About Berlin

Our staff has over 100 years of combined early childhood experience. KKLC strives to provide high-quality, individualized care for children ages 6 weeks through 12 years. Facilitating the development of our students in an age appropriate environment that fosters physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth. KKLC is one of five programs in Sangamon County that has been awarded a star rating by the Illinois Quality Rating System, verifying our quality and commitment to the children and families we serve.


We are proud to be accredited by the National Accreditation Council.

Our Staff

HI!! I'm Stephanie Neuman and I am the owner/director of Kountry Kids Learning Center, Inc. I was born and raised in Girard, IL. I come from a very close knit family, my parents are John and Jeanette Earley and I have one brother JR who all still reside in Girard. I graduated from Girard High School in May 2000. I received my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in May 2004. After finishing my degree I moved home and accepted a position with Sangamon Area Special Education District (SASED) as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher at New Berlin Elementary and Ball/Chatham Elementary for 4 years. In June 2006 I married my husband, Kris and April 1, 2008 we welcomed our first child into the world, Charlie. When Charlie was 4 weeks old we purchased a former church to open our own quality childcare center. It was a whole new career path for me going from the public school to the private sector. After a very busy and stressful summer, we opened our doors August 18, 2008. May 9, 2010 we added our daughter, Elliana, to our family. In June 2011 I began pursuing my masters' degree, online, in Early Childhood Administration through National- Louis University. I graduated with masters' degree in December 2012. We are so blessed to have the best staff, students, and families EVER!! I LOVE MY JOB!!! 🙂
krisI am a life long native of New Berlin. I graduated from New Berlin High School in 1998 and pursued an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield. I am able to fulfill my lifelong dream by owning and operating KKLC. I love spending time with my wife and 2 children. In addition to being a business owner of KKLC and a father, I am a grain merchandiser for H&B Specialties in Pleasant Plains, and I help on my family's farm in the spring and fall.
Hi, my name is Eliza and I am the Assistant Director and lead PreK 2 teacher at Kountry Kids Learning Center. I was born and raised in Pleasant Plains. I graduated in 2017 from Western Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree and my Master’s degree in Early Childhood Administration in 2019 from National Louis University. I have a son named Hudson. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with Hudson and my family, shopping, and gardening. I joined KKLC in 2013 and have worked in most of the classrooms and have enjoyed getting to know the kids and families over the years.
Hello! My name is Rachel Bandy and I am the PreK 1 teacher. In 2008 I obtained my CDA. I live in New Berlin with my husband and son. We spend our free time outside fishing, camping, and caring for our miscellaneous farm animals. In the fall of 2019, I joined the KKLC family and absolutely love the interactions I have with each child every day!
Hi! I am Kaelyn Baker and I am the assistant teacher in the School Age Room. I have an 8-year-old son who has been at KKLC since 2013. I graduated High School in 2013 and worked as a paraprofessional in New Berlin school until 2020, until I joined the KKLC family. In my spare time I love being with my family and cooking! My favorite color is blue and I enjoy Fall; going to baseball games and music! I am blessed to be a part of the KKLC family and seeing each child grow and flourish!
Hi! My name is Makenna Dawdy and I am the two year old teacher! I started at KKLC in March of 2020. I currently reside in Waverly but am a New Berlin native! I have my associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Lincoln Land Community College. I have my two fur babies, Oakley and Luna!
My name is Aubrey Guillen and I am the Newborn teacher. I have worked at KKLC since March of 2018 and have shaped my life around Early Childhood Education. Caring for and teaching young children is a passion of mine and I am blessed for everyday that I am able to work in this career.
Hello! My name is Luanne Loving. I do a little bit of everything at KKLC. I have worked in the medical and child care field since college. I volunteer EMS for New Berlin as well. I currently work for New Berlin Schools and Kounrty Kids Learning Center.
I am Christy Martin and I am a teacher at KKLC. I started here in February of 2021. I am a single mother of a daughter Evangline Noel and son Evander Marvin. I also have two dogs, Max a Shih Tzu and Kia, a rescue Pitbull. I am the second oldest of five children and the only girl.
Hello! My name is Lisa McQueen and I am the Administrative Assistant at Kountry Kids Learning Center. I am originally from Ohio but moved to the Franklin area where my husband grew up. We have one son, Jaxson, that loves KKLC as much as I do! I joined the team in September 2020. I graduated from a community college in Toledo, Ohio with an Associates degree in Office Administration.
My name is Heather and I became part of the KKLC family in 2018 as a part-time teacher/helper. I work full time at New Berlin School District. I live in Loami with my husband, Sean and our two children Lily and Landon.
mary_prestonMy name is Mary Preston. I joined in 2010. I used to work in the classrooms however I found my true spot in 2013 when I became the cook. I took a 2-year hiatus in 2018 and came back in 2020. I am the mother of one amazing adult son who is my whole world.
tiffany_thompsonMy name is Tiffany Thompson. I have been in childcare for many years and have been with KKLC since 2008. I work in the School Age Program. I graduated from New Berlin High School in 2004. When I’m not here I love to spend time with my daughter Rhealynn and husband Casey. I love to do art with kids and play outside.
Hi! My name is Ellie Wilson. I am the Toddler Room teacher. I live in Franklin with my husband and two kids, Ava and Riley. I have an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Lincoln Land Community College. In my free time I enjoy taking my kids to the zoo and park. Children have always had a huge part of my heart, so working at Kountry Kids Learning Center makes me feel very blessed.
lcaey_yazellMy name is Lacey. I am the Twos Room teacher. I was born in Chatham, IL and graduated from Glenwood Highschool in 2008. I have two children. My oldest is my daughter, Gemma Jean. My son is my youngest, Spencer. I joined KKLC in 2013. In my free time I enjoy exploring any outdoors scenes, reading and just relaxing with my kiddos.
Hi! My name is Courtney. I graduated High School in 2006. I love to be outside, enjoying the weather! I love swimming, walking, and going to the park with my kids along with family cookouts. I live with my boyfriend and my two children, Serenity and Logan. I joined the KKLC family in March of 2021. Being here is my home away from home and working with the toddlers is always so much fun!