Karla McCurry and her husband Doug own Palm Beach Preschools in Florida, now with three bustling and successful locations. Karla joins the show to talk with Kris about the lessons she learned after deciding to become a preschool owner, and how their school focuses on social-emotional learning in a play-based environment. Karla shares how she hires and trains based upon Palm Beach Preschool’s core values, and how learning how to manage people well is one of the biggest components that have led them to success.
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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:
- Palm Beach Preschool is a play-based center that also focuses on social-emotional learning. They are actively in expansion mode, with three locations and an overall capacity of 426 children.
- Karla had a background as a speech pathologist and they decided to open their own center after looking for one for their own children.
- Karla got through the challenge of owning a business during the economic downturn and recession in 2007 and she persevered even in the face of staff and families having to leave.
- Fun fact: Karla was also a hairstylist and attended beauty school but much rather prefers the role she is in now.
- Managing people well is one of Karla’s biggest components to success. She and her team are diligent on hiring and have implemented working interviews to make sure potential candidates are the right fit.
- Branding and marketing have been another focus of Palm Beach Preschools. They launched a new website a year ago, and are always making sure they stay current and make it parent-friendly.
- Palm Beach Preschool’s core values set their marketing apart. The values build upon one another in a value stack: Create an emotionally supportive environment, respect one another, trust, have fun, and then you are in the zone for quality education. When you are clear on your values and operate in a framework and foundation built upon them, it closes the gap and everyone from customers, parents, and teachers understand what the organization is about.
- Karla’s daughter Alexis is their Enrollment Specialist and her great attitude and hard work ethic are social proof of the school’s core values.
- Karla invested in learning more about the Conscious Discipline Method, and it has worked extremely well for them.
- Having a tribe and community is important, and Karla’s mastermind group has shown her it’s okay to step back, delegate, and not try to do everything yourself.
- A child care rockstar is someone who perseveres and gets up to keep going even during the tough times.