Learning Care Group News: April 12, 2011

Nickelodeon’s “Beyond the Backpack” and Learning Care Group Partner to Distribute Kindergarten Readiness Checklist to More Than 2 Million Families

NEW YORK – Nickelodeon and Learning Care Group, Inc., the second-largest early education and child care services provider in North America, today announced a partnership to help raise awareness about the importance of quality education and kindergarten readiness through the network’s pro-social campaign, “Beyond the Backpack.” Through this partnership, the Learning Care Group family of brands — which operates more than 1,000 locations — will share the “Beyond the Backpack” school preparation checklist with families across the country, providing it to more than 2 million people over the course of this year.

“Learning Care Group shares our goal of distributing ‘Beyond the Backpack’ checklists to as many parents as possible,” said Jean Margaret Smith, SVP, Public Affairs, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group. “Parents want to know the essentials that will help their young kids be successful in kindergarten. ‘Beyond the Backpack’ provides the fundamental benchmarks in terms of skill development, health considerations and parental involvement.”

Learning Care Group’s partnership with Nickelodeon’s “Beyond the Backpack” will span multiple platforms throughout the company’s family of brands, which includes Childtime, Tutor Time, La Petite Academy and The Children’s Courtyard. Additionally, each brand’s website will connect families to Nickelodeon’s “Beyond the Backpack” website, www.dora.beyondthebackpack.com. Here, parents and kids can find downloadable activities, like basic ABCs and 123s worksheets, and Dora the Explorer storybooks, featuring the same educational curriculum as the award-winning TV program.

“Learning Care Group is excited about our partnership with Nickelodeon and look forward to offering families and caregivers useful information to help prepare each child for their lifelong educational journey,” said Stacy DeWalt, Chief Marketing Officer of Learning Care Group, Inc. “As leaders in early education, we understand that tools like ‘Beyond the Backpack’ and ‘Brain Builder Bootcamp’ can help make the transition to kindergarten a successful one.

Learning Care Group will also share content-rich information to be used on Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect website as part of their “Brain Builder Bootcamp” (April 1-30). This is a series of activities, ideas, and information that will help parents boost their preschooler’s learning potential.  The month-long program will offer information on weekly topics, including: “Building Babies and Toddlers’ Brains”; “Play: Where Learning Begins”; “Literacy” and “Prepping for the Future.”

“Beyond the Backpack” is a multi-year, multi-platform program that champions overall school readiness for preschoolers as they prepare for the important adventure of going to school. In partnership with The Children’s Defense Fund, National Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and other experts and leaders in school readiness who form an advisory committee, “Beyond the Backpack” provides parents and educators with tools and resources that can help kids prepare for a well-rounded, positive school experience.

“Beyond the Backpack” is designed to call attention to the emotional, physical, experiential and actual competencies that preschoolers need for those first, crucial steps into school, including: social skills and emotional intelligence; early literacy and math skills; in-school involvement and resources like school supplies; and health and wellness basics. The campaign includes dedicated PSAs; a web site with information, links to partner organizations and downloadable content for parents and educators; financial resources and grants; fundraising activities; and community events.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

About Learning Care Group, Inc.

Headquartered in Novi, Mich., Learning Care Group, Inc. provides early education and care services to children ages six weeks to 13 years under its umbrella of brands: The Children’s Courtyard (www.childrenscourtyard.com), Childtime Learning Centers (www.childtime.com), La Petite Academy (www.lapetite.com), Montessori Unlimited (www.montessori.com) and Tutor Time Child Care/Learning Centers (www.tutortime.com). Learning Care Group operates more than 1,000 schools (corporate and franchise) across 36 states, the District of Columbia and internationally, and has a system-wide capacity to serve 156,000 children.

# # #


Nicole Bradley                                            Lisa Ocasio

Nickelodeon                                                Learning Care Group, Inc

212.846.5939                                              248.345-5364

About the Author

Learning Care Group