In 1981, Kiddie Academy opened the doors of its first educational childcare center in Baltimore County. Cofounded by Pauline and George Miller, Kiddie Academy was created with the goal of providing families better childcare options that would nurture and inspire their children. They crafted a proprietary curriculum that equips children in all stages of development with fundamental skills to cultivate curiosity, build character, and bolster a passion for learning.
Michael Miller ’80 was involved with his parents’ company from the start. As a student at The Mount, he worked part-time to help build Kiddie Academy, contributing to the odds and ends of daily operations – from constructing playgrounds to keeping the books. His early experiences with the company, as well as the lessons he learned at The Mount, intensified an entrepreneurial spirit that would carry him quickly up the corporate ladder.
“No matter what business you are in, we are all really in the relationship business,” Michael says. “Saint Joe fostered my ability to truly understand the value of strong relationships.”
After college, Michael began a full-time position with the company as it continued to grow and expand into more communities. Within a few years, Kiddie Academy opened its first franchise location.
“We knew we had developed a successful business model for early childhood education, so in 1992 we decided to launch our growth through franchising,” Michael explains. “With only four locations, funding the early stages of franchising was difficult. Initial development of a franchise system brought lots of expenses and many operational challenges. Over the years we were fortunate to build a talented and passionate team; several employees have been with the company as long as I have.”
Pauline and George figured out early on that providing quality child care truly does take a village. And, with Michael continuing to build upon their vision, that village has multiplied.
Today, Kiddie Academy is proud to offer 243 franchise locations across 30 states. In 2019, Kiddie Academy was recognized in Forbes’ list of Top Ten Best Franchise Companies and has been ranked among the fastest growing and largest privately-held companies in the Baltimore area two years in a row.