Business: Making Millions by Baby-Sitting

While Mom works, Kinder-Care plays part-time parent

The idea was as obvious as the mess created by a six-year-old tackling a bowl of spaghetti. If Holiday Inns sanitized and made respectable the once tacky motel, and McDonald's gave the nation hamburgers without heartburn, why couldn't the same techniques of standardization and mass marketing be applied to day-care centers for children?

Today, at 250 locations in and near major cities, the green Holiday Inn marquee and the yellow McDonald's arches have company: the red steeple housing a black plastic nonringing bell, the symbol of Alabama-based Kinder-Care Learning Centers, Inc. By offering a service that...

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