Tessa & Derrick Holloway
Kidz Karousel Early Learning Centers
In 2006, Tessa and Derrick Holloway decided to make a life changing decision. They decided to purchase their first business, which happened to be a childcare center located in Port Allen. “This was a business opportunity for us, which turned out to be what is now my life’s calling,” says Tessa. Derrick adds, “As our business grew, so did our passion and knowledge for the early childcare industry.”
Fast forward 16 years, with 7 childcare centers licensed for over 1,100 children, Kidz Karousel Early Learning Centers are a force in the childcare industry. Tessa says this growth and success is due to one of the most diverse, talented, and educated staffs in the industry. With a staff of over 200, Kidz Karousel employees–from the corporate level to the teaching level–hold degrees not only in Early Childcare Education but every certification in the field, along with training certifications.
“We also make sure that all of our teachers who are new to the field get into classes to become certified in the field. We offer full medical insurance as well as 401K to our staff. I think this is what sets us apart from other employers. We want our teachers to feel empowered. This is a very rewarding career, but it does not get the glory that other careers get,” says Tessa.
Tessa is working to change early childcare education in Louisiana through her advocacy with the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, Geaux Far Louisiana, and as a committee member on LABI’s education and workforce committee.
Tessa and Derrick both agree that you have to lead by example, and in order to give the children of Louisiana a fair shot, it has to start with the policy makers. “This last year, after COVID-19 caused such a change in our field, we have spent time focusing on advocacy. We are on at least six boards/committees. It is a shame that it took a pandemic to see how important our industry is to the economy,” says Tessa. “We are happy to be the Face of Childcare, but our goal is for Kidz Karousel’s name and brand to be synonymous with Early Childcare Education and Advocacy. We want families of Louisiana to know we are fighting for their little ones, no matter what early childcare center they choose to be a part of.”