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About Lil’ Explorers in Otsego, MN

Lil’ Explorers Childcare Center is a preschool serving the Otsego area of Minnesota. Established in 2003, Lil’ Explorers Childcare Center continues to provide a safe environment for children ages 6 weeks through fourth grade that is centered on exploration and development.

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to grow, learn, and develop. Whether you are looking for full-time daycare or a stimulating preschool experience, we provide the perfect environment for kids of all ages.

Our experienced and dedicated staff are committed to nurturing your child every step of the way, ensuring that they receive all of the love, attention, and guidance they need to thrive. With our state-of-the-art facilities and engaging enrichment programs, your little explorer will find everything they need right here in our Otsego preschool and daycare.

We offer a variety of rooms to accommodate the needs and interests of your children. Whether it’s infant, toddler, or preschool time — you’re sure to find what fits them here! Our caring staff will provide an enriching environment that helps prepare kids from every walk of life to enter school ready academically as well behaviorally. This way, your child can excel in their early years while still enjoying some informal playtime.

It is the mission of our childcare staff to provide top-notch service for all families and provide an enjoyable and exciting time for all children in our care. So if you’re ready to help your little one take their first steps towards success, come explore Lil’ Explorers Childcare Center in Otsego today. We can’t wait to meet you!

Otsego Childcare Enrichment Programs

Here are some of the programs we offer at our Otsego preschool center:

Lil’ Movers

Lil’ Movers is our program that enhances your child’s large motor development. We will use aspects and activities promoted by CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health), as well as developmentally appropriate Large Motor skills, sportsmanship and taking turns.

Combining these programs promotes physical activity and coordinated play for young children. Our program encourages and motivates children to walk, run, jump, dance, and move their whole body while playing and having fun!

Lil’ Farmers

Lil’ Farmers is our nutrition program that focuses on health, nutrition and community involvement. We incorporate aspects of the “Farm to Childcare” initiative by partnering with local farmers for fresh and local products. We feature a new fruit or vegetable each month from a list of the farmers’ seasonal crops.

Our students will explore the food through taste, texture, and smell, while learning about where the food was grown in our community. Lil’ Farmers program will help children build lifelong healthy eating habits, so they can become real life farmers too!


Kindermusik is a music and movement program that is cultivated for each stage of a child’s development. Lil’ Explorers offers three Kindermusik levels that are geared to accommodate toddler and preschool classroom developmental needs.

Kindermusik provides an educational and creative environment for children. We do this by integrating early literacy, language arts with music into one curriculum that has been shown time after time as the best way to stimulate kids’ minds while they’re still developing!

The team at our Otsego center knows how important it is not only being able to read but also playing instruments or telling stories in order to make sure our little ones feel successful from day one — and never get bored of learning things on their own terms when we can help provide opportunities every step along the journey.

Learning A Language

Beginning in preschool, children are introduced to basic words in the Spanish language. Each month the Spanish program is based around a theme (i.e. numbers, colors, greetings, body parts, etc.).

New words are introduced using fun picture cards, games, songs, and books. We highly encourage everyone to attempt to pronounce the Spanish words although many children (especially under 3 years old) may not be able to pronounce the words easily or at all. However, exposure to a foreign language can have many cognitive and academic benefits.

Preparing Your Little One For Kindergarten

Looking for the perfect environment to help your child prepare for kindergarten? Look no further than Lil’ Explorers Childcare Center in Otsego, Minnesota. Our experienced and dedicated staff are committed to nurturing your child every step of the way, helping them develop the skills they need to thrive in a classroom setting.

Our curriculum is designed to introduce kindergarten readiness skills in a fun and engaging way, so your child will be excited to learn. We cover topics like colors, shapes, numbers, letters, basic counting, and math concepts. And we do it all while incorporating music, movement, and hands-on activities.

We know that every child learns at their own pace, and we take the time to get to know your little one’s unique needs and strengths. This way, we can provide the individualized attention and support they need to reach their full potential.

The Cadence Education Promise

Lil’ Explorers Childcare is part of the Cadence Education network. At Cadence Education, we are committed to providing the highest quality early childhood education and care for your child.

We promise to create a warm, nurturing environment where your child can feel safe to explore and learn. Our experienced and dedicated staff are committed to supporting your child’s individual needs and helping them reach their full potential.

So if you’re looking for a top-quality daycare or preschool in Otsego, Minnesota, look no further than Lil’ Explorers Childcare Center at Cadence Education! With our commitment to your child’s success, we know they will be prepared for kindergarten and beyond.​

Contact our Otsego childcare center today to schedule a tour and learn more about programs.

Our Team

Karlee Johnson

Karlee Johnson

School Director

I first started my journey here with the Lil Explorers family in 2019 at our St. Michael location as a Preschool 1 lead. I then entered the company’s management team March timeframe of 2020 as the Assistant Director in Otsego and was promoted to Center Director March of 2021.

My true passion is not only working with children, but also getting to know their families and having those relationships grow through out the timeframe they are within our care. In my spare time I love to travel, spend time with my two kids, Liam (8) and Braylynn (6) I am also very hands on with sports and have always loved the competitive aspect it brings to your character and growth as a person.

Maddi Jacobson

Maddi Jacobson

Assistant Director

Hi, My name is Maddi, I am the Assistant Director for Lil’ Explorers Otsego center. I live with my Boyfriend and 2 dogs Tucker and Boomer, in Albertville. I enjoy fishing, camping, and spending time with family. I have worked for Lil’ Explorers for more than 5 years and have a CDA in Early Childhood Education.

Reviews from Parents

5.0 Rating based on 46 Reviews Leave A Review
Shawn Ryan • Google
The staff here are AMAZING. They take care of our kiddos like they are their own. Couldn’t ask for better people to watch our girls!
Amber Bakker • Google
Nothing but great things to say about Lil Explorers Otsego. Our children have been attending for a few years now and we are beyond happy with the care from staff. They are friendly, communicative, trustworthy, and most importantly they take excellent care of our kids. The kids love going as well. They follow a curriculum and make learning enjoyable. Would recommend for anyone seeking care for their littles!
Sabrina Shultz • Google
I have never had my kiddos in a center before until recently a few months ago as a stay at home mom I was very nervous. Walking in the door of little explorers I was greeted by Karlee (Director) and introduced to Madi (Assistant Director) they welcomed my family with arms wide open. They are by far the nicest and biggest heart felt people I know. They STRIVE in making this center the best that it can be and still continues to be.. I have been with this center for 5 months now. I have seen such great one on one work with my 4&3 year old boys. The teachers they had and or have currently are by far the best I could ever ask for when it comes to my kiddos! This center puts in the effort to ensure each child is meeting his or her needs not just in development but just ensuring all kids are loved,Safe , and happy. If you are ever looking for a great group of staff and or management this is the place to bring your kids. HANDS DOWN one of the best centers I have ever seen and I’m so beyond grateful for them ALL! -Sabrina 🙂
Kenzie Janson-wolle • Google
Our family loves the staff and quality of care our kiddos receive at Little Explorers- Otsego! The curriculum is engaging and well executed and I am always impressed with what my children are learning! We recommend Lil Explorers to everyone looking for a safe, friendly, caring and curriculum based child care environment!

Lil' Explorers Childcare Center

Otsego, MN

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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.