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The Next Generation Takes the Reins at The Children’s Workshop

David MacDonald plays with his grandchildren (Left to right: Louis Kent, David Kent and Molly Teller) as his daughters take over the company that he built from the ground up (Left to right: Bailey Kent and Maggie Teller).
David MacDonald plays with his grandchildren (Left to right: Louis Kent, David Kent and Molly Teller) as his daughters take over the company that he built from the ground up (Left to right: Bailey Kent and Maggie Teller).

NORTH KINGSTOWN - After twenty-four years of providing quality early education and care for families in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, The Children’s Workshop President and CEO, David Macdonald, passes the reins to his daughters.

David MacDonald founded The Children’s Workshop in Lincoln, RI in 1990 as an employee benefit for his mortgage business. He found that many of his employees were struggling to find dependable and trustworthy childcare in the area. He teamed up with local experts to create his own program and encouraged his employees to bring their children to work. MacDonald led by example, enrolling his youngest of three daughters, Kate, as one of the first preschool students. He never imagined that childcare would quickly become a true passion and a very successful business not only for him but also for his children. 

The Children’s Workshop quickly grew and today the company includes nineteen locations including North Kingstown, RI! The Children’s Workshop provides jobs for over three hundred employees and cares for over one thousand five hundred children and their families every day.

According to a study by the NY Times, only 30% of companies make it to the second generation in the family. MacDonald’s three daughters grew up watching their father create this successful business from the ground up. Today, they are taking part in the future of his company. 

MacDonald has handed the position of President and CEO over to his daughter, Maggie Teller. Teller became a part of her father’s company in 2008, after earning a degree in Economics and Computer Science from Wellesley College and her M.B.A. from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Management from Babson College. She has taken on many roles at The Children’s Workshop including Director of Marketing, Director of Corporate Development, Director of Human Resources and Vice President. She honed her skills in every aspect of the company including working with children in the classrooms. Teller also acts as a steward for The Children’s Workshop brand, mission and values and founded The Children’s Workshop Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to better the communities served by The Children’s Workshop.

The proud father stated in his announcement, “Maggie has been a vital part of our success these past years. She has shown the leadership, financial acumen and management ability to handle this position, but more importantly she has shown the compassion, the dedication, the drive and the caring to succeed in taking The Children’s Workshop to even greater heights.” He also added that, “It will be nice to have The Children’s Workshop under the leadership of a woman.”

Teller expressed her gratitude to her father and the employees of The Children’s Workshop, “I am dedicated to supporting all of you and your teams because I know personally how tough your jobs are as teachers, but also how incredibly important your role is in our success and in the success of the children in our care every day.” She adds, “I know I have very big shoes to fill but I’m excited for the challenge!”  

Teller is not the only MacDonald daughter inspired by her father’s mission. Her sister, Bailey Kent joined The Children’s Workshop in 2008 as the Director of their location in Bourne, MA. Kent holds a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Wellesley College. She is Director II Certified and an experienced Lead Teacher for Infants, Toddlers and Preschool. During the new shift of leadership in the family business, Kent has joined the corporate office team in the role of Human Resources Generalist to put her proven successful skills as a Center Director to work in the roles of recruiting, teacher training, benefits administration and staff retention.  

The Children’s Workshop is a family business bringing in a new generation of leadership. They are a devoted team of professionals providing quality early childhood education and care in play based, fun, learning environments.  They are committed to nurturing children, strengthening teachers, supporting families and building communities because they truly believe that family always comes first.

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