In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn about the Kids ‘R’ Kids franchise opportunity from the company’s CEO David Vinson.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Tell us about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies.
David Vinson (DV): We provide early education and care for children from six weeks through 12 years of age at nearly 160 schools in 16 states across the country, and this year we’ll open 16 international locations in China.
Programs include infant care, toddler and preschooler care, private pre-K and kindergarten, before-and- afterschool care, as well as winter and summer camp.
Our goal is to provide a secure, nurturing, and educational environment for children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society.
It all starts with the Kids ‘R’ Kids First Class Curriculum™, which includes theme-based units, specific learning activities, and teacher-friendly lesson plans for every developmental stage of education. We incorporate many other cutting-edge programs into our curriculum and offerings, like our exclusive Brain Waves™ Curriculum, as well as our newest proprietary curriculum, STEAM AHEAD™.
Our Academies offer parents the ability to view their children online and on their mobile devices for peace of mind through a secure video service called WatchMeGrow.
FC: What sets Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies apart from other early childhood education providers?
DV: We have been family-owned and operated for over 30 years and rank in the top three nationwide for franchised early childhood education centers. For more than six years, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies has been accredited by AdvancED in America, the world’s largest education community.
I’m really excited about one of our latest advancements – the STEAM AHEAD curriculum. Designed for preschool students, it is an integrated, project-based curriculum that incorporates more science, technology, engineering, art, and math into everyday learning through play.
By the year 2020, it is expected that the need for qualified specialists, such as medical scientists, computer system analysts, and biomedical engineers, will grow exponentially. STEAM AHEAD will help meet our nation’s growing need for STEAM-educated professionals.
FC: The company signed its first international agreement with China last year. Why did the company decide to expand internationally? Are there any other countries you are targeting for expansion?
DV: There is a growing demand for early childhood education programs here in the States and abroad. With the opening of our first Learning Academy in China, international development remains a strong interest to our company. We are examining other international markets, such as South America, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Colombia, and India.
FC: What kind of training do you have in place for both franchisees and employees?
DV: There are four areas of ongoing training and support that are very important to our industry and that Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies excels in for our franchisees.
Our Quality Assurance Consultants provide state licensing support as well as health and safety regulations.
Education Specialists write and produce our exclusive, award-winning curriculum for each Learning Academy.
Our Marketing and Brand Management Department provides information on how to market each school through social media, digital advertising, and local community events.
Finally, Government Relations is an area we take very seriously as we represent our industry and our franchisees with state and federal lawmakers. We also keep our franchisees abreast of current and potential rules and regulations.
FC: What are the brand’s expansion plans domestically?
DV: 2016 is going to be a year of great growth for us domestically. We are on track to open new schools in Florida (Tampa and Orlando), New Jersey (Princeton and Montville), and Texas (Fort Worth and Dallas), as well as Buford, Georgia and Carry, Illinois.
We are currently seeking qualified franchisees to open 15 to 20 schools in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Orlando, and Las Vegas; as well as communities in New Jersey, Virginia, and the Capital Region of Maryland.
FC: How is the overall early childhood education industry doing these days?
DV: Our industry continues to evolve as more studies and research confirm what today’s students need to set them up for academic success and a lifetime of inspired learning.
I mentioned STEAM before, and it’s not just a buzzword – research has confirmed that hands-on learning activities and projects in science, technology, engineering, art, and math will enrich students’ everyday learning and support academic growth.
We are fortunate to be at the forefront of bringing this type of curriculum to the industry and helping students develop problem solving and critical thinking skills at an early age.
FC: What is on the horizon for Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies?
DV: We have had the same long-standing principle – “Hug First, Then Teach” – for over 30 years now, and providing high quality care and education remain our top priorities. Our franchisees understand that children come first and the revenue will follow.
Our obligation is to find the right franchisee for the right location at the right time. Because of that focus, we have a growing network of franchise owners who are passionate about the brand and are fueling our success. As part of our ongoing commitment, we plan to continue helping them keep their businesses a step ahead of the rest.