Kinder Academy, established in 1994, is a for-profit early childhood education provider that offers affordable, high-quality childcare to communities in Northeast Philadelphia. Kinder prides itself on being a developmental partner with its students and their parents in order to comprehensively prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.
Reinvestment Fund is financing the acquisition and renovation of a new facility for Kinder on Elgin Avenue that will ultimately serve 160 children. The 12,000 square foot facility will be repurposed to include nine classrooms and the attached parking lot will be converted to an outdoor play space. Other notable onsite amenities will include a meeting area for families to convene with potential for community use, a business office, an instruction room for staff development, a kitchenette, as well as ample office space and a building-wide security system.
Kinder Academy currently operates three early childhood education sites in the Philadelphia area serving 260 children. Each Kinder site is a multi-service facility that provides infant, toddler and preschool care on full-time and part-time basis. Services encompass after-school care that includes transportation, summer camp offerings and tutoring for school-age children. Since opting into the Keystone STARS pilot program in 2002, Kinder has maintained a STAR 3 or STAR 4 rating at each of its sites.
Kinder’s high-quality services are in demand, not only do its centers operate near full capacity, but they also maintain long waitlists for available spots. The organization is committed to serving the low-income community—over 90% of children attending a Kinder center are eligible for some form of tuition subsidy.
Kinder Academy is a recipient of predevelopment planning and capital supports through the Fund for Quality, which aims to expand access to high-quality early childhood education for low-income families in Philadelphia. This partnership between Reinvestment Fund and Public Health Management Corporation is supported by the William Penn Foundation. In August of 2014, 14 early childhood education providers were chosen to participate in planning and capital phases that are expected to result in over 850 new childcare slots in Philadelphia as part of a $7.6 million, three-year strategy.