KinderCare Education

Case Study

Doing the Math on Strategy

Though KinderCare Education (formally Knowledge Universe) was the largest private early childhood education provider in the United States, the Great Recession struck it hard. After 13 consecutive quarters of decline in business, KinderCare Education’s leaders recognized the need to rally the company around a clear strategic direction.

Multiple Variables
KinderCare Education’s first step was hiring a new CEO and turnaround expert; it’s second was bringing on Coraggio. With our previous experience working with the company and expertise in business transformation, we were ready to create and execute a comprehensive enterprise-level strategic planning process that would steer the company in a new direction.

The planning process served multiple purposes: It needed to not only deliver a strategic plan that would support the turnaround of the business, but also secure a significant change in culture through buy-in and engagement with center directors and educators in every one of the company’s 1,700 centers nationwide.

A Higher Probability
To devise an equation for company turnaround and growth, we facilitated candid conversation and high-level analysis with the leadership team. These conversations collaboratively established Knowledge Universe’s current situation, desired outcomes and priorities that would move the company forward in achieving those goals. Key tenets included:

  • Connecting more deeply with the families the company served
  • Increasing overall center quality
  • Creating more productive engagement opportunities with teachers
  • Rebuilding a world-class curriculum
  • Returning operating authority to individual centers
  • Streamlining operating policies and procedures

Each component of the three-year plan was designed to meet the needs of management, educators, students and parents who depended on Knowledge Universe’s success. Practical capabilities, such as the establishment of project management and functional planning processes, were defined as well.

Add-on Benefits
Coraggio’s involvement did not end after the plan was finalized. We continued to provide KinderCare Education with ongoing support to ensure success during the implementation of these strategic initiatives.

Summing it up
The plan we helped to develop successfully turned around KinderCare Education’s business, and the positive results were calculable: KinderCare Education generated $1.4 billion in 2013 revenue and logged 14 consecutive quarters of growth.

“ Coraggio has been great partner through the turnaround and growth of KinderCare Education. They helped us to develop a 3-year strategic plan that focused our company on the things that matter most–people, educational excellence, and profitable growth. I continue to appreciate the collaborative way they work with our teams, their ability to be candid with us, and the commitment they bring to every assignment. ”

— Tom Wyatt, CEO