Creating Montessori Centers of Excellence in London and Beyond — Arike Aiyetigbo

Arike Aiyetigbo, Founder and Director of Fountain Montessori Preschool, joins the show from her office and home of the school in London, England. Originally, from Nigeria, Arike is a passionate educator whose mission is to grow her influence by partnering with like-minded parents. She shares her journey how she got into the business of nurseries because as a mom she saw a gap in what she needed, how she has expanded and grown in the business over the past 11 years, and what she would do differently. Arike also speaks about her branding, the nursery and childcare market in the UK, and the shifts she has experienced as an owner to get her name out there in a bigger way.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • When Arike herself was looking for a preschool for her daughter, she knew she needed somewhere that would run longer than the average two-and-a-half-to-three-hour day. She started to research the Montessori structure and mission and soon realized there was a gap in the market for the Montessori type of nursery. She embarked on attaining the proper education and set up in a church hall in 2007.
  • Arike has two facilities, one in Colindale and the other in Edgware, with a combined enrollment of 126 students.
  • Knowledge of and attendance at Montessori schools had a spike in London when the Prince of Wales enrolled his grandson in a Montessori school!
  • Arike has recruited a team of highly-skilled staff, and they all take feedback from parents very seriously to learn and see what they could do even better.
  • Simplifying and streamlining prices are key. Choosing fewer options and only keeping the logical ones has been a real eye-opener for Arike and her team.
  • In the UK, childcare provided by the government starts at the age of two, and makes up only about 10% of the market share.
  • Arike is looking to grow the business to at least five locations, and streamlining her team and process even more as she scales.
  • Fun Fact! Arike loves traveling with her family, especially deep sea diving with her daughter. She does scuba diving and one of her favorite experiences was diving in Egypt.
  • To Arike, a rockstar is someone who feels no mountain is too high and no valley is too deep. Their work serves not only themselves but those around them with generations in the future in mind.

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