4 & 5 year olds / Stars 

Natalie Bellis

Natalie Bellis -  has been part of the staff at the Center for over 30 years. She graduated from DMACC with an AA in Early Childhood Education. Natalie has worked with infants, preschoolers and school age children as a teacher. Natalie lives in Ankeny with her husband Dave, daughter Krystal, dog Bella, a rabbit and two guinea pigs. She is involved with 4-H activities, dance, Girl Scouts and her church. Natalie enjoys camping, spending time with family, cooking, reading, scrapbooking and gardening.


Kari Osborne - has been part of the staff at the Center since 2011. She graduated from Grand View University in 2000 with a BS in Elementary Education and a reading endorsement. Kari has worked as a teacher and assistant director in centers with infants to school age children for over 10 years.


Sara Doll - has been part of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines for over 35 years. She graduated from DMACC with an AS degree in Early Childhood Education. Over the years she has worked with toddlers, 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. Currently Sara works with our 4 and 5 year olds. Sara and her husband Karl have two grown children who have given them three grandchildren. Sara and her husband also enjoy two horses, two dogs, traveling, camping and trail riding.

Things you need to know about the Stars area:

Our child to staff ratio is one adult for every 12 children. There are two rooms in the area and group size in each room is two teachers to 24 children.

Our room can seem noisy, but if you take a moment to look around, you will see the children busy at one of our learning centers. Our centers consist of a block area, dramatic play area, toys and games area, art area, library area, discovery area, sand and water area, music and movement area, cooking area and computer area. During center time, the children are able to move freely throughout these areas. Some of our centers change daily and others weekly.

We list important information, like special events or items you need to bring from home, in the classroom. Please be sure to look for it and check it each day.

We serve all meals family style and pour our own milk from the pitcher. Your child's development is tracked using the portfolio system, which is shared with parents during conference times.

The Stars are the oldest preschool group in the center.

The following objectives have been set for this area:

  • Help children learn to interact positively in a group setting.
  • To solve conflicts in a socially acceptable manner.
  • To grasp the concepts of math, science and language arts through the learning centers.
  • Name and letter recognition.
  • Stating address and phone numbers.
  • Developing fine motor skills such as cutting. 

General Schedule for the Day

8:45    Breakfast/Brush Teeth/Toileting
9:00    Learning Centers
10:15  Outside Time/Gym Time
11:30  Lunch/Brush Teeth/Toileting
12:45  Naptime
2:15    Toileting/Free Play
3:00    Snack/Learning Centers
4:15    Outside Time/Gym Time
4:30    Learning Centers
5:15    Rooms Combine and Free Play

Child Care Plan for 4 and 5 year olds