227 E. Main Street Mankato, MN 56001 / info@cultivatemankato.com / (507) 330-7700

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Our Story

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child

Our Vision


Our vision is to cultivate an inclusive community working together to create a safe & stimulating environment of love & learning for all children.

Cultivate Mankato is rooted in developing strong, consistent, loving and respectful relationships with children, families, and care providers. We do this by nurturing children, making intentional efforts to grow communities, and empowering parents with the tools and resources they need.

Our Core Values

Our Lead Teachers


Message from the Founder

Candice Deal-Bartell​

Director/Founder, Cultivate Mankato

Thank you for considering Cultivate Mankato for the care of your child! We are privileged to begin serving you and your children.

I hold a State of MN teaching license, a double MA in Education and English and have the honor to be Cultivate Mankato's Director, but my greatest title in life is "Mama." My husband, Nathan, and I have two creative and loving children, Norah (4) and Lawson (almost 2). We go through life trying to see the world through their eyes!


Through years of studying and engaging different child care centers around the Mankato area, we have discovered excellent child care options. We are lucky to live in a community that consistently and intentionally serves children and families. We also discovered how daunting and concerning the process can be, especially for new parents. We want to help by providing consistently excellent child care services and by empowering families with tools and resources to ensure your child is receiving the best care.

We understand the tough decisions regarding child care that you are facing and we want to be part of the solution. Please reach out anytime for questions about Cultivate Mankato or just general questions about the child care process. We are here to serve you!

Anissa Sandland

Program Lead, Cultivate Mankato

Hello! My name is Anissa Sandland and I am the Program Lead at Cultivate Mankato.


I am a baseball-loving, puddle-jumping, breakfast-making, singing-in-the-car, looking-up-at the-stars, book-loving auntie of three amazing kids. I have a tuxedo cat that has one blue eye and one green eye and a herd of deer that visit me regularly.


My experience working with children and families goes WAY back to my junior high days of babysitting the neighborhood kids. From there I have been a Youth Mentorship Program Coordinator, the Lead Teacher of several before and after-school programs, the Manager of a drop-in child care program, a Youth Services Librarian and most recently the Visitor Experience Coordinator at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. I have had the opportunity to work with children of all ages, each providing a unique opportunity to learn and grow.


I grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. This had a profound impact on my life. I can see the influence Mr. Rogers has in my daily interactions with children. Treating a child with love and respect and kindness and generosity teaches them how to love and respect and show kindness and generosity. In doing this, we are creating a compassionate community for all of our neighbors. This starts with me and with you.


I am so excited to be a part of the Cultivate Mankato team! I promise I will be generous with my love and respect for you and your family. My job is to make your day a little easier. Please let me know what I can do.




Cultivating and nurturing children as individuals and providing a loving and safe environment. Cultivating love in others.


Being the best and truest form of yourself at all times.


Ensuring that everyone belongs, feels loved and is provided opportunity for growth. 


Engaging with our community to promote inclusiveness and provide engaging experiences for children.