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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

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 119 Reviews
Megan Gulik • Google
August 23, 2021
My son attended fulltime from newborn - 3.5 years old and we loved, loved, loved Cadence (only left due to relocation). I always felt the teachers and staff really connected with the kids and I couldn't believe how much he learned! Would recommend to any family looking for childcare.
Kendria Bailey • Facebook
July 19, 2021
I would recommend Cadence Academy every chance I get because it’s a great daycare to have your kid(s) to attend, not only they’re very caring but they teach them a lot as well, great atmosphere & friendly vibes all the time every time that I would come in - kids always seem happy to be there!
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.

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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.