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About Little Stars Early Learning Center

Our Mission

…is to provide quality childcare and build the foundation on which all future learning occurs.

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is to provide a nurturing and educational environment that is conducive to each child’s individual needs for learning and growth. All activities are planned to be developmentally appropriate and allow the children to learn through their play. The activities planned through the Creative Curriculum are designed to develop each child’s social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language development. Every child is provided a warm and loving environment, where they feel safe and accepted. At Little Stars early learning center, LLC children are the main priority of our business and each child is treated as a part of our Little Stars Family.

Our History

Little Stars early learning center, LLC was created by two women that had a goal of providing quality child care in a warm, nurturing and educational environment. Collette Sternitzke and Kara McCormick opened Little Stars early learning center, LLC in September of 2000 at its original site on North Riverfront Dr. with a license capacity of 42 children.

Collette and Kara were co-owners and directors of the business for 6 years together before Kara left the partnership to move closer to her family in Wyoming. Kara had experience running her own home daycare business prior to opening Little Stars early learning center, LLC along with working at a child care center and her internship experience through Minnesota State University at Mankato. With Kara’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and minor in Family Consumer Science to be a licensed Early Childhood Teacher, she added a great element to the business with her extensive knowledge of early childhood development and the ability to teach the children a second language.

Collette is now the sole-owner and director of the business along with an Assistant Director, Rhonda Prince and an Administrative Assistant, Katie Swing. Collette has a degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with 7 years of experience in child care prior to opening the center. For 2 of those years, she owned a home daycare before teaming up with Kara McCormick to open Little Stars early learning center, LLC. She is also in the final stages of completing her Director’s Credential to add to her degree which focuses specifically on managing an early childhood education program.

Upon being in business for 2 years the demand for more child care openings allowed them to increase their capacity to 49 children before they moved to 115 South 2nd Street. The maximum capacity of that center was 116 children from ages 6 weeks through 12 years. This location offered a larger space with an attached playground and a convenient location for our families!

In September of 2015 we made another move. Just a short distance to the old fire station, 300 Madison Ave. in Mankato MN. We are excited to have a center offering care for up to 152 children. Our two infants room have direct access to a outdoor grassy play space. Our three toddler rooms each have their own bathroom and direct access to their playground. Little Stars now has a indoor large muscle room with direct access to the preschool playground. Upstairs we have three preschool rooms with plenty of natural light and bathrooms in each room. Our Starlight Preschool/School Age room is also upstairs.

We have really enjoyed the new building and invite you to call for more information for openings.

Civil Rights Statement

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.