When choosing childcare for your son or daughter, the most important thing is that you decide on somewhere where your child will be happy.
This philosophy is shared by the Kids R Kids preschool franchise, whose schools place a real focus on love, kindness, and nurturing.
But are Kids R Kids schools as great as everyone seems to say that they are? Are they worth paying more than the cheaper independent nurseries in your area?
Is Kids R Kids worth it? Here’s a full review.
Kids R Kids is well loved by parents for the high level of nurturing and care kids receive there. The curriculum has a focus on child safety and love, making sure all kids feel safe and can nurture their creativity and character first and foremost. Some parents, however, find that Kids R Kids fees are too high and/or inflexible, so make sure you check the rates at your local school.
(My youngest daughter actually goes to a Kids R Kids in Georgia, and so far we’ve loved the experience!)
Let’s take a closer look at the pros, cons, costs, and other details about life at Kids R Kids.
What is Kids R Kids?
Kids R Kids Learning Academies is a childcare franchise with over 170 locations in the USA as well as a rapidly expanding presence in China.
Founded by husband and wife team Pat and Janice Vinson in 1985, the couple has experience in childcare that dates back over 50 years.
Kids R Kids offers care for children from six weeks to six years of age as well as before and after school and summer camp programs for children up to twelve years old.
The franchise is accredited by Cognia and individual schools generally also have local accreditation as well.
Kids R Kids Teaching Philosophy Explained
According to the Kids R Kids website, the brand’s most cherished principle is “HUG FIRST, THEN TEACH”.
The Kids R Kids philosophy is that happy children are better prepared for school achievement and success in life.
Children should therefore be loved unconditionally and taught with kindness.
The Kids R Kids curriculum is known as the ‘First Class Curriculum’.
It focuses on all areas of a child’s development including character, intellect, physical growth, and creativity. But above all, the emphasis is on children feeling safe, loved, and inspired.
As Kids R Kids is a franchise, each school is individually owned and operated. The owners are on-site and are encouraged to take a very active role in the management of their school.
Kids R Kids has a unique program for each age group:
- Infants – A focus on brain development with activities like sensory play, art, music, and storytime
- Toddlers – Hands-on learning techniques with puppets, music, sign language, and games
- Preschool – Preparing children for kindergarten and beyond with short, theme-based units that cover literacy, language, math, science, social studies, and physical development
- Before & After School – Age-appropriate supervised activities offer structure, guidance, and fun
Kids R Kids Day To Day Procedures/Typical Day
Let’s take a look at what life is like at Kids R Kids schools.
The classrooms at Kids R Kids schools have been purpose-built with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, child-sized restrooms, separate storage areas, and direct access to fenced-in playgrounds.
Each age group has its own separate playground where children can enjoy free play on age-appropriate apparatus.
All food and snacks are provided at Kids R Kids.
Each school has a dedicated commercial-grade kitchen and cafeteria where meals are prepared by certified chefs following USDA guidelines.
Kids R Kids provides bus transportation to take school-age children between local schools and the after-school club.
The buses are also used for field trips in the community for younger children.
Parents receive daily reports which may be handwritten or electronic, depending on the school.
(Ours in Georgia are handwritten.)
These detail each day’s activities as well as giving information about how much food was eaten and how long the child napped for.
Most schools also have video cameras that parents can view via their mobile phones at any time.
Most parents find this to be very reassuring. However, there was one incident reported that caused a particular Kids R Kids preschool to lose its franchise after a parent saw white children being served food ahead of black children.
The Kids R Kids CEO, David Vinson, apologized for the incident which he described as ‘random and isolated’.
The opening times vary depending on the school, but most are open their doors between 6 am and 7 am and close between 5 pm and 6 pm, Monday through Friday.
Although the opening hours are quite long, some schools request that children are not at school for more than 9½ to 10 hours per day.
Kids R Kids schools are closed for public holidays, but fees may still be due.
As Kids R Kids schools are individually owned and operated, the day-to-day procedures will vary by school.
The company doesn’t publish a lot of information about these details online. Instead, prospective parents are encouraged to book a tour of their local Kids R Kids daycare facility.
When you take a tour, it’s a good idea to come prepared with questions that you would like answers to.
We suggest asking the following as a minimum:
- What’s the procedure for dropping off and collecting children?
- How many children and teachers are in each classroom?
- Can families take vacations without paying fees for that period?
- Are baby care items such as diapers, wipes, formula milk, and bottles provided?
You’ll find more questions to add to your list here.
Kids R Kids Tuition Examples
Some Kids R Kids schools list the tuition fees online, but many do not.
The fees vary by location to account for the fact that some cities and states generally have a higher cost of living than others.
As a ballpark range, you can expect to pay between $195 and $340 per week for an infant and $185 to $260 per week for a five-year-old.
Most Kids R Kids schools also offer part-time care on certain days of the week.
When you apply for a place, you’ll be asked to pay an enrollment fee which can cost around $100 to put your child’s name on the waitlist.
The first four weeks’ tuition fees may also be due at the time of enrollment.
What Real Parents Are Saying About Kids R Kids Schools
We read through reviews of Kids R Kids schools across the US to get an idea of what parents love about their local Kids R Kids school and the areas they’d like to see improvements.
We’ve used these real-life reviews to come up with a list of the pros and cons of Kids R Kids Learning Academies.
If you’re reading online reviews yourself, it’s important to consider that schools may change owners over time.
Any reviews from a time when a particular school was under different management are likely to be less relevant than newer reviews.
The teachers are loving and caring
Online reviews of Kids R Kids frequently mention how much children adore their caregivers.
At Kids R Kids, each day starts with a hug, and the warm and caring attitudes of the teachers help to make parents and kids very happy with the overall experience.
“I just had to mention Ms.Roshni in room 250. My son was in her class and now my daughter is and she LOVES going into daycare each day. She can’t run fast enough to Ms.Roshni.
“That is because she truly cares about those children as if they were her own – she takes the best care of them and runs that room so well, she also goes above and beyond to do sweet things for them whether it’s their birthday or a holiday she goes all out – it is so thoughtful!”
The owners are present
Parents like the fact that the franchise owners are always on site and available to speak to if there are any issues that need to be addressed.
“The new owners are more involved and present than any other facility we have had experience with They are literally there every day greeting the students, while other places we rarely (if ever) saw owners – just directors.”
The fees include things that other schools charge extra for
Some daycares charge extra for meals and supplies or ask families to provide a packed lunch. Parents are generally pleased with what’s included at Kid R Kids.
“Tuition includes wipes, meals, and usage of the camera system. All this & it is still cheaper than the last place we went.”
The camera system isn’t as good as you might expect
While having access to security cameras throughout the day is an advantage, some parents are frustrated that the cameras do not save a copy of each day’s recording.
“The cameras they have at the day care only live stream and do not record so any injury that happens to your child while in their care, can easily be hidden unless the teacher actually reports it.”
There’s a lack of flexibility regarding fees
One parent was disappointed that their local school was unwilling to waive fees on days when parents were unable to go to work due to the weather.
“They enforced their mandatory minimum tuition rule for the week of the hurricane, regardless of parents who were out of work and displaced.
“When I sent an email complaining that this was in poor taste and looked like they were shamelessly attempting to profit off of hurricane Harvey victims, I was given the shove off by the manager and told to take my business elsewhere if I didn’t like it.”
On the whole, parents who send their children to Kids R Kids are extremely happy with the service and level of care that’s provided.
They love the purpose-built facilities, the variety of activities, and the level of individual attention that kids receive.
Depending on where you live, the Kids R Kids tuition fees can be quite high compared to independent daycares and preschools, so it’s worth getting in touch with a few providers to get an idea of how much a place would cost for your children.
Remember, as each Kids R Kids school is an individual franchise, the best way to get a feel for the school is to take a tour for yourself.
For more, check out more reviews like:
- Is Primrose School Worth It?
- Is the Goddard School Worth It?
- Is Kiddie Academy Worth It?
- Is Children’s Lighthouse Worth It?
- Is Discovery Point Worth It?
- List of all the best daycares and preschools
Hope this helps!