Vaccine and testing requirements part of KinderCare’s continued commitment to health and safety
Portland, Ore. (Sept. 9, 2021) – KinderCare Education® today announced it will begin requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees, including its approximately 35,000 teachers, center staff and corporate employees. Those who are not vaccinated will be required to undergo weekly testing beginning October 18. Requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 further augments KinderCare’s rigorous health and safety protocols and commitment to providing the safest learning environments possible.
KinderCare has been continuously monitoring the impact of the virus on the safety and health of children and families in its communities, and has strongly promoted vaccinations since they became available. In fact, KinderCare was the first early childhood education provider to give all employees access to the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it was made available and has offered all U.S. families a free day of child care throughout the summer in order to receive a vaccination. With evolving developments related to the impact of virus variants and public health data showing the value and effectiveness of vaccines, this vaccine requirement for all staff – especially those who directly care for children – is a crucial part of KinderCare’s commitment to the health and safety of its communities.
“At KinderCare, the well-being of our children, families, and staff remains our top priority, and requiring the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect our communities,” said Tom Wyatt, CEO of KinderCare. “This new vaccination policy will enhance protection against the virus for the children and families we serve, as well as for our team members who provide that care. Child care remains a vital need for families, and KinderCare is committed to doing everything we can to create a healthy and safe environment for our communities.”
The vaccine and testing requirements extend to all educators and other staff working at KinderCare’s centers nationwide, as well as to employees working in offices. KinderCare will require testing on a weekly basis for employees who are not fully vaccinated and will also continue to offer paid time off to receive the vaccine.
Since the start of the pandemic, KinderCare has worked with local and national public health agencies and medical advisors to create the safest learning environments possible while also ensuring families have access to child care. All KinderCare centers operate with rigorous health and safety protocols, including required mask usage for all employees and students ages five and up, frequent handwashing and surface/toy sanitizing, health screenings throughout the day, strict exclusion for illness, social distancing, and more.
KinderCare uses a proprietary curriculum to help children learn and grow. Recent assessment data show that KinderCare's programs have been successful at mitigating pandemic-related learning loss.
About KinderCare Education®
KinderCare Education is America’s largest private provider of early childhood and school-age education and child care. KinderCare supports hardworking families with differentiated flexible childcare solutions to meet today’s dynamic work environment in 40 states and the District of Columbia:
- In neighborhoods, with KinderCare® Learning Centers that offer early childhood education and child care for children six weeks to 12 years old;
- At work, through KinderCare Education at Work™, providing customized family benefits for employers across the country, including on-site and near-site early learning centers and back-up care for last-minute child care, and
- In local schools, with Champions® before and after-school programs.
Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, KinderCare operates nearly 2,000 early learning centers and sites. In 2021, KinderCare earned its fifth Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award – one of only four companies worldwide to win this award for five consecutive years. To learn more, visit KinderCare Education.