Meet Debra Lipka, Our Center Director
At KinderCare Since: 1988
Education: Associate Degree in Science and a Bachelor's Degree
Favorite Children's Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Meet Debbie Lipka! She is the Center Director at Schoenbeck KinderCare in Wheeling, Illinois. Debbie attended William Rainey Harper College, where she earned an Associate Degree in Science. She also attended DePaul University, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree. She has been with KinderCare since 1988, and before that she was a teacher and an assistant director. Outside of work, Debbie enjoys reading, playing softball, having game nights, volunteering with Cub Scouts, and spending time with her family.
Schoenbeck 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.
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.
“ I have had my daughter Isabelle enrolled at Schoenbeck KinderCare for the past six years. I feel as though the KinderCare staff is an extended part of my family now. The center director, Debbie Lipka, is one of the most helpful people I have ever known. She has always helped me whenever I came to her for questions or guidance. I really love that the staff truly cares about the kids. It's not just a simple job for them, it is their career and life. All the teachers that my daughter has had over the years have taught her not only academically, but life lessons as well. The most challenging times I've had with my daughter was in Ms. Melody's room (Preschool classroom) and she was always so helpful in guiding me as a parent for things I can do at home to keep my daughter on the right track. Because of the wonderful staff at KinderCare, my daughter is excelling academically in her Kindergarten class and she has such a strong foundation to start her life! Thank you to everyone involved in helping my Isabelle grow into such an intelligent and social little person!Show more
“ Anytime you are looking for a child care center it can be worrisome. The staff at the Schoenbeck KinderCare have made our experience an absolute pleasure. Our 4 year old daughter loves the teachers and all the friends that she has created in her classroom. In addition to the excellent level of care she receives, the education in phenomenal. Caitlyn can spell, count, and use complete sentences with a large and vast vocabulary. This was our third attempt at finding a child care center we could call home, and we found it with this KinderCare. The director Debbie Lipka is a wonderful person who can help you with just about anything. The staff there treat you as if you and your family are part of their family and this is rare for a child care center. If you are looking for a place dedicated to your child, look no further. Thank you Schoenbeck KinderCare for being there for us!Show more
“ Our KinderCare is the best daycare in the world! We have been at the center for over seven years and we couldn’t be happier. There isn't anyone else that I would trust to take care of my children while I am at work. From the first time we came to scope out KinderCare, I knew we would like it. It smelled clean as you walked in the door and we were greeted so warmly-as if we were already part of a family. We were at another center for a few months and my son didn’t like it. I also didn’t like the dirty diaper smell and lack of a plan for the day's activities. I wanted my child to learn and grow while I was at work-the same things I would be teaching him if I didn’t have to go to work. I luckily found the perfect place for him - KinderCare. All the teachers are happy, you can see in every room, and it is clean and organized. They also have great extra programs you can sign your child up for-mine really liked cooking and music. I have two children enrolled-they are now School Age children. The one major bonus of KinderCare, was keeping them there for Kindergarten. When they went to first grade at the public school, they were way ahead of their peers. I am so glad that I made the choice to put my kids at KinderCare. They have cared for my kids as if they were their own. At our particular center, Ms. Debbie the center director has assembled a great team. The entire team/staff is always professional and courteous. We love Mr. Ryan, Ms. Melody, Ms. Janet, Ms. Scout, Ms. Lila, Ms. Ahoova, Ms. Susan, Ms. Tresa and well, everyone there is amazing! We have been very happy with KinderCare. I tell every parent that I come in contact with that KinderCare is the BEST! (And I see a lot of new soon-to-be parents every day at my work!)Show more
Frequently Asked Questions
What accreditations does KinderCare have?
Do you offer part-time schedules at Schoenbeck KinderCare?
How does naptime work at Schoenbeck KinderCare?
Do you support alternative diets?
Are meals included in tuition? Can I choose to send my child with lunch?
Does my child need to be potty-trained?
We're so proud!
AMERICA'S MOST ACCREDITED
What Learning Looks Like
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.
An Educator Dedicated to Making Readers
Soft-spoken, creative, and laser-focused on literacy, Alisha Jackson is a real role model for early childhood educators. “I am being the change I wish to see in the lives of children,” she says. Watch and find out how she helps children find a love of books and reading.
This Top Educator Teaches With Her Whole Heart
Music is learning. It lights up everything” says this award-winning early childhood educator. Attiya Mirza is particularly adept at using music to teach: She recorded a pop album in her native Pakistan and was also the captain of the Pakistani national cricket team (leadership skills are extremely helpful in a class full of three-year-olds)!
Gallup - Great Workplace Award
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.
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.
This Inspirational Family Puts Love First
Music to our ears. Meet the Bachmans, an all-American, multi-racial family from Chicago who show us all what love is really about.
A Family That is Busy with a Capital "B"
When both parents are professionals, carving out some family "together" time can be a serious challenge. See how the Dorazios do it—from Taco Tuesday to trips to the shore.