A program of laughter, learning and love!

At The Cradle Club, we believe the most profound learning happens when educational experiences are surrounded by laughter and love. By placing nurturing relationships at the heart of everything we do, our innovative programs immerse children in all the benefits of play-filled, theme-based learning and surround them with the joyous laughter and endless love that they need to flourish.

Our philosophy

We believe every child needs love, security, acceptance, control, guidance, and PROTECTION!

Here at The Cradle Club, we believe every child deserves to feel loved and wanted. We understand that every child needs the security of a stimulating, safe environment, and must believe they are always accepted for themselves. Each child needs to feel in control, and must grow and develop individually with nurturing guidance from those who love them. Through it all, every child must always feel trusting of and protected by amazing adults who care!

Daycare play outdoors

Our Family Approach

As a local, family-owned childcare company, it has always been our mission to bring laughter, learning and love to the children in our community. It served as our sense of purpose in 1986 when we began as a small, twelve-child infant program and we’re proud to continue to pursue it through our three industry leading schools serving over 400 children from 6 weeks through 12 years of age.

Led today by the same devoted family who pioneered our perspective, our team believes that contributing positively to the lives of families happens by providing a place where children feel as much love and care each day with us as they do with you at home. We know that trusting someone with your child is the most important decision you can make, and we don’t take that honor lightly. To us you are not just a client, you are part of the Cradle Club family!

Meet The Owners

Maria and Scott Erickson

Maria Erickson

Owner, CEO

Maria has served as CEO for the Cradle Club since 2000. In her role, she provides ongoing leadership, training, guidance and support to our amazing community of directors, staff, parents and children.  Caring deeply about the quality of our programs, Maria  pioneered the creation of Cradle Club’s Code of Excellence, a tool that instills professionalism and expertise amongst staff working with each age group of children, developed The Cradle Club’s Observation Project which evaluates and improves on excellence in our classrooms and has implemented many other training tools that encourage growth and excellence in our teachers. She has worked with our fantastic staff to create our “Fun with Fitness,”Spanish Splash,” and Character Building programs as well as Cradle Club’s Tips for Success Series,” an invaluable tool available to both parents and staff that offers expertise on topics relevant to all ages and stages of childhood. Maria works closely with our leadership teams on how to best meet the needs of each child and staff member. After double-majoring in Speech Communications and Political Science at Mankato State University, Maria went on to obtain her Masters and Doctorate degree in Ministry from the Christian Life School of Theology.  Scott and Maria enjoy being parents to their three sons who graduated from The Cradle Club in 2007, 2010 and 2012.   In addition to parenting their own children, Scott and Maria have spent many hours counseling individuals and families in need and have a heart to see every child and family thrive!

Erickson family

Scott Erickson

Owner, CFO

Scott holds bachelors degrees from Macalester College in Business Economics, Art and Theatre and has served as Cradle Club’s Chief Financial Officer since 1987. He provides guidance and support for all three schools in the infrastructure and financial areas of the business to ensure that we weather through any storms that come and that things are the best they can be for our wonderful staff, children and families.

Meet The Team


Jan (Erickson) Ashbaugh

Founder, Licensing Coordinator and Behavioral Guidance Consultant

Jan (Erickson) Ashbaugh is the founder of The Cradle Club and continues to work closely with each of our schools as our expert Licensing Coordinator and Behavioral Guidance Consultant. Jan felt called to a future caring for children when she was still a child herself. She followed her heart and pursued an education in early-childhood development. Jan received extensive training both in the classroom and on the job as she worked in the field for six years. Eventually, she realized the only way she could do for children what she thought was best was to start her own company and set the standards herself. In 1986, Jan started an infant only program providing care for twelve infants. Our satisfied parents then asked for more. They wanted The Cradle Club to develop a toddler and preschool program so their children could continue growing with us! After expanding to two locations that provided care for children 6 weeks to 6 years of age and serving as CEO for the company for ten years, Jan took a hiatus to be a stay-at-home mom for her four children. In 2010 she returned to The Cradle Club as our Licensing Coordinator and Behavioral Guidance Consultant and makes a tremendous difference every day as she assists our Director Teams in providing the best of care and guidance to our children and staff.

Myah Clark

Director of Operations

Myah serves as our Director of Operations, continuously working to ensure that The Cradle Club’s goals, objectives and mission are carried out through all aspects of our program.  With an extensive background working with children both directly and in administrative roles,  Myah utilizes her vast experience to continue to help The Cradle Club create, implement and maintain industry leading programming that speaks to the hearts of the children and families we serve. 

Since 2006 when Myah began to pursue her love of working with children, she has held a variety of increasingly influential roles through various organizations; Nanny, high school sports coach, teacher, assistant director, marketing and enrollment coordinator, CEO Team member and Special Projects Director and now our Director of Operations. Myah holds her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Child Development as well as a near double major in Elementary Education and has taken specialized courses in classroom management, effective practice and curriculum development for infants through preschool.

Christa Vernstrom

Executive Program Director

Christa serves as our Executive Program Director, managing daily operations that support and implement our current program objectives.  Beginning her career at The Cradle Club as a teacher in 2008, Christa has worked her way up the ladder from classroom staff to Assistant Director, Center Director, Corporate Mentor and Behavior Guidance Specialist and now her current role, continuously showing her knack for instilling wisdom and upholding integrity along the way. 

In addition to Christa’s wealth of experience in her various roles, she holds formal training from Rasmussen College where she received her certificate in Early Childhood Education. Christa partners directly with our classroom staff and center management to provide the best experience possible for the children and families we serve. Her favorite part about working with children (and adults!) is learning what makes each person unique and using that knowledge to cater learning experiences to fit their needs.