Child Development Director
1401 N. Midlothian Road
Mundelein, IL 60060
Big & Little Child Development Center is located on N. Midlothian Road, between Route 176 and Winchester Road (inside the Mundelein Community Center), in Mundelein.
Monday–Friday: 7 am–5 pm
Please note: Hours subject to change due to Covid-19.
Where learning is FUN! (for ages 2 to 6)
With more than 25 years serving the community, Big & Little is a great place for your child to learn, grow, and make friends. The state-licensed center hosts up to 103 children, ages 2 to 6. Our professionally-trained staff provide a fun, engaging, and educational environment. Six, kid-friendly classrooms are designed for 16–18 children, based on the overall age of the children served.
Children at Big & Little enjoy the facility’s full-sized gym, Spray Park, for a summertime treat with special water/play activity areas just for younger children, and a private, fenced playground. Big & Little offers convenient child care from 6:30 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, year-round, excluding major holidays. Full and part-time schedule options as well as a morning preschool help meet the needs of working families.
About Our Program
At Big & Little, your child is provided with a warm, nurturing, stimulating, and challenging environment that promotes social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth. Our goal is to help your child experience the joy of learning, instill a sense of curiosity, and provide an atmosphere of discovery and exploration. Big & Little stresses activities that facilitate language development, increase sensory awareness and enhance an understanding of the environment. Independence, self-confidence, and positive self-esteem are encouraged.
Our theme-based curriculum provides a wide variety of activities and interest areas. Cooperative play is encouraged while meeting developmental needs. Our daily schedule provides ample opportunity for active and quiet activities as well as both fine and gross motor activities.
Daily activities include:
- Circle Time
- Art, Dramatic Play and Blocks
- Science/Discovery Center
- Language Arts
- Sensory Motor Activities
- Library Corner
- Cooking Activities and Field Trips
“The staff at Big & Little Child Development Center have become family to us. I can’t thank them enough for nurturing and caring for our three daughters. They have helped shape our children to become curious learners and confident, friendly individuals. I will forever be grateful to each and every one of the staff and for our experience at Big & Little. I’m thankful that I will have the opportunity to send one more of my babies through their wonderful program when she turns two years old. Our experience has been nothing but the best!”
“Big & Little has been one of the most rewarding and amazing early childhood programs our family has been a part of since we began in 2009. There are so many options for busy families and we have benefited from both half days and full day programs. The facility itself is bright, clean and welcoming. The entire staff truly cares for each child and nurtures their educational and emotional development. We feel truly blessed to be a part of the Big & Little program in our community.”
(5 full days per week), Sibling discount available.
Cost: $260/week (1 child)
Part-Time Regular (Daily)
Cost: $58/day (per child)
Child Development Director
Ms. Melinda began her time as the Child Development Director at Big & Little in September 2020 after working Assistant Director/Childcare Supervisor first at the YMCA, then the Vernon Hills Park District from 2008 to 2020. She completed her undergrad degree in Elementary Education at DePaul University in 2004 then went on to complete a graduate degree in School Counseling at Concordia University in 2016. Ms. Melinda is a lifelong Mundelein resident and along with her husband and three daughters, continues to reside here. She loves working and serving the families in her own community.
Ms. Michaelene, also know as Ms. Mike, has been teaching at Big & Little since 2006. She is a McHenry resident and has 2 daughters, Brittany and Brianna. Ms. Mike has worked primarily with 2 year old’s since beginning her employment at Big & Little but always enjoyed helping out in the other classrooms, working with the other age groups. In 2020, Ms. Mike made the move to the 4 year old classroom. She loves to be a part of their growth and learning and especially enjoys laughing with them all day!
Ms. Jenny began working at Big and Little in 2020 in the 2 and 3-year-old room. She has worked in childcare since 2015, and absolutely loves it. Ms. Jenny enjoys watching children learn and grow every day. She graduated from Vernon Hills High School in 2011 and continues her education at the College of Lake County. Jenny lived in Vernon Hills most of her life until moving to Beach Park with her boyfriend. She is fluent in Spanish as it was her first language growing up, and tries her best to teach the children words in Spanish. During her free time, she loves watching movies and trying new restaurants.
Teaching is Ms. Cathy’s passion. She has been a teacher since 1983. Her education in Early Childhood Development was attained through the College of Lake County. She has worked with all age groups from infants to kindergarten, and finds all children unique and filled with so much potential. Ms. Cathy especially enjoys preparing children for kindergarten. She is excited to be teaching here again at Big & Little. After working here from 1999-2001, she took two years off to be at home with her daughter after she was born then resumed her teacher career in 2003 at the Round Lake Beach Park District until her return to Big & Little in 2020. Ms. Cathy is looking forward to all of the children and their families who she will get to know in the years to come.
Ms. Kathleen has been working in early childhood since 2010. With an undergraduate degree in musical theatre and a graduate degree in early childhood education, she combines her love of music and theatrics with intentional listening to inform her instruction. Ms. Kathleen LOVES connecting children with nature in an outdoor classroom, and project-based curriculum led by the children’s interests. When Ms. Kathleen is not at school, you can find her teaching dance, at the dog park with her two dogs Zelda and Nugget, or playing piano and singing at local open mic nights. She is looking forward to deepening her connection with all the families at Big and Little!
Ms. Jill was born and raised in Mundelein and has been with Big & Little since 1985 when it was run out of a house on California Street. Jill has been married to her husband since 1988 and has two grown children. She attended the College of Lake County to earn her teaching credentials. Ms. Jill incorporates her sense of humor and her love of music to enhance the children’s education each day.
Ms. Lorena has been the Firefly teacher at Big & Little since October of 2020. Her role in childcare started off as an Assistant Teacher and once she realized how passionate she was about her job, she went on to receive her Infant-Toddler and Preschool CDAs. She is currently working on her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education in hopes to eventually expand her career in this field. As a lifelong Mundelein resident, working for MPRD has been a dream come true. Lorena loves being given the opportunity to teach in the same community that taught her. When Lorena is not teaching, you can find her singing, teaching improv classes, performing comedy, or shopping at Target.
Kim has been a preschool teachers aide since 1996, working 10 years at Santa Maria Del Popolo preschool and then began at Big & Little in 2006. She enjoyed raising her 2 sons in Mundelein and now enjoys spending time with her 3 grandchildren when she’s not caring for the children at Big & Little.
Ms. Nicole has been teaching at Big & Little since February of 2021 in our Caterpillar classroom. She has been working in early childhood education since 2015 and has had the privilege of teaching infants, toddlers, 2s, and 3s. Nicole attended the University of Iowa where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in studio art, as well as, a minor in art history. She has also received additional education in early childhood education through the College of Lake County. Nicole enjoys using her creative background to make learning as fun and hands-on as possible to spark curiosity and imagination in her students. Outside of the classroom, you can find Nicole tending to her growing plant collection, watching live comedy, or hanging out with her hamster, Bear.
Ms. Diane began working at Big & Little in 2004 and has enjoyed teaching and caring for the children here since that time. She has a BA in Child Psychology and prior to her employment at Big & Little spent time teaching at a Montessori School. Ms. Diane strives to encourage individuality in all of the children and promotes diversity in her classroom.