Thank you Academy, for all the new words. My vocabulary’s never been so big.


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Four cities. Eight regions. Countless lessons learned, friends made, and awkward family photos taken. It’s hard to believe that this year’s Center Director Academies are all wrapped up. As Center Directors settle back in and start diving into Back to School with a fresh perspective, NSC folks may need help learning the field’s new vocabulary! We’ve created a glossary for your reference.

Field readers, use this glossary to remember your time at the Academy and refer back to the Experience Everything website for skill build materials and The Gratitude Game. NSC readers, get a first look at Academy content here. There’s more to come (including access to the Experience Everything site), we promise.

Experience Everything: Your one-stop-shop for all things Experience. Here you’ll find all the materials from this year’s Center Director Academy, and resources for programs like Teacher Appreciation, First 100 Days, Service Values, The Welcome, and more! Field users, log in using your username and password. NSC folks, hold tight for more information about how to access the website later this month!

BFAA: Stands for Best Friend At Academy. All Center Directors were paired with a new friend from outside of their district to hold accountable through—and after—Academies. BFAAs made a commitment to each other to check in and see just how much progress the other’s made since May.

Family Feel: Telling families how great the programs at your center is one thing, but what will really make them enroll and stay enrolled is how the center staff makes them feel. We know one of the biggest differentiators between highly engaged centers and disengaged centers is Family Feel. Level 5 and 6 centers make teachers, parents and children feel at home in the center. It’s about doing what’s right. It’s about treating teachers, children and parents like they’re a part of a family, the KinderCare family.

Embrace the Chaos: Chaos is sometimes unavoidable in a Center Directors day to day. But even in the face of chaos, it’s important to keep the Family Feel alive. Remembering that we’re all in it together (we are family, after all!) can make even the most chaotic days run smoothly.

Two Minutes: Getting little to-dos done throughout the day can help cut down on chaos. Two minutes may seem like no time at all, but by the end of the day, it really adds up. In just two minutes, Center Directors can: tell their team who is coming in for a tour, thank a teacher for her hard work, put together a few tour packets, check the community board for upcoming events, or share weekly goals with their team.

Aunt Shelley: Your Aunt Shelley invites you over for dinner, but when you arrive she seems surprised and tells you that you’re early (even though you’re a little late). You watch as she prepares dinner with meat dishes—completely forgetting you’re a vegetarian. You’re dying to tell her about your kids, but Aunt Shelley only asks “how’s work?” Aunt Shelley brings to life some of the ways we too can make new families feel unwelcome or uncared for, without meaning to when they visit our centers for the first time.

Good Wolf: A wise man once said that there are two wolves inside of us who are always at war with each other: a good wolf, and a bad wolf. Your good wolf represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. Your bad wolf represents things like greed, hatred, and fear. Which wolf wins? The one you feed. Feed your good wolf and the rest will fall into place.

Gratitude: Nothing feeds your good wolf like thanking your team for their hard work. Taking time throughout the day to call out and give thanks for employees’ good deeds boosts keeps engagement up, and ultimately helps teachers have better interactions with families. To drive home the importance of gratitude, centers are playing The Gratitude Game, a board game that recognizes teachers for going above and beyond in living their Service Values at their center. Teachers who excel at The Gratitude Game have the chance to win some amazing prizes, like an iPad or a trip to the NSC! Learn more about The Gratitude Game.

KinderCare Kid: We get to see them through their first words and first steps, but what great things do these little humans do when they leave our care? We don’t always get to see how the kids we teach, nurture, encourage, and love turn out. What we do for the lives of children is meaningful. We want as many children as possible to be KinderCare Kids.

Parent Profiles: The First Timer. The Super Mom. The Academic Engager. The Stretched Parent. The Laid-Back Parent. Every parent is different, and has different needs and wants from their childcare center. The First Timer needs frequent communication and a whole lot of love, while the laid back parent is looking for a friendly environment that’s just as fun as it is educational. Refer to the Academy Work Book (page 85) for more about each parent profile.

Pivoting: Parents often have tricky questions. By using parents’ questions to share positive things about the center, inquiries turn to tours, and tours turn to enrollments.

Purple Cow: What makes a center unique and special is ultimately what makes it valuable. A center’s Purple Cow sets them apart from their competitor across the street.

Magic Math: Magic Math is here to help center directors understand how many inquiries, tours, and enrollments are needed in a given week. It’s easier than it sounds. If a CD knows her conversion rate, she knows how many tours needed the next week to hit her goal. Voila! Refer to this helpful Magic Math worksheet to take the mystery out of planning your week.

Power Hour: A Power Hour is an hour set aside each week that Center Directors should use to focus on working through those must-do items on the to-do list. Work gets accomplished faster when time is focused and uninterrupted. Learn more about getting your Power Hour on.

Enrollment Report Card: The Enrollment Report card outlines all the things Center Directors need to do when helping new families get to know them, their teachers, and their center. From web inquiry to asking for the enrollment, the Enrollment Report Card helps show how one is stacking up. Don’t forget that Family Feel check!

Occupancy Whiteboard: The Occupancy Whiteboard is a tool that puts everything in one place for Center Directors to make the best decisions for staffing their center. With everything at-a-glance and in one place, staffing will be a breeze.

Lavender’s Palace: At Academy, Center Directors participated in Lavender’s Palace—a casino-style series of activities that focused on value, pivoting, conquering chaos, the purple cow, and more. Check out a quick recap of each Lavender’s Palace activity on these debrief cards.

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