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Kidicorp, the most well-known single brand in New Zealand early childhood education, has from today become a not-for-profit organisation and changed its name to ‘Best Start Education and Care Centre’.

After 18 years in the early childhood education and care profession Wayne and Chloe Wright have decided it’s time to make a major change in the direction of Kidicorp.

They have worked with many dedicated staff to build Kidicorp Ltd to be New Zealand’s largest private early childhood education organisation with 256 centres and 4,800 employees spread from Kaitaia to Invercargill. Recently Kidicorp has also extended into the home-based ECE market.

Wayne Wright says that although Kidicorp has been labelled as a corporate intended for profit, the reality has been that shareholder returns have never been a priority for the company.

“The company has consistently reinvested financial surpluses back into building more centres, supporting their staff, improving resources and developing services intended to assist children and families.”

Without doubt Kidicorp Ltd would have significant value to outside investors.

But the Wrights say they felt any commercially driven owner would likely compromise many of Kidicorp’s quality features and community services in favour of returns to shareholders. They have therefore restructured the ownership of Kidicorp, making it a not-for-profit registered charity.

“As a not-for-profit organisation Kidicorp will never be torn between quality and profitability. As an already efficient organisation, Chloe and I expect Kidicorp will be self-sustaining and continue to flourish and grow for generations to come”

beststartTo ensure a smooth transition, Wayne Wright will continue as CEO and a director of Best Start He is joined by Mr Sean Joyce on the Board as a non-executive director.

Mr Wright wants to assure all staff and families that there will be no closures or major changes and that all individual centres will retain their names under Best Start.


Some reactions

Sarah West 2015-03-26
This is just a way for this money hungry company to pay less tax which will ace them millions into what.. Their own charitable trust. Everything the teachers do after work is unpaid, they work so hard and get no recognition. They don't care about their teachers Why would you send your children there. Think about all those centres applying for grants when there are real charities that need them.

Angela Palmer 2015-03-27
I am personally yet to see anything that I could say was quality in any of the Kidicorp centers. Although this on the surface sounds like a great move for New Zealand children and families I do fear this is nothing more than a great business move and marketing ploy. If profit has not been an issue, how come their centers fundraise, including on one occasion I know of - to have a Christmas Party, and this on top of fees parents are charged.

Angela Perrett 2015-03-27
Great name Angela :) I am not sure how many of the 256 centre's you have been to, but sorry to hear you have been disappointed so far.
Fundraising does not automatically equate to money making or profit does it? Lots of organisations fund raise for those little extras not in the budget. Even schools, kindergartens, sports teams that charge fees too. Hardly anyone questions their motives?

Angela Palmer 2015-03-29
No you are right it doesn't but I can't see how they need to fundraise when the owners are creaming it. I find it very unfair when the not for profit community based centre down the road is depending of fundraising to keep their centre in operation. It becomes a measure of competition which should not be necessary. For me, this seems morally wrong, when education should not be about money rather - community.

Eric Hollis 2015-03-27
I would just like to add that whatever one may think about corporates, I have personally met some very high quality teachers in the Kidicorp Network. We need to be careful when making generalisations .

Helen Stewart MacKenzie 2015-03-28
I absolutely agree, Eric. As with any other centre, or 'collection' of centres, there is a range in the quality of our ECE teachers, and KidiCorp is no exception. I am hopeful that this not-for-profit (BestStart) will be like other not-for-profits I am in regular contact with, and will funnel the resources back into the centres. I am endeavouring to see this as glass half-full, rather than half-empty

Patrick Moody 2015-03-29
As a kidicorp teacher I work my butt off trying to provide excellent teaching. Feel free to dislike the corporate model but please respect that there are dedicated teachers out there who are NOT responsible for how the company chooses to operate

Angela Palmer 2015-03-29
I completely appreciate that there are many passionate, hard working teachers that are employed by the kidicorp family. I just find their whole system approach hard to comprehend and from - admittedly - the little I have seen, have yet so see or hear anything that consistently promotes high quality. As in really high numbers of children in minimum standard sized spaces; teachers professional development declined unless it is in house; unqualified staff advertised to the community as 'teachers' (we worked hard for our qualifications! ), fundraising when the owner is a multi-millionai re and parents are being charged fees ….. the level of care and education in the early years is the most fundamental time in human development. Sadly too many people don't have a solid understanding of what quality actually looks like because there are too many people trying to make a name for themselves and or a tidy profit.

Polly Patel 2015-03-30
Hi there. i am not impressed with this company as they are only out to make money. i have heard that they have invested a large amount of money into plunket so that plunket now no longers can give parents options of childcare services out there by different companies. This is very wrong. Plunket should not be going with this concept as it makes the whole organisation go against the values of what i was bought up to believe that Plunket was there to offer the best advice not the advice that gives them the most money - KidCorp. if this is true I for one will no longer support plunket with any donations of any kind if this is correct.

Angela Palmer 2015-03-31
Hi Polly,I noted somebody on a FB page recently mentioned that they support the community including Plunket. Sadly, what you are saying is very possible.

Shane Johns 2015-04-02
This is really a total crock. Less than one week after we received a letter from Kidicorp spouting off how amazingly generous this whole thing was about gifting to a charity, we have received a notice that fees are increasing. So yes, this is my vent today after receiving the email. Sure, charities are allowed to increase "donations" as the cost of living increases. However, to send a letter saying the entity has been donated to charity, which basically means nothing to us, and then have a letter sent saying our fees are increasing is all just a bit off. This is no reflection on the staff working at the centres, they are great, our daughter is happy. However, this gifting to a family charity is a load of rubbish, and simply a money grab