2024 Faces of Greater Baton Rouge

2024 The Face of Childcare

Kidz Karousel Early Learning Centers
Tessa & Derrick Holloway

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 our life’s calling,” says Tessa. Derrick adds, “As our business grew, so did our passion and knowledge for the early childcare industry.”

Fast forward 17 years, the couple now provides care at 7 total centers, including 6 free standing childcare centers and the first micro center in the state of Louisiana, located inside of an elementary school. All together, the centers are licensed for over 1,100 students. Kidz Karousel Early Learning Centers are a force in the childcare industry. Tessa believes this growth and success is due to diversity, company culture and a highly-trained staff. With a staff of over 200, they are well versed in every aspect of early learning.

Kidz Karousel offers great benefits, including full medical insurance, as well as 401K to staff. This benefit, along with a great culture and opportunity for personal and professional growth, is what sets us apart from other employers. “We want our teachers to feel empowered,” says Tessa.

Tessa and Derrick, along with their staff, are working to change early childcare education in Louisiana through advocacy. Tessa currently sits on several boards and committees and pushes policies with groups, including Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, Geaux Far Louisiana, LABI Workforce & Education Committee, EBR steering committee, Ascension Ready Start Network advisory committee. She was recently elected as the current President of LAAEYC (Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children). Tessa and Derrick both agree that you must lead by example, and in order to give the children of Louisiana a fair shot, it has to start with the policy makers. This is why advocacy is so important. “We must be the change we want to see,” says Tessa.

Along with Southern Consulting Group, a company the couple founded over 10 years ago, they assist parishes, private businesses, and government entities in starting up, managing, and operating childcare facilities. The couple also started a non-profit called LaForce which stands for Louisiana Alliance Focused on Redefining Communities Everywhere, which is what their life is about.

“We are happy to be the Face of Childcare, but our goal is still the same, 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 part of,” says Tessa.

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