CHANNAHON LOCATION Childcare Center and Preschool (Infant – 10 years old)

All staff hired at Little Learners are DCFS qualified and must clear fingerprinting to work at Little Learners. Little Learners hires staff that have degrees in ECE and/or attending the local colleges for ECE.

Meet the teachers: 

Ms. Leana – Center Director: Hi! My name is Leana Melville and I am the new Center Director. I am so excited to be partnering with you, so your child(ren) can have the best learning experience possible. A little bit about me. I have been in the early childhood field for 16 years and have been in management for the last 6 of those years. I did take this past year off to stay home with my 4 children, ages 10, 9, 2 and 1. When my wonderful husband asked me again, if I would like to stay home with the kids, I took him up on it. It was the best decision I had made. I now know what it’s like to be a stay at home mom. Even though I enjoyed being home with them, I missed going to work every day. I commend those stay at home parents. It’s not an easy task by any means. I love my kids to death, but this mamma is ready to get back to helping children and their families have the best learning experience they possibly can have.

I am very happy to start a new adventure here at Little Learners Children’s Academy. I am excited to partner with you, your child and your child’s teacher(s) to help give you the best experience you possibly can have. I believe that communication is vital to a successful partnership. With that said, I would love for our lines of communication to be opened. Please feel free to come to me with any questions, concerns or feel good stories you may have.

Ms. Sammie – Assistant Director/ Pre-K Teacher: Hi I’m Ms. Sammie! I’ve been at this location for a year in September, and I love all of the wonderful staff and families. I am currently the lead teacher in Preschool 2 which is the 4 year old room. I love every second of it in there. Prior to this I was a Lead teacher at another preschool for three years. I am currently working on my Bachelors in Elementary Education. I have always loved working with kids even when I was one! I love to read in my spare time; Harry Potter is one of my favorite series of books! I’m also a huge dog fan I have two of my own named Bob and Lulu.

Ms. Debbie – Infant Teacher: My name is Deborah and I am the lead teacher in the infant toddler room. I have lived in Joliet for the past 5 years. I have 3 children and 4 grandchildren that I am very proud of. I have an Associated Degree in Health Information and currently working on another degree in child development. I hold a sanitation license and first aid and CPR certificate. I am glad to have the opportunity to work with your children and teach them our curriculum here at LLCA.

Ms. Nikki – Infant Teacher: Hi, my name is Miss. Nikki and I’m very excited to be joining the Little Learners team! I will be the night teacher in infant room. I live in Braidwood where I graduated high school in 2009. From there I went on to college at Joliet Junior, where I received my Associates Degree in Child Development in 2013.My experience with children ranges from babysitting, volunteering, and working in a child care center. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and writing. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your children!

Ms. Marisa – Teachers Assistant (infant room):  Hello, my name is Marisa Williams. I am a teacher’s assistant at LLCA. I graduated from Minooka Community High School in May 2017. In high school, I took a child development class where children would come to our class and we would do hands on projects with them. I am currently attending Joliet Junior College to become a teacher. Growing up my mom owned a home daycare and I have babysat for many different families in Minooka and Channahon. In my spare time, I like to be with my friends and family and be outside. I am very excited to be a part of the Little Learners Children’s Academy and watch the children grow.

Ms. Blythe – Substitute Teacher: Hi, I am Miss Blythe. I am looking forward to being the substitute teacher at Little Learner’s. I was an Infant and Toddler teacher for approximately 9 years before going back to school to study X-ray and Mammography. I love children of all ages but really focus on little ones. I like to use art and music in my classroom because I believe that the arts are very important for learning.

In my spare time I love to hang out with my family, my husband, Jared, and my son, Stellan, who is in the 2 year old preschool room. We love to hike, kayak, camp, and play outside. I also like to cross stitch and read, when I’m not chasing Stellan around!

Ms. Kristina – Teachers Assistant (toddler room): Hello, my name is Kristina and I am the toddlers assistant teacher. I am so grateful and super excited to spend the majority of my day learning all about you and your children. It has always been my dream to work with kids and positively influence their lives in whatever way I can! I have been taking small steps to achieve my dream, which is owning my own preschool/daycare, by being a babysitter and nanny since I was about 12/13. Also, I have been an aunt since 2 years old and have been taking care of my three nieces since I can remember. For the past two years I have been working on my associates degree in psychology and minoring in business but I’m considering going for my CDA instead. I can’t wait to enjoy the year with all your beautiful children!

Ms. Krissy – Preschool Teachers (2’s): My name is Mrs. Krissy and I am one of the new teachers at LLCA. I have 14 years of experience working with children and am so excited for this opportunity. Some of my previous experience includes being a volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois’ Pediatric Classroom, babysitting, being a nanny, as well as being a tutor at the Coal City Elementary School. I grew up in Coal City but now live in Minooka. In my spare time I love spending time with my dog, Brantley, planning my wedding, and spending time with my future nieces. I can’t wait to get to know more about all of you!

My name is Ms. Bre and I am the Teachers Assistant in the 2’s room. Before starting at LLCA I was a lead site teacher in the YMCA’S Before and After school program. I love working with children and hope to get my teaching degree one day! When I’m not at work I enjoy playing with my 2 puppies, and spending time with my family. I look forward to getting to know all of your children.

Ms. Kristi – AM Preschool Teacher: My name is Kristi Laney and I am very excited to be your child’s teacher this year! We are going to do many FUN things, and of course we are going to LEARN a lot! I have lived in Minooka since 2004. I am married to my husband Mike, who is a Mokena firefighter. We have three wonderful boys, one will be in 5th grade this fall, while the other 2 are in high school. I attended Governors State University where I received my teaching certificate.

Before children, I worked at Head Start as a preschool teacher and in the social service field. I was a stay at home mom for 11 ½ years. I completed a long-term preschool sub position and worked the last 3 years as a special ed. aide in the public schools. I am so excited to be in preschool! When I am not busy planning lessons, you can find me reading, camping, spending time with my family or watching my kids play the sports they love.

Ms. Erin – AM Preschool Teachers Assistant: My name is Erin D’angelo and I am an assistant teacher for the am preschool class. This is my first year here! I am really looking forward to helping in this class this year! I have 3 kids. Cara is 16, Joey is 14, and Trace is 11. We live in Channahon and just love it here! My husband Joe and I have been married for almost 19 years! He is my high school sweetheart.

Ms. Hanna – Teachers Assistant (3’s): Hello, my name is Miss Hanna. I live in Plainfield. I have many years of experience with kids through school, church and I’ve also done babysitting. During high school, I took classes through Wilco Career Center. I was a teacher in the early childhood program there. I’ve also done many Mission trips through my church. This mission trip had skill camps where we worked with the children and taught them how to do crafts, hair, fish, drama, and other things. I am currently taking classes at Joliet Junior College. I am taking education classes and working towards my degree in early childhood education. My favorite thing to do in my free time is go shopping and eat out with friends and family.

Ms. Morgan – Teachers Assistant (Pre-k): Hello all! My name is Ms. Morgan, and I am an assistant teacher here at Little Learners! I am so excited to enjoy new fun adventures with the teachers and students everyday! I have worked with children of all ages since I was about 13 years old, and have loved it every second. I am bilingual and love to utilize my Spanish whenever I get the chance, and I am the older of two daughters. I am also married after being with my high school sweetheart and now husband for eight years. We eventually would love to have four children of our own (I know, we’re crazy right?!) But God willing, that dream will come true. Once again I am so excited to work with your little ones! Thank you for allowing me to help your child grow alongside my fellow teachers. God bless!

Ms. April – School age Teacher: Hello! My name is April Forneris. I am a substitute teacher/aid here at Little Learners. I am also a substitute aid at the Minooka elementary schools. I am a mom of two boys, ages 13 and 15. I have been married to my husband Jason for 18 years. We reside here in Minooka.

I was raised in Channahon along with my 3 sisters and 3 brothers. I helped my parents out by babysitting my younger siblings. I also babysat for other families in the area. I attended Joliet Junior College and received my Associate degree in Child Development. After working in daycare for 4 years and watching children in my home for a few years, I decided to take a break and focus on my children. Now that they are older I have returned to the work force to do what I enjoy doing, working with kids.

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, decorating, shopping, watching movies, and taking vacations! I look forward to spending time here at the center and getting to know your children.

Ms. Jacquie – Toddler Teacher: Hi! I am Miss. Jacquie and I am the new toddler teacher and I am so excited to be working with these children daily. I been working with children since right out of high school. I worked at a daycare center till the time it closed. After that I worked at a local school district for 18 years as a kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade aide. I loved to watch them grow and learn daily. I am a proud Aunt of 3 wonderful nephews, Cayden, Owen, and Colin and a step mom to 2 wonderful adult children. Tyler a graduate from SIU Carbondale and Madison that goes to Aurora University. I enjoy reading, making crafts and spending time with my family.

Ms. Jennifer – Toddler teacher aid: Hi Families! I am Jennifer Clower with 3 beautiful children. I did 2 years at GAVC in Morris working with different daycares and schools. I worked in a daycare in Channahon for 2 years. I have worked in the infant room and toddler room. My oldest, Destiny (11) is in volleyball this year and she is excited because she gets to travel. This is always been a dream of mine to work with children and watch them grow as their own person. My children are the center of my world and I am always doing something with them in my free time. My youngest, J’layla who will be 3 in March, currently goes here as well. My middle daughter, Tyana (9) is always outside doing something. It can be any activity, you can count her in. I’m excited for this new adventure in 2018.

Ms. Sarah – Threes Teacher: My name is Sarah and I am happy to be a part of LLCA as the Preschool teacher. I have been working in childcare and early education for most of my life. I have a combination of about 12+ years of experience working with and caring for young children. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education along with a Teacher Certification from Eastern Illinois University. I did my student teaching in both Preschool/Pre-K and 3rd grade. I am a wife and a mother of two children who are both attending LLCA. My son is in the Pre-K classroom and my daughter is in the toddler classroom. I also hold a Master’s Degree in English (Literary Studies) with a concentration in creative writing. In my past life before children, I enjoyed reading, writing and performing in local, community theatre groups. I have performed in many plays and musicals as well as served as a choreographer. These days life is more about family for me, but I hope to someday, get back to participating in the performing arts as a hobby. I am looking forward to all the fun and learning your children and I will experience together her at Little Learners!

Ms. Lindsay – Teacher Floater: My name is Lindsay. Currently I hold my A.A. in Psychology from University of Phoenix. This year I will be enrolling to an in state school to work on my B.A. and continue my education is Psychology. My all-time goal is to work in mental health with abused children of all ages. I enjoy working with children as well as watching them develop, expand their minds and find their own identity and personality. I do not have any children of my own but I do have three dogs that take up a lot of my free time when I am not working. I do have three nephews and one niece I am extremely close to. I am excited to be a part of LLCA and can’t wait to be a part of so many age levels of imagination, uniqueness, creativity, and personality.