Andrea Wortman is all about doing things from a non-traditional and slow but steady approach. She runs an after-school program in the Portland, Oregon area with 11 locations, and has worked with the school systems to forge a relationship where she is contracted to take space and run her after-school programs out of the schools. We talk about a different model of how to do effective, fun and profitable early learning in an after-school program that doesn’t require you to buy any real estate. We also discuss the challenges that come with this model, and how Andrea reduced her staff turnover and doubled her revenue and number of locations in the recent years.
Today’s guest is Josh Visser, a proponent of education and play within an active learning environment. Josh and Kris talk about his school, De Kinderen Huis, and its mission to provide growth through movement and play-based discovery. He also talks about his process for getting him and his team inspired, and how he saw and decided to pursue a child-care opportunity. Josh and his team have set themselves apart in the market and built a vibrant and abundant school with over 50 children enrolled in less than five months.
This episode of the podcast features Lucy Cook, Co-Owner of Amaze Education Group, calls in from Australia as the special first international Child Care Rockstar Radio guest. Lucy talks about how she stays sane in running and growing her business to nine locations, the creative way her team communicates with the families, what her corporate office looks like, and the importance of a rock star team and a strong staff culture to keep you going. Lucy is also an expert in outdoor education, and how to stay connected with your staff and clients as you scale.
Don Alley is the owner of Center Stage Preschool in Ashburn, VA, and is an example of the results that unfold when you focus and dream big. Don has 30 years of experience in martial arts and has been running his three karate schools successfully for the last twenty years. He built his preschool from scratch in 2016 and quickly filled his location. He joins Kris for a great chat including ways to use playfulness and personality to stand out of the crowd and set yourself apart with high-level marketing assets, expert tips on how to delegate successfully, his future plans of expansion and growth within his schools, and how he manages running multiple brands.
Sharon Foster, owner and operator of Bells Ferry Learning Center, joins Kris today for a conversation on how to build positive parent relationships, customer service, and how owners and staff can protect themselves during bad reviews or negative social media comments. Sharon and Kris discuss strategies on enforcing policies, the proper mindset regarding payment, and when it’s okay to respond to a negative review, and tips of what to say so you stay responsive and professional, yet firm in your own values and vision. Sharon also shares the ways she has had to pivot her vision as both a leader and business owner over the years to make sure her product was meeting the needs of the market.
Steve Lloyd, visionary and co-owner of Busy Little Hands Learning Center, is a model of growing by leaps and bounds when you apply the right mindset, practices, and leadership in your school. Steve talks with Kris about his unconventional journey into child care, and how he and his mother Jessica have morphed and expanded Busy Little Hands with the help of some amazing and highly engaged staff. It’s a deep dive into the culture, core values, service standards, employee retention, motivating millennials, healthy communication habits, and how to create a pleasurable atmosphere with everyone involved being empowered and accountable.
Nan Rikard, owner and founder of Big Blue Marble Academy, is an incredible powerhouse with an instinct for good business and a big, giving heart. She talks with Kris about her journey of over 30 years in the EEC industry, her passion on giving back in her own family, how she grew to 24 childcare locations in just a few years and assembled such a strong team with a bonded mission and vision in making a positive impact on the world. She shares the three things that are a must when looking for a new site and tips and tricks for making the deal of your dreams.
Julie Roy joins Kris today to share her experience of how she started as an educator in Canada and went on to own nine centers of the Montessori Educational Centers in Omaha, Nebraska. They talk about concrete strategies for how to grow your business, as Julie’s now has a waiting list and is looking to expand into even more locations in the upcoming years. Kris and Julie also share how to structure your corporate office to give you support to grow, how often you really need to be in your location, mindset traps to be careful to avoid, and getting everyone on board with your vision and mission. Julie truly leads by example and empowers those around her while maintaining a presence as the personal face of her brand.
Today’s episode features a great talk with Ben Poswalk, Executive Director of Paradise Place Preschool. Ben came to Kris as her only local client in Crested Butte, Colorado, with some challenges in the enrollment, marketing, and staffing departments. Once Ben got rolling he not only doubled his enrollment and increased his income by 70%, but won Marketer of the Year and now is making a huge impact in the lives of his children, his staff, and school. Kris talks with Ben about his own mindset shift, how he communicates his own “why” and how it impacted the energy and passion of his teachers. Ben also shares his advice for those about to go into the nonprofit realm, his challenges as an Executive Director, and why Space Mountain in Disneyland will always be a memorable ride for him.
Today, Kris and special guest, Jennifer Connor from AppleTree Kids, uncover the secret sauce on how to manage your preschools from the beach, or wherever your dream life may take you. They give the inside scoop how to delegate appropriately, grow from within, empower your teams and have backup systems in place so that you can have the freedom to grow your business and just work on the things that you love. Jennifer is a master of delegation, a model of business success, and now proudly has two locations with a waiting list and a very committed and dedicated staff. Find out how she decided to define her dream life, make the move to Mexico, and how it has positively impacted her work and personal life. As a coach and leader, she strives to keep learning and sharpening her own saw, which leads to a great impact on her staff and leadership team, and ripples out to many children and their lives.