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Marissa Schneggenburger

How to Define Your Childcare Center’s Core Values 

  • February 29, 2024

Core values are the beliefs your school should live by when making decisions and interacting with families. These values shape your center’s culture and set expectations for your families and staff. When choosing your core beliefs, it’s important to identify what you want your center to be known for and how you want staff, children, and families to feel. When you identify and live by your core beliefs, you’re building a brand for your school and setting a foundation for success.

What are Core Values? 

Core values are the guiding principles and ideals your company adopts when making decisions, defining your brand, communicating with families, and solving problems. 

Why Are Core Values Important? 

Core values serve as a guide for behavior and actions for everyone in your center. They are the essence of your center’s identity and set the tone for the kind of environment you aim to create.  

When core values are clearly defined, they serve to: 

Guide Decisions: Core values help you make decisions that align with your center’s mission and vision. 

Shape School Culture: These values help define your center culture and influence how your staff, children, and families interact.  

Attract Families and Staff: Specific core values can attract families who share your beliefs and staff who are aligned with your center’s mission. 

Build Trusting Relationships: When your center’s actions align with its values, it builds trust with families and staff, creating a positive reputation. 

How to Define Your Core Values 

Determine your mission and vision 

Reflect on your center’s purpose and the impact you wish to make on the families, children, and educators in your community. 

Identify your ideal culture 

Think about your school’s culture and what you want it to look like. Be as specific as possible to identify attributes you want your school to emulate. 

Reflect on what makes your school unique 

Figure out what sets your center apart and why families should want to enroll their children. 

Engage your team 

Get your team on board to brainstorm ideas and hear from different perspectives. 

Prioritize your values 

Narrow down the values that resonate the most with your school’s identity. 

Examples of Core Values for Childcare Centers 

  • Empathy: We show care and empathy for every child and family. 
  • Excellence: We strive for excellence in all aspects of childcare and education. 
  • Honesty: We act with integrity in all situations. 
  • Respect: We treat everyone with respect, regardless of differences. 
  • Community: We prioritize a sense of community among our children, families, and staff. 

Kangarootime’s Core Values 

  • Kind: We’re considerate and foster a culture of inclusion. 
  • Trustworthy: We’re honest and truthful in all aspects of our business. 
  • Resilient: We bounce back quickly and don’t let roadblocks get in our way. 
  • Relentless: We never give up and find the best outcomes for our community.  
  • Thoughtful: We keep our customers in mind at all times. 
  • Empathetic: We care about the experiences and challenges of childcare providers. 

Communicating and Upholding Your Core Values 

Once you’ve defined your core values, it’s important to communicate them clearly to everyone involved with your center. This includes staff, families, and even the children themselves. Use your core values to guide your center’s policies, practices, and interactions. Regularly review your values to ensure they remain relevant and meaningful to your center’s mission and vision. 

Defining your childcare center’s core values can help set expectations and create a positive environment for staff, children, and families. Aligning these values with your center’s mission, communicating them, and upholding them will set your center up for success.  


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