Interview with Kristen M. Waterfield from United States

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Kristen M. Waterfield

Kristen M. Waterfield, a former teacher, rose to Director of Corporate Operations in a child care franchise. Unhappy with the traditional child care model, she founded The Malvern School in 1998 to improve early childhood education.

Interview With The 2023 TITAN Women in Business Awards Winner – Kristen M. Waterfield

1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself.

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. I started my career teaching kindergarten and second grade and then joined a large child care franchise where I worked my way up to become the Director of Corporate Operations. Despite my professional growth, I wasn’t satisfied knowing the traditional child care model wasn’t delivering all it could for young children or educators. In 1998, I founded The Malvern School to raise the bar in early childhood education.

For more than 25 years – through The Malvern School and various board and volunteer roles – I have been dedicated to empowering others, making a positive impact on local communities and giving back to those in need.

2What is your role in the company?
As the founder and president of The Malvern School, my role is to lead the organization and ensure we’re delivering enriching experiences that help young children, their families and our talented staff learn, grow and reach their full potential.
3Please tell us more about your organization.

The Malvern School provides high-quality early childhood education for children from six weeks to eight years old. We believe in developing the whole child in a nurturing yet engaging environment and offer an innovative curriculum that’s individualized for the needs of each student.

Our program is designed to meet or exceed the highest standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the largest and most well-respected early childhood accrediting organization in the United States.

Over the past 25 years, The Malvern School has educated more than 40,000 young children and provided rewarding career opportunities for thousands of educators.

4Congratulations! As the winner of the TITAN Women In Business Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
Being recognized among such a powerful global community of women in business is an honor – especially as we celebrate The Malvern School’s 25th anniversary. Just like we focus on empowering others, my hope is that this award will inspire other women and girls to go after their dreams!
5What is your own definition of a successful team / organization / business?
I believe success can be measured by the positive impact an individual or organization has on others. If you’re lifting others up so they can reach their goals, helping those who need assistance or bringing joy into someone’s life, that’s the ultimate victory.
6What led you / your organization to become successful within the industry you are currently in?

Our success at The Malvern School is linked directly to our commitment to quality as well as our outstanding team of teachers and staff who embody our core values:

  • Always put the children first.
  • Lead by example.
  • Be mindful, collaborative and respectful.
  • Support each other.
  • Spread positivity.
  • Be open-minded to new ideas and learning.
  • Laugh and dream big.
  • Think like a child.
7What are the current trends in the business industry that you are most excited about?

One of the most exciting trends in business overall is that the critical role of child care and early education is finally on the agenda. It’s long overdue but early learning is now rightfully being acknowledged by elected officials and business leaders as the backbone of the United States workforce and economy.

To put it simply, parents cannot work if their children don’t have safe, nurturing places where they can learn and be well cared for during the day.

8Where do you see the evolution of the overall business industry in the next 5-10 years?

Looking ahead, at The Malvern School, now part of the Busy Bees family, we will continue our journey to provide exceptional early childhood education. We’re excited about finding new, enhanced ways to do even more for our students, families and staff.

At the industry level, there’s so much opportunity on the horizon for all types of early learning providers – including large organizations, single locations, in-home and religious providers – given that there’s more demand than ever for high-quality early childhood education.

To take advantage of this market-building opportunity, industry leaders must continue to advocate for early learning professionals. United States must be more aligned in standards, regulations and priority spending for the sector. And the federal government must strengthen its support of sustainable, high-quality standards and professional requirements for staff.

9Who inspired you in your life, and why?

Teachers have always been my biggest inspiration! Growing up, my own teachers believed in me and changed the course of my life. They took me under their wing when I felt “invisible,” encouraged me to believe in myself and inspired me to pursue my passion for teaching.

That inspiration comes full circle at The Malvern School, where I have the privilege of seeing our loving, smart and creative educators in action. The magic they make in our classrooms and the way they make young children light up fuels my desire to continue making The Malvern School the best it can be. It also drives my advocacy work for children, families and teachers at large.

10What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Find something you’re truly passionate about and give it your all. Surround yourself with talented people who believe in your vision, and let your head and your heart be your guide.

Winning Entry

Kristen M. Waterfield: Leading to Empower Others | 2023

Kristen M. Waterfield | TITAN Women in Business Awards
Kristen Waterfield is an entrepreneurial leader who is dedicated to empowering others, making a positive impact on local communities and giving back ...
(read more at TITAN Women in Business Awards)

Kristen M. Waterfield

The Malvern School

Kristen M. Waterfield, a former teacher, rose to Director of Corporate Operations in a child care franchise. Unhappy with the traditional child care model, she founded The Malvern School in 1998 to improve early childhood education.


Read more about this interview with Iffat Tariq from the United States, the Gold Winner of the 2023 TITAN Women in Business Awards.

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