Tirza Castro, Center Director
Meet Tirza Castro, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 2022
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Bilingual Education and Psychology
Favorite Children's Book: Corduroy
Meet Tirza Castro! She is the Center Director at Lakecook KinderCare in Wheeling, IL. Tirza attended Northeastern Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Bilingual Education and Psychology. She joined KinderCare this year. Outside of work, Tirza enjoys dancing and spending time with friends. Her favorite quote is, "One child at a time."
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.
Lake Cook 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.
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.
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.)
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 Lake Cook 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.
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.
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.
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.
How does naptime work at Lake Cook 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.
Is tuition support offered for Illinois families at Lake Cook KinderCare?
Child care is one of the biggest priorities—and expenses—for hardworking families like yours. We partner with state and local agencies in Illinois to provide tuition subsidies where we can, including the agency below:
There may be other available funding sources for families living in Wheeling, Illinois and we have subsidy coordinators standing by that can discuss potential solutions for your family. Even if you are not subsidy eligible there may be other options in Cook County to help with tuition.
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!
Hello my name is Raquel C,I would like to share my experience with the Kinder-Care that my 3yr old twins Jayden & Jordan attend. I am a single mother raising two 3yr old's, We moved from the city of Chicago to Wheeling, IL in May 2013. I started a new chapter in my life, but was very worried on whom would take the responsibility of caring for my little boys while I worked. I made various appointments with 7 or 8 local daycare's & visited 5 or 6 of them. I decided to put the boys into Kinder-Care located in Wheeling, I was very nervous and anxious the very 1st few weeks and so were Jayden & Jordan. The staff always made me & the boys feel very comfortable. I could drop in whenever I wanted, I could also call as many times as I wanted. As time went by I can honestly tell you, putting my kids at the Kinder-Care in Wheeling was one of the most humbling decisions that I have ever made for my boys and myself!! I went from calling 7 times a day to once or twice a week. the family (staff) at this Kinder-Care are the most amazing, caring, professional, family orientated people I have ever met, My boys get up every morning with the grace of God, asking to go to school (daycare) so they can have fun, count, color & most importantly LEARN. My boys are 3yr olds & they know their numbers, their colors, how to be respectful & are on their way to becoming responsible young men. I moved to wheeling with no family in my surroundings, and now I am truly blessed in saying that Kinder-Care is my family. A BIG THANK YOU FOR LOVING MY BOYS JUST AS MUCH AS I DO!!Signed,A Grateful & Worry Free Mommie”
Raquel C. - KinderCare Parent
Calling Kindercare my kids second home is an understatement. The way my kids feel about their teachers is pure adoration. I know if you asked either of them to list those they love, at the top of the list would be their teachers (and the directors). The care and attention they give to each child is amazing. We have been part of the Kindercare family for the past three and a half years…starting out in the infant room and now my son is in the 4’s room. What amazes me the most every single day is that they learn SO much…both children can count in Spanish (by the age of 2!) which I am just amazed by…. There are times when I will have the day off and ask them if they would rather stay home with me or go to school…nine times out of ten, they pick school…I even get scolded by my son when I pick them up early… To say that they love Kindercare is so true but honestly, I know that the teachers and directors there love my children and to a working mom, there is nothing better than feeling as if your kids are with family when you can’t be with them.”
Nina C. - KinderCare Parent
Over the last year and a half I have built a relationship with the Kindercare Center directors and staff. The expression, "it takes a village to raise a child" could not be more true in today's world. As a full-time working mom, I am often wrecked with the guilt of leaving a crying child or having to work when my child is feeling under the weather. The caring and nurturing staff at Kindercare works diligently to support me and my child. There have been innumerable times that I have had to have the staff administer medicine or breathing treatments to my child. Every time I have felt secure and confident that I am leaving my child in the best possible treatment. The staff loves and supports my daughter. The feeling is reciprocal. Two year olds can be fickle but when she comes home reporting love for her teacher and the center staff, I know that it is a result of the many hours and attention they provide to her. I feel blessed to have the support of such a capable, caring staff. I have received help and support from every staff member, I don't believe that my thanks will ever be sufficient. I just couldn't do it without their help. Again, I express my gratitude and many thanks.”
Nancy C. - KinderCare Parent
I was so nervous when I was searching for a daycare for my children. As an Early Childhood Educator, I had high expectations of where I wanted my children to attend, but also needed the place to be affordable. I was looking for a play based curriculum with some age appropriate academics as well. I can honestly say that this KinderCare on Lake Cook Rd. in Wheeling has by far exceeded my expectations! My children are learning in English AND Spanish! What an amazing gift that is! In addition to the learning, my children connected immediately with their teachers and the directors and there is a genuine care and concern that goes both ways. My son still talks about the teachers he had in previous years. As a parent, the peace of mind that I have knowing that my children are safe and happy at this wonderful center is truly priceless. This is a QUALITY daycare and that is something that I do not take lightly!”
Carly H. - 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.