seven weeks old. As parents, we all wish that we would not need the services of a day care for our children but the reality is that some of us do and subsequently we are faced with the ever so important decision of finding a facility that will provide the love and care that they deserve. It gives us parents the peace of mind knowing that while we are away from them that they are being loved, that they are safe and secure and are learning to interact with other children of the same age group which is so important. KinderCare has more than met my expectations in these areas and I feel very fortunate to have Vincent at KinderCare. He loves the teachers that he has and loves the friends he has made. I cannot thank the KinderCare staff enough for the love and care they provide for my son Vincent and for all the children they care for.”
Parent - KinderCare Parent
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my daughter’s school, KinderCare. Its difficult to be working parents. We miss our daughter, Julia, throughout the day and count on her teachers to do really important things for her, such as feed her breakfast and lunch, teach her how to share and hug and kiss her when she falls down. The teachers at KinderCare have a way of making this very easy for parents. It is evident that the teachers and directors love our 18-month old daughter in a way that only family could.
When we first started at KinderCare, Julia was about five months old and in the infant room. At drop off, instead of putting her on the floor with a toy, Ms. April would take her out of my husband’s arms and hold her until she felt comfortable. It was so nice to know that she was going from one loving set of arms to another. When Julia started walking, she would go right up to Ms. April and give her a hug and kiss every morning. It showed me that Julia really felt a connection with her. Now that she’s graduated to the toddler room, Julia insists that we visit the infant room on our way out to say goodbye to Ms. April. She likes to blow her kisses through the window. Ms. April was also a great resource for us as first-time parents. She helped us understand how to get Julia to hold her own bottle, improved her nap schedule, made great suggestions when we introduced table food and coached us through the beginning of Julia’s temper tantrum stage. She always took the time to answer our questions and we were fortunate to be able to carry a lot of her advice over to what we were doing at home. Julia is also having a great experience in the toddler room with her new friends and new teacher, Ms. Emily. When it was time for Julia to transition, Ms. Emily took Julia into her room for special visits so that she wouldn't feel scared or intimidated. Ms. Emily understands that it is difficult for kids (and parents) to move into a room with no cribs, no pacifiers and no highchairs. She worked with Julia so that she felt comfortable falling asleep on a cot and sitting at a table. In fact, my daughter now sleeps better in the toddler room than she did in the infant room.
When I pick her up in the afternoon I see that Julia has a big smile on her face. The kids are often sitting in a circle, dancing, or even playing outside. In just a matter of months, Julia has started putting words together to make phrases. She counts to three, knows animal noises and can distinguish shapes and colors. Lastly, I cannot say enough good things about the two directors, Michelle and Jill. They are so communicative throughout the day. I never hesitate to email or call when I have a question or concern. Although I realize they are extremely busy, they always take the time to speak with me. It is clear they have a pulse on what is going on in each classroom. When I call to see if Julia is having a good day, Michelle can tell me how much she ate for lunch and what time she went down for a nap. They even send unprompted email updates with beautiful pictures of Julia attached. I am 100% confident that the women who work at the Vernon Hills KinderCare on Phillip Road love my child, and although it is hard for us to be away from her during the day, my husband and I know she is in wonderful hands.”
Parent - KinderCare Parent
I wasn't planning on putting my son in daycare however, my circumstances changed and I had to find a daycare that best fit my needs and budget. After researching different daycares I decided to stop by the KinderCare on Phillp Road. Good thing I did! Not only was the director, Michelle, nice enough to sit and speak with me without an appointment, I got to sit in the classroom with the infant teachers and get to know them! Before I enrolled my son I brought him to KinderCare a few more times to get him acquainted with his teachers and the other kids in his classroom which made me feel more comfortable on his first day. We love his teachers and this daycare!”
Valerie - KinderCare Parent
As a KinderCare parent for just over a year, I can say with confidence that each day my son spends in their care is to his benefit. He is always excited for school days and frequently speaks of his teachers and directors with great fondness. The KinderCare staff is friendly and welcoming. There is an obvious passion for their craft and they are just as excited to tell me about my son's day as I am to hear about it! I have found communication with the teachers and directors to be easy and accommodating regarding both simple everyday things and also with more difficult issues. They will always make time to talk and are quick to provide answers to question or information that I inquire about. I trust KinderCare completely with my son and am continuously impressed with the joy and knowledge he comes home with each day. I am proud to recommend to KinderCare to anyone searching for a place for their child to grow in love and education.”
Dani - 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.