Bringing Positivity and Integrity into Child Care – Jen Slavin

Jennifer is the Vice President of Operations at Magic Memories Child Development Centers. She has been working with children and entrepreneurial since she started her own business at age 11, “Best Babysitter.” Today, she discusses her path from starting as Director to growing with the company in the now three locations. She and Kris talk about the importance of having a director that holds everything together like glue, hiring based on core values, how her strategy of onboarding evolved, and how they have developed their culture. Jennifer leads with positivity and connection and shares how she manages conflict resolution and tips on how to have hard conversations.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Even at a young age Jennifer loved combining her business talents and desire to work with children. When she was 11 she started her first business, “Best Babysitter.”
  • Jennifer is the high-level glue that holds it all together at Magic Memories. The key parts of her day include working on essential pieces of the operational side. She works directly with the directors and assistant directors to make sure they are meeting their mark and sticking to their set standards.
  • Jennifer has a dedicated and loving family, all which help her in the work/life balance. As of this fall, her kids are enrolled in the Magic Memories Center.
  • They take a thoughtful approach to hiring at Magic Memories. They ask questions based on core values, look for how a candidate engages with other teachers, and take their time rather than hiring in a rapid-fire or desperate manner. They also hire within and keep A-list candidates always at the forefront of possible recruits.
  • Jennifer and her team at Magic Memories are always evolving the onboarding process. Currently, it is a 3-5 day training process that manages consistency and leads to the ultimate level of customer service for both parents and kids.
  • Jennifer leads with empathy and humility and it is apparent in the way she hands conflict resolution. She first looks to get to the root of the problem and connect heart-to-heart. She also encourages herself and others to cool down and get a handle on their own emotions to bring clarity and calm into the situation. She helps others remove their own blinders and shows her staff that to err is human but good learning lessons come out of the process.
  • Great cultures have a team that supports one another on the good days, and the not-so-good.
  • Jennifer describes a Child Care Rock Star as someone that finds joy in everything they do.
  • When you have fun with your culture and provide rewards and shout-outs, it creates a fabric of trust woven deep within the company.

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