An Early Start

When Kiddie Academy of Fort Wayne opened its doors in November of 2013, it was charged with 11 children. Less than two years later, more than one hundred students attend the educational childcare center on Coldwater Road.

“We’ve gotten really great feedback,” said Hajira Khan, one of the owners of the center. “Our parents are always asking us, on behalf of their friends, about new locations…they want us to branch out to other areas and facilities in Fort Wayne.”

What’s so special about Kiddie Academy? This franchised location of a nationwide network of child care centers, which cares for children from infant to 12 years, builds its popular approach around four pillars–“Life Essentials”, they call them.

First, the learning curriculum is developmentally appropriate for each level. A second pillar is technology education–each room is equipped with smartboards, iPads, and secure webcams, which allow parents to check in on their children. Kiddie Academy is also committed to improving kids’ health and fitness, and prioritizes character education; though it is not a religious institution, the center works to equip students with manners and a sense of morality that will help them to be good citizens.

Khan knows a little something about childcare–she has a background in education and spent time as a Kindergarten teacher before franchising Kiddie Academy. And her own children attend Kiddie Academy, a fact that can be reassuring for parents.

“They love that fact that I’m here every day, my children are here, Khan said. “They see that we’re very invested in it. It’s not just a business thing for us.”

The Academy offers full-day and half-day options for children 6 months to 5 years; full-day students receive a more comprehensive educational component. For school-age children, the center offers before- and after-school care, and summer camps.

With more than 100 students, Kiddie Academy is almost at capacity for its current location, and Khan said that expansion to other locations is likely in the future. She attributes this growth to the high quality of care, and also their involvement with Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Khan says Kiddie Academy joined GFW Inc. before they even opened, knowing that the support and networking opportunities would be crucial to their long-term success. She was right.

It helped us get connections with the community and let the community get to know us,” she said. “We we were able to have them be part of our ribbon cutting ceremony, which helped to let people know we were open, and who we are.”

A strong community connection is not only beneficial for the center, but it’s also a valuable part of a child’s development. “We believe that the community begins here at Kiddie Academy,” she said. And if Khan has anything to say about it, the future of the community will have a strong foundation.


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