Skip to main content


Where collaboration and inspiration work together


I received a call from my wife. “She’s not coming.” I remember thinking we were in deep trouble. “Okay, I’ll leave right now,” I responded. Little did we know the journey this short conversation would take us on.

Hello! Our names are Mike and Leslie Smith and the above conversation is why we decided to bring Kids ‘R’ Kids Prairie Hills to the Sioux Falls community.

Raising children is one of the noblest things a person can do. But it can also be one of the most challenging. Having four children of our own, we wanted to provide the best environment we could for them to learn and be happy. With both of us having full-time jobs, child care was going to be a necessary component to this equation. We quickly came to realize that finding child care can be a stressful endeavor. How do you truly know if someone else is going to care for your child or children with the same devotion as you? Will they love them? Protect them? Keep them safe? Care about their hopes and dreams? These are all the questions we had when trying to decide on the best option for our family.

Unfortunately, our decision did not turn out as well as we had hoped. Our expectations were not being met and it put even more stress on our family. And then our childcare left us with no forewarning. This is what led to the conversation that started this letter. I had leave work so someone could watch our children. The stress of this situation is something we believe is something no family should have to go through. “There has to be a better option,” we said to each other.

This started us down the road to finding the answer. Eventually, with a ton of research and some long nights, we discovered Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies. What attracted us most to Kids ‘R’ Kids was the family-orientated practices that were the basis for their programs. The mission of “Hug First, then Teach” is something we truly believe in and feel every child needs to be loved to have that relationship trust with an adult. The unique features in their Academies, such as glass walls, camera systems that parents can view on their mobile devices, and a nationally recognized curriculum, were a bonus that we felt would benefit the Sioux Falls community.

Being from the Sioux Falls area, we knew the specific needs of the community and what would be needed in our Academy to meet the high standards that parents expect in this community. Adding the area’s only indoor/outdoor play area, an on-site chef who cooks wholesome meals and snacks, and enrichment programs such as athletics and zoology that are included in tuition are just some of these ideas. Finding highly qualified teachers, however, who have the same passion and love for children as we do, outweighs any of these features.

We understand parents’ biggest concern is the overall safety and well-being of their child/children. Therefore, we felt called to open Kids ‘R’ Kids Prairie Hills! We want to thank you for your interest in our academy and invite you to come take a tour to see all we have to offer.

“Hug First, then Teach”

Team Members

Leadership Team