October 20, 2017 | last updated October 20, 2017 2:00 pm
Family Business Awards

Educational Playcare

Educational Playcare's Jane Porterfield and Gerry Pastor with grandkids.

Educational Playcare

Headquarters: Windsor; 15 total locations

Industry: Childcare/Preschool/School Age Programs

Year Founded: 1985

Founder: Jane Porterfield

Generation Currently Running Company: First

No. of Full-Time Employees: 400

No. of Part-Time Employees: 150

Family Members Currently Employed at Company: Jane Porterfield, President and Founder; Gerry Pastor, co-owner and husband; Brendan Pastor, son, Head of Administration; Gwendolyn Pastor, daughter, Manager Special Projects; Graham Pastor, son, teacher; Christina Pastor and Dylan Pastor, grandchildren, attend Educational Playcare

Company Website: www.educationalplaycare.com

What does your company do?

We are a provider of high-quality childcare, preschool and before/after school programs to families with children from ages six weeks to 12 years.

How do you remain competitive in the market?

We are highly differentiated from all other providers in the state and most in the country. All of our programs are National Association for the Education of Young Children accredited, meaning we are at the highest measure of quality in the qualifications of our staff and their interactions with our children, our facilities, curriculum and much more. We utilize state-of-the-art technology in the ways we communicate with families electronically, and safeguard our staff and children both from a health and wellness perspective as well as their physical safety.

Our curriculum for children from ages six weeks through preschool is award-winning. Our focus on our staff has been rewarded by earning a Hartford Courant Top Workplace award. This year we placed third for mid-sized companies. Being the employer of choice in Connecticut allows us to hire the highest-quality teachers. Even after hire we provide them with continuous training in early childhood theory and practice.

What are your most significant accomplishments in the last year?

During the past year we have opened four schools. We are now the 25th largest childcare provider in the country and among the top 10 that are privately owned. We have earned a Top Workplace award and continue to focus on our employees in countless ways.

During the past year we have increased our total employee count by almost 150. We have implemented numerous initiatives designed to improve the quality of our programs. We have identified four of our best teachers and made them program specialists; they go to each school on a monthly basis and work individually with the teachers of their respective age groups. We have promoted three of our best directors to regional directors. Each is responsible for the quality of our programs at four schools.

How do you instill your family values in your employees?

We achieve our path to success by adhering to our mission statement utilizing our core values. These core values of fun, wellness, inspiration, community and kindness are our family values as well. They are more than words we hang on a wall. We emphasize them daily with all of our directors and teachers. We inculcate them with our employees during their two-day orientation prior to entering a classroom and again when they meet us for a 'new employee welcome,' which we hold every month.

We even have a full-time 'director of core values' whose only mission and responsibility is to instill our core values into every aspect of our daily operations. We consider the children and families we provide services to as well as our employees, an extension of our own family and every decision we make is informed by our core values.

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