Kids at Play — An Early Childhood Education Center

Kids at Play Website Home Page

Background

Rachael Wyman spent many years launching new childcare centers and running them successfully before she decided to purchase one of her own. In years prior she learned how to ramp up new centers, while growing disenchanted with the traditional model of childcare that focuses more on controlling behavior than honoring the unique creative inclinations of children. She did a great deal of research and developed a vision for a new way of childcare.

In the fall of 2019 she reached out to 4 Directions Branding to initiate a brand creation process while she was in purchase negotiations with an existing center.

We spent two months crafting and honing her brand strategy and identity. She took possession of the facility in March of 2020 and began overhauling its design, look, feel, and most importantly its culture.

We helped her arrive at the name “Kids at Play,” designed a logo, built, and launched a new website in May of 2020. Within weeks her facility was operating at capacity with a waiting list right at the height of COVID shutdowns.

Two years later she came back to us with an even more expanded vision for Kids at Play of re-envisioning the way childcare is done. We revisited her brand strategy, going deeper still into her vision, augmenting her website with a deeper and broader brand story, created a graphic that visually illustrates the unique nature of her approach, and are presently assisting her to prepare for the launch of a second and larger facility.

Rachael’s energy is infectious and compelling. She has spent the past three years walking the talk of her philosophy of honoring children and allowing them to be the designers of their own learning program.

At the time of this writing we are working to expand her site again to incorporate the additional facility, currently set to launch in the fall of 2023.

Kids at Play logo

Children need ample time and space in an environment that is as alive as them to become the best version of themselves.

Rachael Wyman

Kids at Play

Background

Rachael Wyman spent many years launching new childcare centers and running them successfully before she decided to purchase one of her own. In years prior she learned how to ramp up new centers, while growing disenchanted with the traditional model of childcare that focuses more on controlling behavior than honoring the unique creative inclinations of children. She did a great deal of research and developed a vision for a new way of childcare.

In the fall of 2019 she reached out to 4 Directions Branding to initiate a brand creation process while she was in purchase negotiations with an existing center.

We spent two months crafting and honing her brand strategy and identity. She took possession of the facility in March of 2020 and began overhauling its design, look, feel, and most importantly its culture.

We helped her arrive at the name “Kids at Play,” designed a logo, built, and launched a new website in May of 2020. Within

weeks her facility was operating at capacity with a waiting list right at the height of COVID shutdowns.

Two years later she came back to us with an even more expanded vision for Kids at Play of re-envisioning the way childcare is done. We revisited her brand strategy, going deeper still into her vision, augmenting her website with a deeper and broader brand story, created a graphic that visually illustrates the unique nature of her approach, and are presently assisting her to prepare for the launch of a second and larger facility.

Rachael’s energy is infectious and compelling. She has spent the past three years walking the talk of her philosophy of honoring children and allowing them to be the designers of their own learning program.

At the time of this writing we are working to expand her site again to incorporate the additional facility, currently set to launch in the fall of 2023.

Kids at Play logo

Children need ample time and space in an environment that is as alive as them to become the best version of themselves.

Rachael Wyman

Kids at Play

Vision Statement

We believe in awakening the wonder through natural experiences and authentic self-expression.

Mission Statement

Allowing time and space in a living environment that is dynamic, forming, evolving and encourages real-life interactions.

Kids at Play Positioning Statement

We believe in awakening the wonder through natural experiences and authentic self expression.

Kids at Play is a place-based learning environment for children ages six weeks through first grade. We make use of some elements of traditional childcare but we’re nature based and we practice child-led education.

We believe children are innately capable and competent, and we honor each child’s unique way of experiencing the world. Our job is to create the space for children to have a voice to collaborate in their learning.

We create a place of shared relationships among children, teachers and parents, and a feeling of belonging in a world that is alive, welcoming, and authentic. We are similar to the teaching philosophy of Montessori and Waldorf but more affordable.

We are focused on each child’s individual journey, rather than reaching a destination — allowing time and space in a living environment that is dynamic, forming, evolving and encourages real-life interactions.

At Kids at Play, we’re learning the natural way.

Aimed for a feeling of wonder, authentic, natural, inspiring, playful, and explorative

Kids at Play Home Page
Kids at Play About Page

The Immediate Goal:

The immediate goal was to rebrand the center, which included everything down to colors and décor. We began by developing a logo and style guide. She utilized the color scheme to repaint, knocked out walls to open spaces up, created internal signs and placards featuring her values, changed the meal plan, hired more staff, and created a new culture in a short amount of time.

Anytime she sensed conflict she refocused conversations on the Kids at Play values, which we co-created with Rachael in the brand strategy process. She attributes the strategy work to the solid foundation her business has, which is precisely the point of going deep into the identity of a brand.

Style Sheet

Long-term Strategy:

Rachael’s long-term strategy is nothing short of changing the paradigm of the early childhood education industry. She has taken on numerous speaking engagements, an industry board position, additional certifications, is working with a PR person, is expanding her business to a second and larger facility, and is positioning the Kids at Play model as a new standard.

Tagline

Learning the natural way

Overcoming the Greatest Challenge

One of Rachael’s greatest challenges has been finding staff who are either not yet conditioned by industry norms or who are ready for change to a new way of caring for and teaching children — seeing them as creative and expressive with a natural instinct for learning through play.

Working with staff, with many years in the industry, often brought up philosophical challenges. For childcare professionals with years of conditioning in the model of controlling children, it appeared to them as though Rachael’s methods were without boundaries, which on the surface can seem like a recipe for chaos. But Rachael’s model is not without boundaries, it’s that her boundaries are expanded and provided in a context of honoring children and their innate creative inclinations.

It was in a brand session with Rachael that the epiphany came that she needed a visual way of illustrating not just that she has boundaries, but that they are expanded, and to clearly define what they are. From that conversation we created the “Circle of Expanded Boundaries” graphic, which she uses consistently in hiring, training, staff meetings, and speaking engagements. We also crafted a narrative around the graphic for two pages on her website, one for parents and one for potential employees.

This has been a game changer for Kids at Play.

Circle of Expanded Boundaries

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Rachael Wyman

Kids at Play

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