Columbia Kinder College Review

The main reason that we decided to pull our children from Columbia Kinder College is due to the unprofessionalism of Director, Courtney Matzenbacher. Most recently, in the beginning of October, 2017, I called to ask about an abuse allegation that I heard about from another parent (and two others by the time I called). Instead of just believing what I had heard, I respectfully called to hear the facts from the school first-hand. Courtney explained that the State advised not to talk about it until the investigation was complete, which should have been a week later. As our conversation continued, she told me every detail down to it being another teacher that accused Savannah of the abuse. To date, the abuse allegation still has not been addressed; therefore, I am unaware of the resolution of this child abuse allegation. In this same conversation, she became very defensive and proceeded to scream and yell at me, comparing this to the “bleach incident from a few years ago.” | To explain the bleach incident – in 2015 a building of two-year old kids were coming home with bleach spots on their clothes for a few weeks. Concerned parents began texting and calling each other with pictures asking if they were all experiencing the same thing. During our abuse conversation, Courtney stated that both of these “gossip” incidents were my fault – that I was the parent spreading rumors and gossiping to all of the other parents. I could not believe what I was hearing. I asked her if she was serious (she was). She started crying and passed the phone off to her mom, the owner, Debbie. Debbie apologized on her behalf and assured me that she would make sure that this did not affect my children or our relationship with the school. I stated to her that Courtney owed me a serious apology for treating me that way. She agreed and assured me that she would. She still has not. | Just a week later, I walked into New Beginnings with my pre-k child to pick up my baby, and Courtney was there. She immediately walked out of the room, didn’t even acknowledge us. It was then that all of our questions on moving our children to another school were validated. She is taking her personal feelings towards me directly out on my children. I have seen Courtney plenty of times since then and she has not made an attempt to apologize for talking disrespectfully about me to other parents or for her unprofessional outburst to me when I inquired about the abuse allegation. On the morning of 10/24/17, I dropped our child off at CKC and Ms. Diane (Courtney’s Aunt and the Owner’s Sister) didn’t say hello/good morning, not even to our child. Our child didn’t want to stay that morning. She’s never been like this until recently. All of this is really heartbreaking. Knowing that Courtney has thought this way of me for TWO YEARS absolutely blows my mind. I simply don’t trust leaving our kids under this type of management. It’s completely unacceptable. | On the morning of November 24th, 2017, I dropped our child off, and Mr. TJ and Savannah were in the Kitchen area. I heard Savannah say loudly, “One Mom said she liked CKC but hated the Management.” It’s very unprofessional for a teacher to be gossiping in front of parents about the school that they are working for, especially in front of parents and children. | At pickup on December 18, 2017, after submitting our written notice that we are pulling our children from Columbia Kinder College, Courtney approached me and stated, “I deleted your email before I could read your last day, what is it again? I have other families starting and I told them January 2, so I need to know your last day.” First, we all know how to recover a deleted email. Secondly, you would think that as a director of a customer service oriented business, she would care to understand why we were leaving before just making each “family” sound like a paycheck. I would think that management would want to have an exit interview and understand why families decide to leave before just treating us like you are in a hurry to get us out for new families. I would think that after four years, there would be a little more compassion than that. | Onto some not so recent issues, but ones that I would also like to address: | 1) When we first enrolled at CKC I began to notice parents signing their kids in/out of a computer. Our child had been attending CKC for five months before I was set up in the system, and it was only because I had to ask. Four years later, my husband is still not set up to sign her in or out. About a year ago, the clip board that allowed parents to manually sign their children in and out was removed; so since then, my husband has not been able to sign in at drop off, and I have not signed out. I would feel more comfortable knowing that my child has been accounted for every single day. | 2) On July 16, 2016, I saw Columbia Kinder College post in a Swap and Sell site that had a job posting for teachers for CKC. It had a photo of a Craig’s List ad. It is really alarming that CKC is recruiting teachers from Craig’s List. | 3) Cell phone usage has progressively gotten worse over the years. It has always been an issue, but now, I witness cell phone usage almost daily, either in person, at pick up time, or on the cameras throughout the day. Some teachers don’t even attempt to hide it. On one occasion at pick up, I walked into each class looking for our child and one teacher didn’t even look up from her phone when I entered the room, and then truly didn’t know where my child was. | 4) There have been a number of brand new teachers, who we have never seen or heard of that have spent the entire day with our children, who don’t know them at all and no one informed the parents ahead of time. On July 15, 2016, one of these new teachers fed a child with a food allergy and our child, who cannot have excess sugar, cupcakes for snack that were left over from a party. This is neglect on CKC’s part for not training the teacher. | 5) Nutrition is another concern of ours. I have addressed my concerns on the excessive packaged, processed food CKC is serving our children to Courtney and many teachers over the years and I’ve been told that they follow state regulations. Parents don’t care what the state regulations are, if you want to stand up above the rest, be better than the rest. | 6) Television. This got progressively worse in the Pre-K building. It is even listed on the Daily Checkout that the children have been watching TV. When I have addressed this to Courtney, I am told that they should be only watching TV for educational reasons, but we have dozens of daily sheets that state movies being watched that are not at all educational. We want an educated teacher working with our children, teaching them and preparing them for Kindergarten. This is not going to be accomplished by putting them in front of a television. | 7) In the Summer of 2017, there was a terrible ant infestation in the New Beginnings building. One Monday morning, I went to set my baby down on the floor to put bottles in the refrigerator and saw hundreds of ants all over the floors, crawling up the cribs, and everywhere where our crawling babies were all day long. When I went into the main room where the teachers were that morning to address it, none of them were surprised. They all knew and all stated that it’s been addressed with Courtney, but nothing has been done; however, when I called down to the main Columbia Kinder College location to address it (while still standing there in front of the teachers holding my baby), Courtney stated that she had no idea and this was the first she was hearing about it. Every single teacher for the next week swore that they have complained to CKC management that ants were all over and they couldn’t keep up with killing them but no one listened to them. The owner immediately took care of the issue after I addressed it, so unfortunately, it took a parent complaining before it was resolved. To add onto this, Courtney told the teachers that I threatened to call DCFS, but what she didn’t know is that I was standing in front of all of them talking to her, so they all knew that was a lie. | 8) Child to teacher ratios at New Beginnings have been an issue several times due to teachers not arriving to work on time and due to teacher aids being left alone with a room of babies. On one occasion, I arrived at 7am to drop off, along with another mom and when we left, that left the teacher alone with SEVEN babies. | Over the years, Courtney has handled many of these issues by way of “write-ups”, instead of professionally addressing the issues with resolutions. I have never cared about write-ups, or even known what they’ve meant. I just wanted the issue to be addressed and resolved so that they never happened again. The “bleach incident” is a prime example. Instead of investigating where it came from and taking care of the health hazard, all teachers in the building were just “written up” according to Courtney. I’m still not even sure if they located the source. | Unfortunately, the line has been crossed with Courtney’s unprofessional behavior towards my family. I won’t go on for four more years with our sweet baby feeling uncomfortable about the way he might be being treated due to Courtney’s obvious feelings towards me personally. Up to this point, two additional moms have told me that Courtney has bad mouthed me to them. It’s a toxic environment for our children and a toxic situation for my family having to hear from other individuals that Courtney is disrespecting me. Had those words not come out of her mouth about me to other parents, and had she not completely gone off on me on the phone, none of this would likely be happening. It’s also likely that if she had been professional and sincerely apologized, and assured me that everything was being handled appropriately with the abuse allegations, we possibly could have moved past this. It’s really sad that it came to this. But at this point, it’s very clear that our kids are just a paycheck to Courtney, and that is absolutely unacceptable. |


Name: Columbia Kinder College

Country: United States

State: Illinois

City: Columbia

Address: 114 W Cherry St

Phone: 618-281-5115


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