Embracing the Pandemic: The Ultimate Leader Shift to the Positive with Linda Hassapis

Linda Hassapis is the owner of Magical Beginnings daycares and learning centers, with six locations around the Boston area. Linda shares her beginnings in the industry from opening up a child care facility in her home to now growing Magical Beginnings with a full staff and bustling capacity. Linda talks about the importance of teamwork, how her culture got even stronger throughout the pandemic, and ways they have communicated with their families to make sure there is nothing but trust and confidence in sending their children to school.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Magical Beginnings has six locations, which keeps Linda very busy. The capacity is up to about 65% even during the pandemic, with 500 children and more expected in the fall.

  • Linda has been in the industry since 1990 and opened up a family childcare in her home before she had her two children.

  • It’s definitely a family affair at Magical Beginnings — Linda’s daughter has dreams to help run the company and has been working there since she was 16.

  • During the pandemic, Linda kept four locations open, which was really great for the staff and families. Despite needing to use all PPE gear, they still encouraged play and joy through music and connection.

  • Linda kept the company culture high by checking in with staff and making sure they were personally each okay. They also used the Emergency Care funding to service the teachers and children, so there was no extra cost at a time when the families needed it most.

  • Magical Beginnings did a Zoom call with parents about how things would look when they opened up the schools, and that way parents felt more in the know and secure about what to expect.

  • Linda joined an advocacy group called Daycare United, where she felt supported by other leaders with a similar passion to make sure teachers get the respect they need.

  • The pandemic has shifted Linda’s mindset to be okay with uncertainty and she and her team have adapted amazingly to the current realities of the necessary safety precautions.

  • If Linda could go back and do it again, she would take more business classes and get more experience with negotiation

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