Where Children Come First: Exploring KinderCare’s Family-Friendly Benefits & Work Environment

What does it mean to be a family-friendly company? Just ask KinderCare, a valued partner of The Mom Project driven by a family-friendly mission that prioritizes the growth and development of the children they care for and the people who work for them. They're proud to offer a host of benefits families love, including a generous child care discount — an enviable perk, considering the increasingly rising costs of child care.

To learn more about this amazing benefit and more, we chatted with Kandise Johnson, Senior Corporate Talent Acquisition Business Partner at KinderCare Learning Companies. Kandise opened up about her journey to KinderCare, why she feels she found her home with the company, how they have fostered her growth and how they live up to their family-friendly mission with flexible work, generous time off, DE&I initiatives, discount child care and much more.

Let's dive into the discussion!

What is your role at KinderCare and how long have you been with KinderCare? 

I am a Senior Talent Acquisition Business Partner for the Corporate Recruitment Team and I have been with our organization since August 2021.

If you experienced a pivot, what led you to this role?

I previously worked within the Healthcare Industry. I took a few years off to start/raise my family and when I returned to the workforce it was important that I found another mission driven industry. I found my home when I joined KinderCare. The onboarding program for our organization really supported me and provided me with all the tools that I needed to return to the workforce and to help me gain that confidence to be successful.

What is a typical day like at KinderCare? 

I work as a trusted business advisor and recruiting subject matter expert to support Senior Leadership in a Corporate setting. I get to partner with different client groups across our organization and place amazing leaders that help our organization be successful.

Do you have a personal experience or anecdote you would like to share that speaks to KinderCare's family-friendly support? 

KinderCare has many family-friendly support benefits, such as an amazing child-care discount for all employees at any of our education centers or programs. If you are a KinderCare employee you receive a significant tuition discount at any of our centers and programs, which is huge considering the rise in childcare costs! I have two children that have gone through our education programs, and I have just seen a world of difference in how much they are learning but to also see that confidence that they have in themselves, is truly a testament to what we do and why we do it. 

We also partner with Lifeworks Mental Health and provide free counseling services to all employees and families for mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. This particular benefit has been utilized by me personally. KinderCare also has the OneFund where employees can make contributions to support our employee relief program. We have been able to support hundreds of colleagues that have experienced catastrophic events such as hurricanes, fires, etc.

What makes KinderCare a great place to work? What makes it unique? 

KinderCare is an organization where you can flourish, be challenged, and advance in ways you never thought were possible.

It is not just a job for us here at KinderCare, it is a calling. No matter the role, all of us are supporting families and children, directly and indirectly. Everyone is enthusiastic about the children and families that we serve. Our leadership team partnered with me on my goals and how I would like to grow within our organization. I also love that KinderCare provides us with the flexibility to care for our families with an adjustable work schedule. Our organization is very engaging even in the remote setting. I also have quite a few work BFF’s that I can call on when I need help or even just need some encouragement. Most importantly, our organization really does genuinely care about their employees. I unfortunately lost my infant daughter back in October 2022. My team, my managers, and the organization was there right alongside me through it all. Checking in on my family daily, they sent my family and I food to help with dinners throughout the week and gave me the time off that I needed during such a tragic time.

How does KinderCare's organizational leadership help champion flexible and family-friendly benefits? What flex work options does KinderCare offer?

We prioritize the work-life balance and understand the importance of supporting the employee's family needs. We offer training, education, and a supportive work environment.

During the pandemic, we had to shift our business approach and went to a remote model for most of our corporate roles. It has been beneficial for us to hire and retain talent in this type of work setting. We noticed that it was extremely successful across our business and moving forward we will stay with that remote model of work.

What is the core mission of KinderCare, and how does employing working parents speak to this and / or support this?

We believe that every child deserves a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is also connected to our mission and is critical to ensure the well-being of our staff, families, and communities we serve. Those different lived experiences and points of view allow us to better understand our diverse clients and customers, create innovative solutions to problems, and imagine new opportunities!

What sort of family-friendly benefits does KinderCare offer?

We offer flexible work schedules for all salaried employees meaning that you can adjust your work schedule and take the time off with pay as needed for personal pursuits and activities. We also offer up to four weeks of pay within a rolling 12-month period while you are on a qualifying leave of absence.

Why do parents love working at KinderCare? 

We started off as one childcare center to support working Moms going back into the workforce. We have been in business for over 50 years and operate under three primary brands that meet parents/children wherever they need us most, their communities, their workplace, and their local elementary schools. KinderCare provides employees with the reassurance that we can do what is best for our children while also sustaining a meaningful career. Also, because we work in a remote setting, sometimes our children like to pop in and say "hi" when we are on video conferences. Other organizations might disapprove, but here at KinderCare, we welcome it!

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