Early learning and child care center KD Academy at 3501 Woodland Ave. will relocate its headquarters to a brand new 14,000-square-foot facility at 2141 Prospect Ave.
The center, formerly The Kiddie Depot Learning Center, is Kansas City’s only around-the-clock child care facility that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for children aged six weeks to 13 years.
Founder and co-owner Penny Dale-McCant started the business out of her home in 2005, and since then, she and her husband Myron McCant have scaled up through three separate facilities to meet capacity.
In August 2012, the center scaled its business model into a 3,000-square-foot commercial facility while operating at maximum capacity. After witnessing clients’ busy and unique schedules firsthand, KD Academy began providing 24/7 child care service to offer aid to working parents of all kinds.
By 2017 the McCants had upgraded to their current space to meet demand. Construction on the new facility, which began in 2019 — in partnership with local general contractor Centric Projects, and with architecture and interior design provided by KC-based Hoefer Welker — concluded in early August.
The expansion allows KD Academy to enhance its services even further, upgrading capacity from 95 to 430 students and from 19 to 65 caretaking employees.
“We’ve been forced to turn away hundreds of kids over the years simply because we didn’t have the capacity,” Dale-McCant said. “This new state-of-the-art facility not only allows us to offer care for more kids from infancy through young adulthood, it’s also a beautiful building where families will feel at home.”
The early learning center’s new headquarters spans 10,000 square feet, providing area students with award-winning literacy and STEM-based programs. The adjoining 4,000-square-foot, mixed-use space will host partners that offer extended services such as pediatric healthcare. At this time, pediatric and mental health providers are being considered for immediate build-out of the space.
The new space will also feature a saltwater aquarium foyer, colored alcove classrooms and a multipurpose lab for STEM and coding.
“Our goal starting out was to create a child care model that exists nowhere else in the region, which we’ve done with great success,” McCant said. “The natural next step is to build out our capabilities to provide for as many babies and kids in need as we possibly can, as well as their families. The services that the new early learning and pediatric centers can offer will provide immeasurable value to families in Kansas City’s urban core and beyond.”
KD Academy’s new location in the Prospect Corridor will allow for continued development of the area, as well as child and health care services for Kansas City’s urban core as a part of the Central City Economic Development opportunity (CCED). Its location off of 71 Highway, I-70 and the 23rd Street pass-thru will also provide access and service to families from all areas of the city.
According to the Missouri Department of Labor, 24,052 women and 19,450 men were collecting unemployment in the state in July 2021. Of those, 809 are less than 22, 1,588 are ages 25-34, and 10,406 are 35-44.
The McCants and their staff place a strong emphasis in early education and literacy training. Shortly after launching, the McCants also started an initiative to instill nutritional practices into mealtime. The nutrient-rich dishes are homemade by McCant’s mother out of KD Academy’s built-in “Nanny’s Kitchen.”
The early learning center has several public and private partnerships with local businesses and organizations like Gates Bar-B-Q, Reconciliation Services and Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide child care options for employees and families the organizations work with. Due to expanded capacity, KD Academy is actively recruiting new employees for all shifts, which can be found at kdacademykc.com.