Kids Co.’s Strategic Priorities
Since its founding in 1989, Kids Co. has practiced the simple, daily habit of doing what’s right. At times the right course of action was not immediately apparent and at times it was not easy. However, at the end of the day, doing what’s right always seemed to work out well for the kids and families we serve, which is what matters most to us.
Doing What’s Right
This commitment to doing what’s right lies at the heart of Kids Co.’s three strategic priorities. We believe that doing what’s right is to:
Priority One: Make an uncompromising commitment to Best Practices in Childcare throughout our operation.
Kids Co. follows the standards established by the Council on Accreditation (COA). Examples of the best practices standards Kids Co. maintains are:
- low child to teacher ratios, 7:1 for preschool and 10:1 for school-age (Note: Washington State licensing requirements are 10:1 for preschool and 15:1 for school-age);
- indoor spaces that are multi-textured to offer kids a variety of encounters and experiences, e.g., play kitchen areas, block areas, and quiet-time areas;
- outdoor spaces that are protected, equipped, and able to accommodate a wide range of activities and games;
- daily schedules and curricula that offer children variety and that encourage free-choice;
- strong and long-lasting partnerships with the public schools where Kids Co. centers are located;
- an environment that is welcoming and supportive of the whole family;
- and a commitment to fostering an anti-bias atmosphere for children.
Priority Two: Recruit and Retain Exceptional Childcare Professionals for the children and families we serve.
Kids Co. hires teachers who are creative, educated, experienced, and friendly, and supports their ongoing professional development through an extensive continuing education program. We also provide compensation and benefits packages that encourage skilled child care professionals to remain in this field. The caring environment Kids Co. creates for its staff enables the organization to achieve a lower than average turnover rate, a characteristic of Kids Co.’s culture that families find highly supportive. To Kids Co., doing what’s right is valuing the professionals who care for children by offering them:
- tuition reimbursement for continuing education at the college or graduate level and for classes that lead to a job-related certification;
- onsite training and mentoring and three organization-wide trainings a year;
- funding to attend workshops, seminars, and conferences related to the care of children;
- and paid time off for rejuvenation and self care.
Priority Three: Provide Uninterrupted Care in the form of tuition assistance to families experiencing financial hardship.
The loss of childcare as a result of financial hardship is devastating to children as well as to parents. When this occurs, children become cutoff from key relationships of safety and trust and parents are left anxiously wondering how to care for their kids while they are at work, searching for employment, or attending school.
Kids Co. believes that doing what’s right is helping financially fragile families keep their children in childcare and offers support through a tuition assistance program to ensure that this can happen. Each year, approximately $300,000 in tuition assistance is awarded to families who are struggling to make ends meet. A parent should never have to choose between putting food on the table or keeping their children safe while they must be away. Doing what’s right is creating a system of support that helps strengthen and stabilize families so this agonizing choice never need be entertained.