Our Non-Profit Child Care Center in Joliet, IL

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide a safe, loving, and comfortable educational environment for all children and to offer sound educational programs and extended daycare that will benefit the child, the parent, and the community. Social adjustment is most important. This includes learning how to share, how to get along with others, how to deal with emotions, and developing a good self‑image and building self‑esteem.

Our Philosophy

We believe in the education and nurturing of young minds will help them excel in kindergarten and beyond. We know from experience that learning can and should be fun and have developed programs and a curriculum that children will enjoy and greatly benefit from.

We believe in the need for a wholesome, safe environment for the children and in non‑competitive free play, which encourages children and gives them the opportunity to build a sense of independence and self-esteem.

Within the Center's daily schedule, each child has opportunities to create and explore the environment, to learn problem-solving and personal-interaction skills, and to learn these concepts through first‑hand experiences.

We believe that children develop a positive self‑concept through a balance of self and teacher-directed activities. Opportunities for solitary play as well as group activities are provided.

The children's teachers serve as positive role models and provide care that is supportive, nurturing, warm and responsive to each child's needs. We respect parents as the primary and most important provider of care and nurturing. We believe parents and teachers are partners in children's care and education.

About the Director, Carla Poindexter

- 12 years of experience in the early childhood education and childcare industry.
- 11 years in childcare industry administration.
- Master's degree in Early Childcare Education from the University of Phoenix, with an emphasis in early childhood education.

Meet the Staff

All of our teachers are caring and concerned about each child and family we care for. They are dedicated to making sure each child has wonderful experience and that learning is fun. Our staff is the heart and soul of TFIL. All of our staff is trained in CPR, First Aid, and Early Childhood Education.
Christine Crater
Ms Tina is our director and also the lead teacher in our Babyland room. She's been in the childcare field for 29 years now and has an associates of science degree. When she's not working she enjoys baking and spending time with her husband and three children.
Stephanie Selefski
Ms Stephanie is our assistant director and lead teacher of our Barnyard classroom. A graduate of Joliet Junior College, she earned her Teacher Assistant Associates Degree, which included over 90 credits of education and early childhood development courses. She has worked in the preschool and daycare setting for 7 years, utilizing her training and passion to work with young children. Stephanie's lifelong dream has always been to teach, especially young children.
Toshiko Ward
Ms Toshiko is lead teacher in our Ocean Pals class room.
Winter (Bella) Monegan
Ms Bella has been with TFIL for 13 years. She is Ms Toshiko's assistant in Ocean Pals. Ms. Bella has a real passion for childcare and it shows through her kindness and free spirit.
Genie Monegan
Ms Genie is Ms Stephanie's assistant in Barnyard Buddies. When she's not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Jackie Otero
Ms Jackie is our office manager.
Our staff is required to complete 15 in-service hours each year. These are hours that log continuing education classes or training. Our staff also participates in regular continuing education classes. Continuing education is any type of post-secondary education. Ever-evolving education is important in keeping up with the latest technology and education which keeps our skill set sharp and fresh.
Our staff has multiple years of experience, almost 80 years combined!
  • Carla Poindexter (11 yrs.)
  • Christine Crater (29 yrs.)
  • Stephanie Selefski (7 yrs.)
  • Bella Monegan (11 years)
  • Toshiko Ward (5 years)
  • Genie Monegan (4 years)
  • Devonda Brooks (1 year)
  • Jackie Otero (7 years)