Mother and Daughter Share Passion for ECE, Graduate Together

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Kelly Krueger has always admired her mom Carol, the way she has with kids and the passion she brings to her career as an early childhood education (ECE) teacher. Carol ran her own daycare before starting at a Bright Horizons® Vita Kids Learning Center as a lead infant/toddler teacher. “I love helping and watching the infants reach their milestones,” she says.

Growing up, Kelly saw the difference her mom made as a teacher in the lives of others and wanted to try it for herself. Once she got started in ECE, she was hooked. “I love getting to teach and help children learn, grow and develop,” says Kelly.

Both Kelly and Carol got teaching jobs at Bright Horizons. Kelly works as a lead toddler teacher, and Carol is a lead infant and toddler teacher. They were happy to bring their combined 25 years of ECE experience with them to Bright Horizons.

When Kelly learned about the Bright Horizons alliance with Rasmussen University, her interest peaked. The “Horizons Teacher Program” covers up to 100% of the cost for qualified full-time employees at Bright Horizons to earn an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Rasmussen University.1

Kelly knew she wanted to further her education. “I simply love teaching children and I wanted more knowledge so I can apply it to be the best teacher I can be.” When she talked with her mom about entering the program as well, Carol was initially nervous to enroll after being away from school for so long. But after they talked through it, they decided to enroll together. They knew earning an ECE degree would be a great accomplishment for them both, and they could support each other when it got difficult.

Through thick and thin

Kelly had some extra challenges as she started courses at Rasmussen University. As a full-time ECE teacher and mom of two young kids, her days could get a little crazy. After work, she would settle her children down and find time at night and on the weekend to get her assignments done. “I knew I could handle it,” she says.

Carol’s biggest challenges came with navigating the new technology that came with online classes. Not only did she have Kelly to help her navigate the online course, but she also had her student advisor, Ashley Bendel, who helped walk her through every step. She also credits her assistant director from Bright Horizons with encouraging her every day and her family for supporting her.

mother and daughter graduate together

Ashley was also Kelly’s advisor, who she calls the “best student advisor ever.” “Ashley was such a great help and walked me through everything. Any question I had, she was there to answer at any time. She would also check up on me to see how I was doing.”

After two years of work and study, Carol and Kelly graduated with honors and their Associate’s degrees in Early Childhood Education. They celebrated with a small dinner at home with family. Their coworkers even decorated their classroom doors to show their support. “I’m grateful for all the people who supported me through getting my Associate’s degree,” says Kelly.

Future Plans

Carol plans to continue using her degree in the infant and toddler classroom. She loves teaching the infants and sharing her knowledge with new teachers.

Kelly is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in ECE at Rasmussen University with the same Bright Horizons program. She’s even considered earning a Master’s degree one day and becoming a childcare director. “Right now, I’m happy with the degree I have and getting to work with children,” Kelly says.

Kelly and Carol are happy they could reach such a significant goal together. “I’m so proud that I obtained my degree with honors and that I did it with my daughter,” says Carol.

Bright Horizons employees can visit the Bright Horizons page to learn about their alliance with Rasmussen University.


Bright Horizons® is a registered United States trademark of Bright Horizons Family Solutions LLC.

1 Terms and conditions apply. 100% coverage is subject to employer policies and the student meeting all terms and conditions of the Rasmussen University Professional Achievement Grant. Program availability varies by state and campus. Federal, local and state taxes may apply.

Graduates of Early Childhood Education programs at Rasmussen University are not eligible for licensure as a teacher in an elementary or secondary school. A Bachelor’s degree and a state teaching license are typically required to work as a teacher in a public school and some private school settings. States, municipalities, districts or individual schools may have more stringent licensing requirements. Students must determine the licensure requirements in the state and school in which they intend to work.

Childcare facilities and the states in which they are located establish qualifications for staff who work with children and often implement guidelines regarding age, education, experience and professional development. Students must determine the licensure requirements for the state and facilities in which they work.

This program has not been approved by any state professional licensing body, and this program is not intended to lead to any state-issued professional license. For further information on professional licensing requirements, please contact the appropriate board or agency in your state of residence.

About the author

Kirsten Slyter

Kirsten is a Content Writer at Collegis Education where she enjoys researching and writing on behalf of Rasmussen University. She understands the difference that education can make and hopes to inspire readers at every stage of their education journey.

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