Acorn Child Care Center

acorn logo

Where ALL children are welcomed and provided
with a high quality early childhood education.

Our Story:

Acorn Child Care Center has been operating in Oak Forest since the early 1980’s. It is a well-established day care center and serves up to 70 children.

Good Shepherd Center acquired this Child Care Center in the winter of 2015. The well-qualified teachers at Acorn receive additional training and support relevant to child development to meet the needs of every child.

“Every child learns differently, so we must adjust our teaching techniques to reach each child’s needs to insure a successful outcome”, shared Diane Wieck, Center Director.

The difference at our Center is that staff is provided with additional training in the care and treatment of children with Autism, Down Syndrome and intellectual / developmental disabilities. We truly believe that all children have great abilities once they receive high quality care.

Our Education Tools:

We use the Creative Curriculum for Preschool which is a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that features exploration and discovery as a way of learning. Comprising of The Foundation, six knowledge-building volumes that help teachers set up a high-quality learning environment and builds a thorough understanding of best practices

The Agency’s Mission:

Good Shepherd Center, a community advocate for children and adults, with and without disabilities, provides support, service, and education that empower individuals and families to lead exceptional lives.

The Center’s Mission:

Acorn Child Care Center exists to provide a safe, developmentally appropriate environment for preschool and school age children. Our focus is to provide a stimulating early care and education experience which promotes each child’s social/emotional, physical and cognitive development. Our goal is to support children’s learning so they become life-long learners.

Our agency therapists are available for consultation with staff and parents when concerns about a child’s development are present.

Download our Parent Handbook here!

4815 West 155TH Street
Oak Forest, IL 60452
Hours: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Ages served: 6 weeks to 13

Waiver Program

Good Shepherd Center’s waiver program provides supports to eligible children and young adults with developmental disabilities who live at home with their families. These support services include a range of training and assistance to enable participants to accomplish tasks that they would normally do for themselves if they did not have a disability.

These services may include:

    Teaching adaptive skills to assist the individual to reach personal goals.
    Personal assistance in activities of daily living.
    Assistance in performing age-appropriate housekeeping chores such as bed making, dusting and vacuuming, which are essential to the health and welfare of the participant.
    Services provided on a short-term basis because of the absence or need for relief of the primary caregivers. (Respite Care).

For more information please contact the Program Coordinator at 708-335-0020 ext. 22.

Children Services Pilot Program

Good Shepherd Center in collaboration with Penny Lane Schools and St. Xavier University has launched a program directed at servicing the growing special needs population in Early Childhood education. Children ages two to five whose needs cannot be met in a mainstream classroom, will have an early intervention classroom available. The classroom is for all children needing special care, with a strong focus on structured teaching and children with autism. The goal of the classroom is to provide a structured environment that will guide children in learning the necessary skills to move forward, in hopes of transitioning to a mainstream classroom by elementary school. There will be a place for children with all special needs in this program, as the classroom will be modified to fit each unique student.

The program will be available Monday through Friday, 6am to 6pm. For more information or to register your child call 708-425-4233 or visit

Developmental Therapy Services

Developmental Therapists work with families to help their child acquire skills in a variety of developmental areas. DTs work in conjunction with other therapists to develop a coordinated approach to implementing strategies to achieve outcomes detailed on the child’s IFSP. Although DTs consider all areas of development in creating treatment protocols, they are primarily focused on social interaction, self-help and attention skills as well as cognitive function/play skills. Family participation is essential for helping them learn how to best support their child within the routines of their daily life.

Developmental Therapists can help in the following areas:

    Focus to stay on task or follow directions
    Use of picture exchange or sign language for children with limited expressive language
    Toy play – developing age-appropriate play skills with toys
    Dressing and feeding competency
    Social skills within the context of family or child care
    Manipulation skills related to toy use
    Parent education related to understanding the special needs of their child and home program

For more information contact Mary Schoenhofen at 708-335-0020 ext 12

Early Intervention

This program provides therapeutic services for children with developmental disabilities/delays, age’s birth to 3 that include Physical, Occupational, Speech and Developmental Therapy to improve the overall physical condition of the child, while preparing them to transition to public school Early Childhood programs most effectively.

Families may receive this service in the “natural environment” of the family home or the child’s Day Care facility.

In addition to providing these needed services for children, we also emphasize family support as a key component of assuring a healthy child as part of this program. We also continue to offer all the families in this program the opportunity to meet and support each other through agency-sponsored training, an informational Lending Library and family fun events.

This program serves families in southern Cook and northern Will counties.

For more information contact Mary Schoenhofen at 708-335-0020 ext 12