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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

School Director

Hi, my name is Erica Austin! 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 a part of the Cadence Academy family!

Madison Whisney

Madison Whisney

Assistant Director

My name is Madison Whisney. I have worked at Cadence Academy for more than 3 years and have loved working here. I have a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University. I was drawn to Early Childhood Education from a young age. Both my mother and grandmother were kindergarten teachers and although I took a slightly different path, I am proud to be a third generation Early Childhood Educator. My husband Adam and our beautiful 1 year old daughter Sadie enjoy camping, biking, boating and most especially cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones. You will see us at every football game this fall! I am a very outgoing individual and love meeting new people and I feel so fortunate to be able to get to be a part of this school, meet all of your families and of course spend time with the kiddos!

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!


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 123 Reviews Leave A Review
Nicole Molt • Google
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!
Grace Nichols • Google
Hands down the best daycare in the Des Moines metro! Our 2 year old has been attending this location for about a year and she is thriving from the love and education she receives from all the teachers. She loved Ms. Cori and Ms. Hellen when she was in the toddler room and now that she is in the two’s room, she loves Ms. Chelsey! Even though it is a daycare center, the love and attention each child receives makes it feel like a small home daycare. This daycare has gone above and beyond with cleaning procedures and safety measures during covid. We have never been worried about our child’s health during this time. Ms. Anya and Ms. Erica are wonderful leaders of this daycare. They are very communicative. Our 2 year old literally loves going to daycare every day and we are so thankful that we have found a safe and happy place for her to be while we work. I highly recommend this daycare! If you want your child to thrive socially and academically, this is the daycare for you!
courtney ward • Google
We love Cadence! The teachers are wonderful, great family environment. My son started in the 2 year room and is now in 4 year old preschool classroom. He has grown so much emotionally and Intellectually in such a short time with the help of Cadence and their wonderful curriculum! He will be very comfortable when he starts kindergarten.
Dan Kuckuck • Google
Both of my daughters are students at Cadence (one is nearly 3, the other is 3 months), and I could not be more pleased. The teachers and staff are not only caring and compassionate, but do what they can to help the girls grow and develop. They also support parents as we navigate the ups and downs of caring for littles. My daughters are making lifelong friends and meaningful relationships. Thank you!

Cadence Academy Preschool

West Des Moines, IA

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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.