Five questions with Best in Class winner Susan Bennett, KinderCare Old Salem (Englewood, Ohio)

Susan Bennett
How do you create engaging moments for the families and people in your center?
Individually, it is the sincere conversations with parents about their needs and helping them meet those needs from the beginning. Building and keeping those relationships is the key. By building a team of teachers who share the same passion for families we create those moments daily.

Which Service Value resonates with you the most?
“I build great relationships with families.” Every interaction with a parent is important to building the relationship that makes them confident that we are there for them, that this is the center for their child. We are partners in their child’s education, and the trust we build allows us to work together for the common goal, their child’s success.

What’s the number one thing you do to inspire your staff?
My AD is simply wonderful, fully committed to the children and their education. I have a core team of long term teachers who are flexible, support their co-workers and help when we have new team members. They are there for the families and each other. I identify and utilize my teachers’ strengths to support others and daily center operations. Having sincere conversations of appreciation inspires.

Think back to the start of your career at KU. What advice or piece of information do you wish you would have known then that you know now?
Be strategic in the actions you take. Evaluate the possible effects of any action before you take them. Forecast what your center enrollment and staffing needs will be in the future. Plan ahead for the changes needed to meet these needs before you get there when possible.

What do you love about working for Knowledge Universe?
Besides what a difference we make in families lives, the support systems we have with our company. I enjoy the team atmosphere in our district of center directors with our DM Sally Angliss. The amount of resources we have available to us and the support of the NSC is important to our success. I appreciate that our Executive Council reaches out for input and listens to us.

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