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  • Programs
  • Our Team
  • Accreditation
  • Reviews

Cadence Academy Preschool, Grand offers exciting early learning environments for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years old. Our preschool center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and we specialize in creating engaging educational experiences that help young children develop academic, social-emotional, and physical skill.

Our preschool programs are built upon the Ascend Curriculum, which takes a skill-targeted approach to early education. Our children are constantly developing valuable skill sets in nine subject areas. We personalize educational activities to match the interests and current skill level of our students, which helps them feel engaged, supported, and challenged.

Our Preschool’s Programs

We offer a Before and After School Care Program for children ages five to seven on a limited basis. Please note, we typically restrict enrollment to students who have younger siblings at the school. There is a school bus stop next to our campus for Fair Meadows, Hillside, and Jordan Creek Elementary.

Kind Child

Kind Child Program LogoA child’s first social experiences shape their attitude and aptitude for the rest of their lives, so we make sure to fill each day with adventure, learning, and laughter. We encourage our students and staff to celebrate and value diversity and our Kind Child program helps us strengthen the character and social skills of every child in our care. Kind Child is a core subject in our monthly curriculum and we regularly host Kind Child events that help everyone feel welcome and valued at our preschool.

School-to-Home Connection

We understand how important communication is to a child’s success, so we like to connect with our parents every day. Our daycare center has an open-door policy and we welcome you to visit at any time and stay for as long as you like. We offer a variety of communications to keep you up-to-date on your child’s overall developmental progress and have formal parent-teacher conferences twice a year so you can join us in setting goals for your child.

Our Team

Erica Austin

Erica Austin

Assistant Director

Hi, my name is Erica Austin and I am excited to be the new Assistant Director at Cadence Academy! I am originally from Johnston, IA, and graduated with my Associates Degree in Early Childhood from DMACC in 2007. In 2009, my husband and I moved to Iowa City and I taught 2’s for 4 years, then became the Assistant Director at the Cadence Academy in Iowa City. After my husband graduated from the University of Iowa in 2016, we moved to Pella, IA, where I have been the Lead Teacher in a classroom of 2 and 3 year olds. I am excited to be returning to the Cadence Academy family!

Elizabeth White

Elizabeth White


Hello! My name is Elizabeth. I have worked at this chool since September 2003. During my time here I have worked as an Assistant Director, a Lead Teacher in the Older Preschool, a Lead Teacher in the 2’s classroom, and I’m now the Lead Teacher in the Younger Preschool! I received my Early Childhood Education Associates Degree from DMACC. I am also the Health and Safety Coordinator for this school! One of my proudest moments while working here was in April of 2008 when I received the Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Award! When I am not working at Cadence Academy, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Vinny, and my two sons, Jaxon and Carter. We enjoy spending time outside and cheering on the Hawkeyes during football season! Go Hawks! I look forward to getting to know you and your children this year!

Kathy VanAmburg

Kathy VanAmburg


Hi, my name is Kathy. I am the Lead Teacher in the Pre-Kindergarten classroom. My classroom is a partnership between Cadence Academy and the West Des Moines School District to prepare students to start school with confidence, learning skills, and an excitement for knowledge. I have worked here for over ten years now, and am experienced in working with all ages, but have mainly worked with 3, 4, and 5-year-olds. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Upper Iowa University with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education.

To tell you a bit about myself, let me start by saying that my family is important to me. I have a husband and two daughters, ages 15 and 12. We live in Norwalk and enjoy spending our free time doing anything outdoors. I can’t wait to get to know you and your children!


NAEYC Accreditation

Every child deserves access to high-quality early learning experiences. NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) has set 10 standards for early childhood programs that can help families make the right choice when they are looking for a child care center, preschool, or kindergarten. The standards and criteria are also the foundation of the NAEYC Accreditation system for early childhood programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, schools must go through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years. In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

Reviews from Parents

5.0 Rating based on 118 Reviews
Rebecca Barrett • Google
May 10, 2021
We have two children attending this school, and could not be happier!! Our preschooler is consistently learning and developing at a rate that always amazes me. I'm blown away by milestones that our infant continually surpasses, many of which I attribute to this school. The school does an excellent job teaching and growing with our children, along side of us, as a family. The staff and teachers at this location are so supportive, detail-oriented, loving, and care for our children as if they were their own. We toured several facilities, prior to choosing this school, and there was no question as to whether or not we would land here. Cadence Academy on Grand takes any worry and concern off my shoulders of leaving my children with others' care during the day, because I know my children are learning the same values and receiving the same support they would otherwise, at home.
Valerie Skoro • Facebook
April 30, 2021
My 19 month old recently enrolled at Cadence Academy, Grand. The communication with Erica and the teachers has been incredible! Ms. Cori has been nothing short of amazing at nurturing my son as he adjusts to his new environment. Ms. Cori and the teachers have gone above and beyond to accommodate my son and support his unique needs. I have no hesitation knowing he’s getting the love and care he needs to thrive.
Sonja Yung • Facebook
March 23, 2021
Everyone my daughter interacted with loved and cared for her from day one and as a mother (especially a first time mother), that is the best thing I could ever hope for! I usually don't write reviews but this time it is worth it. Love this place and all the people in it! Thanks for all you do every day. It never goes unnoticed!!
Nicole Molt • Google
March 10, 2021
We have only been part of the Cadence Academy since October 2020, but they've been amazing in every aspect. Although we were in the middle of a pandemic when we started, the communication from the Director and Assistant Director, every day screening procedures, cleaning processes and policies made us feel extremely comfortable sending the kiddos to Cadence. What has been most impressive is the development of the kids since being at Cadence. The Ascend Curriculum has been great and we have greatly enjoyed seeing how much the kids have learned. The teachers go above and beyond to provide a nurturing environment and truly care about your child. The school is also a level 5 NAEYC AND Iowa QRS level 5. I cannot say enough amazing things about Cadence-Grand, the leadership there and the entire team. We are proud to be part of the Cadence family!

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Preparing Your Child to THRIVE

Your child is unique, and we are happy to provide an educational, fun and nurturing environment where each child can develop and thrive in order to build a bright future with unlimited possibilities.