A Team of Nurturing, Trained & Dedicated Individuals

Caregivers & Teachers

Our caregivers and teachers bond with your child and family to establish a partnership that fosters security and a sense of belonging for your child.  They have the experience, expertise, and education necessary to support the age group of children they will be working with.  Our open lines of communication between parents and teachers builds a strong partnership that enhances your child's care and education.

Background Clearances

All educators and administrative staff must undergo background and health screenings, a criminal background check through the Department of Human Services and State Police, verification of education credentials, and a thorough review of personal references.

Health & Safety

Each of our caregivers and teachers goes through a complete, detailed training program during their first week of employment. Training topics include state-specific licensing rules, child abuse and neglect, fire safety, childcare and sanitation regulations, as well as company policies and procedures. In addition, all educators and administrative staff are required to complete training in first aid and CPR annually. Staff who transport children on our activity buses undergo a driving history check and must obtain a chauffer’s license.


Each school is led by an experienced Director who has an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree. Directors are responsible for the overall operation of their school, staff management and training, and implementing best customer service practices with a dedication to quality.

In addition, our corporate training instructors provide on-going direction to our teaching professionals and have degrees in early education and many years of experience working with children.

Professional Development

Every educator receives training that fulfills and exceeds state requirements for professional development. Our proprietary training program educates caregivers and teachers on current best practices in child development, health and safety standards, curriculum and classroom practices, parent/caregiver relationships, and other early childhood education topics.

Through their employment with us, our educators are provided a subscription to an online professional development system which offers a wide assortment of courses that award continuing education credits (CEUs) upon completion as well as proprietary courses created by corporate training instructors.

Annually, AppleTree & Gilden Woods organize an Employee Development Day that includes workshops specific to the curriculum that we use as well as broad best practice topics. By arranging these development days, we can ensure our teachers are best prepared to care for and educate the children and families that we serve.

Best of the Bunch

Each year, we recognize an outstanding individual as the “Best of the Bunch” out of hundreds of AppleTree & Gilden Woods caregivers and teachers. This dedicated professional is recognized for providing outstanding early education, care, and service to children and families.

  • Carol Rothley, 2017 Recipient, Monroe, MI 

            “Ms. Carol is loving, trustworthy and full of understanding. We love her here and are better teachers and caregivers because of her. She is amazing”

  • Elizabeth Triesenberg, 2016 Recipient, Rockford, MI
  • Amy Hilzey, 2015 Recipient, Knapp Corner, MI
  • Jenny Vidal, 2013 Recipient, Kentwood, MI
  • Anna Torres, 2012 Recipient, East Lansing, MI
  • Stephanie Houseman, 2012 Recipient, Walker, MI
  • Elizabeth Lewis, 2011 Recipient, Rockford, MI

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Oaktree Academy has partnered with Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool! With this partnership we are also expanding with an addition to the school building. To celebrate these exciting changes, we are hosting an Open House on February 8th, 2019 from 5pm to 7pm. Come tour the new state-of-the-art building and meet our Program Director, Carrie Quillan and her teaching team members. Learn more about our curriculum and programming. Enjoy local business partner vendors, as well as refreshments and fun for the whole family!