I am so happy to kick off this holiday week by having Janaki Patel, owner of Kiddie Academy and Child Care Success Academy member, on the podcast! Janaki talks about how she went from one person at an open house and questioning what she was doing in child care to now having her dream team and close to 500 children served. Janaki shares the great story of how she and her husband Hemal met and continue to support one another’s biggest dreams. She talks about marketing and enrollment, why it’s important for leaders to support their teams yet have clear boundaries, and what type of leadership vibe she attributes Kiddie Academy’s success to.
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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:
[9:16] The Kiddie Academy brand has three schools, with another one in construction and about to open soon. It’s located in the mid-central area of Maryland, 30 minutes from Baltimore and an hour from D.C. The peaceful and quiet neighborhood is something Janaki very much appreciates
[14:06] Janaki shares how getting the first location in 2015 meant so much to her and was very much literally her “second” baby.
[18:02] Janaki talks about drawing the line on where you spend your time and the importance of spending time with loved ones as a leader. Your child will grow up and eventually move on, and your business might not be there, so it’s important to make memories with your children (or loved ones) while they are still around.
[19:07] Fun Fact: Janaki met her wonderful husband on an Indian Matrimonial Website! She has since said “OK” to their dreams and they bring the best out of each other.
[23:09] Coming from the corporate world at M&M, Janaki has learned several things to be a strong and effective leader. Your team will trust you when you show you trust them. Her team knows she has their back, and they have hers. Second, when your team knows the “why” behind what they are doing, they will be more likely to do it well and stay longer at their job.
[28:15] Janaki discusses how she kept several teachers on the payroll for COVID-19, and how they kept their culture going during challenging times.