Knowledge Universe

  www.kueducation.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Knowledge Universe Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014

Be The First To
Add Photos

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 76 reviews

34% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Tom Wyatt

(29 ratings)

26% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Better than average work/life balance(in 7 reviews)

  • Child care discount, flex schedule(in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • No raises for three years running(in 6 reviews)

  • benefits, time off, pay, work/life balance, employee appreciation(in 3 reviews)

76 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great company and through the many changes they continue to do well.

    Lead Teacher (Current Employee) Columbia, MD

    ProsKU is a fun place to work and has good benefits. The child care discount cant be beat for working moms with young children. the curriculum allows some flexibility if you are good at planning and time management.

    ConsSometimes have to work with inexperienced young staff that are there for a paycheck only. Your hours can vary and sometimes you don't get 40 a week

    Advice to Senior ManagementWe should have better trainings that challenge us to learn new things. The trainings are the same every year and very boring.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Challenges Now, and More Ahead

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsIn general, a relaxed and friendly place to work. Many of the people who work for this company believe strongly in the principles of serving children. I believe that the current CEO is doing the best job he is able to, and is successfully seeing the company out of several years of troubling finances.

    ConsCompany-wide low morale. Non-competitive wages and salaries with little opportunity for advancement or training. Several years of poor financial performance, turn around and general inner-trouble have forced the company to severely tighten its belt, often leading it to cut back in important departments.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Its a great place to be from

    Manager (Former Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsA mission you can connect with and believe in
    An opportunity to change the world
    A company not afraid of making big changes

    ConsI voluntarily left KU a year ago and to this day I am still so affected by what happened there I felt I have to say something.

    They have recently completed a IT outsourcing that had no demonstrable ROI or drive benefit.

    KU often staff key positions externally and as such is constantly teaching leaders about how to work in Early Childhood Education.

    Repeated "disruptive" change isn't positive, it's not healthy, it's anarchy, and you expect people to entrust their children to that?

    KU is like an addiction. You play around with the mission of "creating a world of learners" but at some point you believe it. It stops becoming "just a job". It becomes your driver and a source of pride. You're hooked. Then it happens. You observe a leadership that treats the educational business like the business it was recruited from: Retail clothing stores.

    Here's a tip: Teachers work in schools. Schools have principals or deans, not "Directors". Even your vurnacular shows that upper management doesn't get it.

    You watch them hire "teachers" from the same pool as Old Navy or McDonalds, pay them nothing, jerk them around on hours and benefits, and wonder why they leave. Yet this is a "relationship" business. You see your customer TWICE A DAY. How many new "teachers" do your parents and families see in a month? What does that teach my children about relationships and bonding?

    You watch them spend millions on Gallup drivel challenging managers to "engage" staff. If you ask the EVP placed by Gallup if it's working, he shouts "of course", points to his "best friend at work" and tells you that the emperor is, in fact, wearing clothes. Here's a tip: People are plenty engaged when they aren't looking for a payday loan to make sure they don't get evicted. That person is taking care of infants and toddlers and not sure if they can make ends meet. You should be ashamed Mr. CEO and EVP of People. You aren't creating a world of learners. You are ensuring that children, customers of "premium" early childhood education, get lessons in financial and psychological hardship by watching a teacher they've bonded with struggle.

    Finally you realize: My "mission" became to ensure that KU doesn't mess up theirs. You take personal ownership of doing the right thing for children and families, in spite of the companies drive to do the opposite. You watch political infighting and budget squabbles leave managers with no choice but to silo groups to prevent aiding other groups and depleting their own necessary resources. There is no focus on doing the "right thing" just corporate survival. Then you realize: The only way I can help ensure that we create a world of learners is to leave. But if you had become a believer, like me, you've left, but you've never quit. You WANT them to succeed. But there is a lot of incompetance that must be worked through before that can happen.

    To prospective employees: If you're hard up for a paycheck, go ahead. If you're looking for a career and to make a difference, not yet. Hopefully someday soon.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo the owners: The staff at HQ (and those that have left) KNOW how to fix this. Those of us who have left defeated and disgusted never stopped believing in what KU SHOULD be doing. It's time to purge again. Director level on up to the top. At the very least make them interview for their jobs and demonstrate value. Put out the word to those of us who can't get KU out of our blood that you're ready to hear us, ready to reinvest, ready to demonstrate some social responsibility, and make Kindercare something we can be proud of either working for, or having once been a part of.

    Fire anyone involved with Gallup. Overpriced consulting on how to make employees happier without paying them more? Sure, it has some value, but if you had invested that in teacher benefits and training, how would your "engagement scores" look. If it sounds like nonsense, maybe it just is. For reference, try reading "The Emperors New Clothes" it's a parable but very fitting: Sometimes the obvious just needs to be said:
    You're not a clothing retailer
    Sometimes idiotic, overpriced consultant babble is just that, and can only possibly result in more
    You have teachers and curriculum like a school, start acting like one.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Nice ideals, poor execution

    Human Resources Business Partner (Current Employee)

    ProsKnowing that I am doing my part to positively impact children.

    ConsRevolving door for senior HR leadership makes this a difficult environment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBetter than average work/life balance. Workday goes by quickly. Okay benefits.

    ConsTrying to take a retail approach to child care... Need I say more.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou are losing a lot of great talent... Stop and ask your selves WHY and read some of the reviews from your employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    1 person found this helpful  

    They have a great mission but it is exhausting to work under multiple changes in leadership.

    (Former Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsSome managers allow you to participate in volunteer activities including March to Beach Elementary School, School House Supplies and SMART reading. They also have a great employee discount at their centers.

    ConsWith multiple reductions in force, in addition to multiple changes in leadership, the teams at the National Support Center continue to become smaller so employees are stretched being asked to do more with less. The environment can also be very stressful as you never know when employees are going disappear in a reduction in force.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop relying on a "just in time culture" at the National Support Center.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    The worst Experience ever

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsYou can make a difference to a childs life

    ConsLeadership. You have no voice. Manage through fear

    Advice to Senior ManagementTalk to your people vs talking at them!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Teacher (PreK, School Age, Preschool)

    Lead Teacher (Current Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsLoved the employees, families and center director, which made working for KinderCare tolerable.

    ConsI was actually excited to work with the company and to soon teach and interact with kids. However I quickly realized how revenue obsessed this company is. I get it, you have to make money to survive. However, the financial boundary we had to work with was borderline insane. How can you give kids quality interaction when labor hours were literally enforced down to the bone?

    But as soon as our center had amazing teachers, the parents noticed this and kept their children enrolled (hey that's great). At the same time, our classroom received more new children and we were actually maxed out in every room. Teachers were stressed out, burnt out and it turned into daycare rather a school atmosphere. I feel terrible for the incredible teachers that will soon be leaving because they cannot deal with the lack of support, labor hours and funds from the corporate office.

    Bottom line, NO EDUCATION company teaching young children should be for-profit, which KU is. And if you do a good job and your classroom stays filled, you aren't rewarded, of course besides the positive interactions with kids. Period. It truly is the fast food of education. Teachers, get jobs at independent or privately owned schools. Parents, NEVER enroll your children in a crowded classroom when you tour.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCome visit centers and actually have a good attitude about it. Every person who does is in a bad mood and doesn't even say hello.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Stressful Environment, no support

    Lead Teacher (Current Employee) Norwell, MA

    ProsThe children enrolled are wonderful.

    ConsThe working environment is stressful, especially when you are left with 20 children to watch over alone. The director and assistant directors don't support you. Preschool children are constantly moved to PreK because they want to save a salary and they are moved up at age 3.2 to make room for other Pre-Schoolers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop watching the bottom line and consider the children's education, as promised.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Too big and political to make real change

    Anonymous (Former Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsSome great people and, depending on the department, smart, competent people that have a desire to do good things for children

    ConsToo political and bogged down in upper management's slow decisions make effective change. Too much fear in the masses to make effective change

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Worked for Knowledge Universe? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.