I am writing to you to tell you about our KinderCare experience. It started last August (2012), our son who was two years old at the time and was scheduled to start when classes resumed for me. Our daughter, who was born in July, was going to stay at home with a nanny until September/October when there would be a spot for her in the baby room.
To give you a short background, we moved to Kansas from Massachusetts. We have no family out here to help in emergencies. I am a full time veterinary student and my husband works full time. Knowing this we contacted the nanny agency in April to get a nanny for end of August. Five days before classes began, two of which were the weekend, the agency informed us that they did not have a nanny for our daughter. They were of no help, and really left us hanging and desperate. I called Lisa for help and advice. I figured she knew the daycare systems and the area better than anyone and would be the best resource. After talking with her, she said “hold on, I’ll call you back”. When she called back, she told me that she figured out a way to accommodate us and would allow Lucy to start when Nate did.
We were beyond grateful for her help and understanding. We did not expect that from her, we honestly were just looking for advice. Lisa and the staff at KinderCare in general, have become people we know, trust, and can count on for advice and help when needed. I literally had no other options, help or support. Lisa came through for us and went above and beyond what we expected. For this, among other things, we are truly eternally grateful.
The following Monday I went to drop off both kids. I was a wreck; I had been feeling overwhelmed by guilt for months, and leaving my five week old daughter in the care of someone else was almost more than I could take. Not that I didn’t trust Jeanette and Amy, but I just felt beyond guilty about leaving her. Everyone was fantastic throughout the day. I received texts and pictures of both kids, updates on how well they were doing and how much they were enjoying themselves. It made me feel so much better. Other than my family, there is no one else I would trust with my kids. I never worry about them or wonder if they are receiving the kind of love and kindness we would be giving them. I know that when they are at “school” they are cared for and loved and nurtured, and this means the world to us.
I also really appreciate that whenever I had an extended lunch period, I was able to go and feed my daughter. It was the best hour out of my day. I got to see Lucy and I could get updates on how her day was going. I got to see her interact and grow with the other babies. I would find my cheeks hurting often after my “lunch dates” from smiling and laughing because it was such a pleasure. Jeanette, Amy, Denise or anyone else who happened to be in the baby room were always welcoming. For a nursing mother that kind of support and understanding is so important.
Our son, Nate, LOVED his time at KinderCare. He constantly talks about his friends from school, and his teachers. We were making a puzzle one night at home, and he kept telling me which letters were Miss Debbie’s and Miss Kim’s favorites. I asked his teachers if they had talked about those letters recently and they hadn’t. He really was just including them in what we were doing at home.
Every afternoon when I would go to pick up the kids I would have to stop in his room first. I’d ask him if he was ready to leave or if I should go and get Lucy first. He always replied that he wasn’t ready to go yet and I should get Lucy so he could play longer. Additionally he was always excited to show me what art project he did, any new pictures they had, or new toys. On the way home our car was usually filled with stories about what they did or talked about during the day.
What amazes me most are the times when he tells me something that is correct, but something we haven’t talked about with him or taught him. He started telling me the days of the week one morning at breakfast. And then told me which day it was. He took off his shoe one day and when I told him to put on his shoes he said “I only need my left one” and was correct! These are things that we don’t teach him, but obviously are taught at KinderCare and in a way that does not appear to be lectured. The information comes up in appropriate times and settings. So the teaching must be done in such a way that it doesn’t seem like teaching to the kids, just another fact of life that they are learning. I think my favorite time was when he said “we don’t spit on our friends, but we spit out our toothpaste. We don’t bite our friends, but we bite food. We don’t kick our friends, but we can kick balls”. I was thrilled that that sort of teaching and understanding was going on with Nate and his teachers.
I love the KinderCare methods and philosophies. I love the way you teach our children and care for them. I was talking with someone who used to work at another KinderCare. She was telling me that she didn’t enjoy it. hey had a mouse problem in the kitchen, mold in the classrooms and they were supposed to hide it from the parents as much as possible. I was telling her about how much I love ours and she said “I love what KinderCare stands for, I just didn’t like this one”. And I said “You know what? I never feel like anything is hidden from us. hey are very upfront about everything. They take the time to talk to me EVERY DAY about my kids and what’s going on. I’m sure part of that is KinderCare, but I think that reflects more on the type of people that work at our KinderCare.” And I have to say that is absolutely true. If Lisa, Denise, Kim, Jeanette, Amy, Anna, Holly or any of the other staff all left and went to a new location, you better believe we’d follow them there. It was very sad for us when Debbie moved, because these people have truly become such an important part of our lives.
Jeanette is one of the kindest, sweetest, most caring people I know. After spending just five minutes with her it’s obvious that she loves her job, and truly loves the babies. And they in turn love her. She handles a crying baby with such care, and they laugh and smile with her constantly. She’s the type of person that I would want to care for me, and I love that we had her to care for our daughter. Every morning Nate enjoyed talking to her and showing her his shirt. She is loved by all. I will miss my time with her in the baby room next year.
Amy was also great with the babies. Again, you could tell that she loved her job and the babies. She cared for them like an experienced mother. Lucy was always excited to see her. She taught Lucy so many cute tricks like moving her tongue back and forth and “pat the baby”. We were thrilled when we learned that Amy would be a new mom herself.
Anna spent many afternoons with the babies. Every time I picked up with her she was so pleasant and would update me on how Lucy’s afternoon was. She’d share any concerns with me or tell me about Lucy’s accomplishments. She always took the time to talk with me and let me know just how Lucy was, and would answer any questions I had. She was fantastic.
This year was the first opportunity I had to really get to know Denise. She would often help out in the baby room during lunch. She would jump right in to help with the babies. She would feed, rock, burp and play with whichever baby needed her attention. I was very impressed with her willingness to help with whatever work needed to be done. And again, she was so welcoming and supportive of me and that is something I really appreciate. Not to mention Nate loved his time with her as well!
I cannot say enough good things about Debbie. When we first visited KinderCare she was working with the one-year-olds. We heard her sing, saw her interact with the kids, and knew that this was going to be a great place for our son. When Nate started Debbie had moved into the two-year-old room. I was upset since I had loved her so much (and not to worry, we loved Nate’s first teachers just as much!). So we were thrilled when Nate got to have her this year. She handles the children so professionally and with such care. Nate absolutely loved her and would tell us stories about her all the time. And again, she always took the time to discuss things with me and listen to my concerns or even my proud parent stories. We were so sad to learn that we would be losing her, but Omaha is so lucky to get her.
Kim has been a wonderful addition to the KinderCare family. She is just wonderful with the kids and it’s so clear that they love her. She is always playing and interacting with them. You can tell she’s just like a big kid. She handles difficult situations well and is always upfront and honest with us. It’s obvious why the kids love her so much. I love the mornings when she arrives during breakfast and the kids yell “Yay! Miss Kim is here!”, she’s like a rock star with them. I know that Nate will miss having her next year as a teacher, but am glad that she will be right next door so he will still get to see her. I was so impressed with her care, knowledge and professional manners, as well as her ability to connect with the kids.
To say that we love, admire and are grateful for all the teachers at KinderCare is an understatement. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for everything that this KinderCare does for our family. My kids are my whole life and world; if anything were to ever happen to them I don’t know what I would do. But every day that I leave them at KinderCare I know that they are being cared for, but more importantly they are being loved and nurtured. Anyone can change a diaper, put some food on a plate, and make sure that they receive the minimum and most basic care they need. Lisa, Denise, Kim, Debbie, Jeanette, Amy, Anna, Danelle, and all the others who have helped are truly special people. They discuss concerns that we have or they have with us, they update us, they listen to us. I recommend KinderCare to everyone I know who is having a baby. I honestly cannot say enough good things about these individuals and how they work to care for my children.
I could write volumes on these people and this KinderCare in particular. But to conclude, I thought I would let you know what Nate said about his teachers during teacher appreciation week. I asked him “what should we write on this card? What do you want to say thank you for to your teachers?” After thinking about it he said “Thank you for not biting me.” See? These truly are the kindest, most caring individuals I know and clearly they can be trusted with our most valuable treasures.