Family & Pets

Top Day Care In St. Louis

January 10, 2014 7:00 AM

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Waving goodbye to your little one for the first time is very hard — but knowing you’ve chosen the best care for your child makes letting go easier. Plan on spending at least twice as much time selecting day care as you would spend choosing a car to buy. Begin with location, choosing a center that’s close to your home or work, or located between the two. Look for a center that reflects your values as a parent. Some focus on academics while others are more interested in emotional development or interpersonal skills. Also consider your child’s specific needs. Some children respond well to structure, for instance, while others do well with more freedom. Here are some of St. Louis’s best centers.

sappington Top Day Care In St. Louis


Sappington Child Care Center
9915 Emil Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63126
(314) 843-4971

The folks at Sappington ought to know a bit about child care. They’ve been doing it for over 40 years. The half-day and full-day preschool programs at Sappington are divided into three age levels and designed to build the skills kids will need to succeed in school. Before- and after-school programs are offered for kids in kindergarten through grade five, with snacks and supervised homework time. If you’d like a spot in the Center’s coveted summer day camp, apply early. Registration opens in January.

downtownchildrenscenter Top Day Care In St. Louis


Downtown Children’s Center
607 North 22nd St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 621-1131

chesterfieldchildrenscenter Top Day Care In St. Louis


This innovative non-profit co-op center serves children whose parents live or work in the downtown area. It was founded in the late 1970s by a coalition of small businesses and parents with input from universities and the financial support of some of St. Louis’s biggest players. Small class sizes, experiential learning activities, a high-quality nutrition program and a strong sense of community make the Downtown Children’s Center one of the best in the area.

Chesterfield Children’s Center
16629 Wild Horse Creek Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017
(636) 519-9040

If you live in the far western suburbs, Chesterfield Children’s Center might be the best choice for you. The program, housed in an elegant facility near Baxter Road, aims for academic excellence in early childhood. Parents of toddlers through pre-K students receive reports twice a year documenting their children’s academic and interpersonal development. Chesterfield also offers optional fee-based gymnastics, computer, dance and music classes.

Related:  Top Circus Experiences In St. Louis

websterchildcare Top Day Care In St. Louis


Webster Child Care Center
624 Lohmann Forest Lane
Webster Groves, MO 63119
(314) 968-3189

Webster Child Care is another 40-year veteran in the child care industry. Webster is located on the Laclede Groves campus. This Center prides itself on teacher/student ratios that are better than the state licensing requirements and on its practice of letting children interact with others outside of their age range. Classrooms are made up of mixed age groups to better simulate a natural sibling or ‘village’ environment, plus there’s an Intergenerational Program with the Laclede Groves senior living center. This Center even offers a scholarship program for families in need.

brightstateacademy Top Day Care In St. Louis


Bright Start Academy
9636 Midland Blvd.
Overland, MO 62236
(314) 426-3676

Out in St. Charles, Bright Start Academy should be the child care of choice. The program, which has been repeatedly voted Best Child Care in St. Charles County, is designed to be flexible and informal, allowing time for child-directed learning as well as teacher-directed activities. The Center is especially safety conscious, with a sealed floor that is disinfected daily to reduce the spread of illness, multiple closed-circuit security cameras, a motion detector outside, automatic door locks and lots more. If security is your top priority, this is the perfect day care center for you. 

Related: Top Railroad Experiences Near St. Louis For Kids

Lauren Haas was the founder and publisher of The St. Louis Area Family Gazette magazine, and editor-in-chief of Marketplace Magazine. Now, Lauren is a full-time freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Contact her at

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  • How To Find The Perfect Babysitter « Y98

    […] First Impressions Are Important What kind of vibe do you receive from the teachers/daycare providers? How are they interacting with the kids? That’s the next big thing to observe and the most important element in providing a secure atmosphere for kids to settle into while away from home. Do the teachers greet you warmly when you arrive?  Do they engage you, and your young ones, in conversation? They should, according to Gladiex. Every effort should be made to make you feel like your visit is welcomed and that they want you to feel comfortable to come back. And how, exactly, are they engaged with kids? Are they working with them, on their level, instead of in the background observing? A one-to-one interaction with kids is the best way to help create a more stimulating environment for kids to grow and learn. Include The Kids Gladiex feels the best way to assure the right fit for you and your child, when considering your childcare options, is to include the kids during the facility visits. And definitely don’t choose a facility without a physical tour. A word of mouth recommendation from trusted friends is a wonderful and important factor in selecting a provider, but should not be the only factor in your decision-making process. What’s right for one family may not be right for another, and there is no substitute for hands-on vetting when selecting child care for your loved ones. Follow the cues of your children, pay attention to how they respond to the environment. Trust your gut, and your child.Related: Top Day Care In St. Louis […]

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