One-year-olds / Rainbows

Marilyn Babcock - Marilyn has been part of the staff at the Center since 1979. She started working part-time in infants while finishing her AA degree in Child Development at DMACC. Since graduating in 1980, Marilyn has been teaching full-time, spending the majority of her time in the infant and toddler areas. Marilyn lives in Ankeny and enjoys working as a part-time Weight Watchers receptionist and spending time with friends and family.

Shirlyn Duncan

Shirlyn Duncan - graduated from DMACC with a CDA in the spring of 2010. She has been working at a daycare in West Des Moines for the last 13 years with ages ranging from 1 to 4-year-olds. More recently, she was the Assistant Director for the center before she moved to UnityPoint Health - Des Moines in October 2011. Shirlyn has been married for 25 years and has two sons.  Her two sons play baseball so she enjoys spending most of her summertime at the ball parks.

 Carolyn Elles -  received her BS in Early Childhood Education from Northern Illinois Universtiy. She comes to us with experience working with preschool and toddler age children.  She enjoys spending her free time doing special activities with her two teenage boys.

  Karen Finkelhorn -  has more than 18 years of experience working with children. She attended Northwest Missouri State University, where she received her BS degree in Family and Environmental Sciences with a specialization in Early Childhood. Her first eight years of work were spent caring for children ages three to five. For the past 10 years, Karen has served as a teacher's assistant at Iowa Health. Karen lives in Des Moines with her husband and 14-year-old daughter.

Jaime Mann - started at the Center in June of 2015. She comes to us with her B.A. degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology and Sociology from Grand View College. She has 12 years of experience working with children in a variety of settings, her latest being 7 years as a Lead Teacher and Health and Safety Coordinator in a center.  Jaime lives in Des Moines with her black lab "Dallas" and enjoys Roller skating in her free time. She works M-TH, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Nicole McFadden - received her AA degree from Orange Coast College and has enjoyed working in Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years. Her first eight years of work were spent working as a Christian preschool teacher, working specifically with 2 to 4-year-olds. She also served as the preschool's interim director for one year working with preschool through eighth grade.  Since relocating to Des Moines in 2009 from California, she worked for a local preschool in Pleasant Hill as the lead teacher in a Pre-K class. Nicole joined UnityPoint Health - Des Moines in 2011.



Sherryl Pearson


Sherryl Pearson - received her AA degree from DMACC.  Sherryl began working at the Center in 1990 as an associate for all age groups. She served as an associate for six years and then spent one year with 2-year-olds. Her following 15 years would be spent with the toddlers. Sherryl is an avid reader and likes swimming, walking and spending time with her family, which includes her niece and two nephews.     

Coleen Schmidt - graduated from DMACC in 1983 with her AA degree in Child Development. She began her work at the Center in February 1989, teaching toddlers. While not at work, Coleen enjoys going to movies and spending time with family and friends. She also keeps busy with crosswords, puzzles and games on her iPhone. 

Mikayla Ulrick - has been at the Center since December of 2014. She is currently a Teacher in our Toddler area. Before coming to the Child Development Center Mikayla worked as a nanny and had experience in a center with children ages 6 weeks through 5 years. She has her Early Childhood Education Degree from DMACC.  As part of her degree Mikayla completed her internship in our Infant area.  Mikayla lives in Des Moines and enjoys spending time with family. Mikayla works T-F, 7:15-5:15.

Things you need to know about the Toddler area:


Our ratio is the same as in the infant room, one adult for every four children. There are four rooms in the toddler area. Group size in each room is one teacher with four children or two teachers with eight children.

Parents need to bring their own diapers, wipes, ointments and a change of clothing for their children.

At approximately 18 months of age, the children are transitioned out of their toddler crib and on to the toddler cot. As children awaken from naps, they are allowed to get up and play quietly. Awake children do not remain on their cots.

The daily information sheets are continued by the parents and staff until your child moves to the Moonbeam area.

All four toddler rooms follow the same daily schedule. Your child may visit other toddler rooms, the infant or Moonbeam area depending on the number of children scheduled.

The children wash their hands under running water before meals and after diaper changes. It is helpful if parents can expose them to running water at home before they are in the toddler area.

We use the portfolio system to track your child's development and share it with you every six months, and before your child moves to the next age group.

The following objectives have been set for the toddler area:

  • To use a spoon and cup to feed themselves.
  • To encourage "talking" and using new vocabulary words.
  • To sit in a chair for meals.
  • To encourage children to be "good helpers" in picking up and following directions.
  • To participate in group and learning center activities with emphasis on social interaction and skill development.
  • To begin to become cooperative, control frustrations and understand their bodies.

General Schedule for the Day

8:45    Breakfast
9:00    Diapers/Learning Centers
9:15    Outside Time/Gym Time
11:00  Diapers/Centers
11:30  Lunch
12:00  Nap
2:30    Diapers/Wake Up
3:00    Snack
3:30    Learning Centers
3:45    Outside Time/Gym Time
4:45    Diapers/Centers
5:30    Remaining Groups Combine

Child Care Plan for Toddlers