A few years ago, Lori Klein was a single mom of two kids wondering where to go next in her career.
Klein had started out on Madison Avenue, working for a global advertising firm. Her job took her as far away as Istanbul. But now as she looked for ways to reenter the workforce, she knew she wanted and needed to stay much closer to home with her kids, then ages 8 and 5. Business comes at 'right time' for single mom
So she landed with RightTime Kids, a drop-off childcare center for kids ages 18 months to 12 years. In 2005, Klein opened RightTime Kids in Raleigh. She currently owns and operates the north Raleigh center. And in 2008, she co-founded RightTime Kids Franchising. She serves as its president and CEO.
She now owns 76 percent of the company and is working to expand across the country to help other parents who need a few hours of childcare while they work, run an errand or take a night off.
“I want it to be a convenience people can count on in this country,” she says.
About a month ago, Klein showed me around the Oberlin Road location in Raleigh, which had recently opened. It's an open, airy space with all kinds of toys; a climbing wall and slide; and the "Blue Room," for kids ages 8 and up.
Klein tells me the Blue Room was inspired by her son after he complained there was nothing for him to do there. It's filled with video games; a pool table; darts; Lego and science projects; and other ways for bigger kids to pass the time.
Feedback from her kids, Klein told me, "has been hugely helpful and helped me to grow it to a level it hadn't been before."
Now that Klein knows where her career is going, the company is working to help others get back on their feet.
RightTime is offering free childcare for parents while they go to job interviews. Parents who have a scheduled interview can drop off their toddlers to 12-year-olds anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. They must bring a copy of the job advertisement or an official email confirming the interview to receive the two free hours of childcare.
“Job interviews are stressful enough,” Klein says. “If we can ease parents’ minds by providing a safe, fun place for their child to play during that time, then we’re happy to oblige.”
Hear more from Klein and see some of the Oberlin Road location in the video.