In honor of International Women’s Day, we sat down with some successful female Kiddie Academy Franchisees to discuss their experience working in a predominantly women-led field, practical tips to empower women at work, and how to amplify female voices.
Kiddie Academy Franchisees have the distinct honor of heading up businesses that employ, train and promote a largely female workforce. Says Carol Haynes, a multi-Academy owner in Columbus, Ohio, “We are preparing and continuing to build future leaders through our internal “Built to Lead” program. Our 2012 high school intern Jodeci Acosta Gorman continues to work for Kiddie Academy today and holds a master’s degree.
“We have provided our team free CDA [Child Development Associate] coursework, partnered with the TEACH Scholarship to ensure that the CDA Assessment Fee was paid, supported staff on their journey to the competition of a higher-level degree and previously partnered with our local high school. Currently, Jacinta Barfield, a teacher at one of our Academies, will graduate with her associate degree in Early Childhood. Our very own Carmen Palmer at Kiddie Academy of Reynoldsburg was asked to join one of the President’s Weekly Addresses, where she was recognized in front of the nation for her brave work as an essential worker.”
Empowering women is at the heart of any success in the educational child care industry. According to multi-Academy owner in North Carolina, Carly Nunalee, “I have found that in my businesses, we have over 95% all women staff. We empower each other in many ways: I empower my directors by giving them all the tools and resources to be successful and encouraging them and supporting them. We hold yearly ceremonies and are proudly part of Yelp’s Women-Owned Businesses initiative that celebrates and honors women’s accomplishments.”
Empowering female voices is a natural consequence of amplifying female voices. Be a champion for other women at work: encourage their ideas, give them the tools they need to succeed and support them when they do.
For working mothers, the pandemic has been a pressure cooker of… well, pressure. The burden of trying to maintain a healthy work-home-life harmony has only been exasperated by the strain of the pandemic. As we come out of the pandemic, it is essential to foster an environment where women (who are juggling the burden of countless responsibilities) have flexibility.
The Kiddie Academy franchise model provides flexibility for female Franchisees, like Taisha Vazirani, owner of Kiddie Academy of West Cary in North Carolina:
“I feel like my life belongs to me now. I have enough time to spend with my family and can attend events and activities for my children whenever they need me. I have a job that I love and I wake up every day with a passion for my work that I had never had before. I have the flexibility I need and I no longer have the Sunday night anxiety that you get knowing that the next day is Monday.”
Franchising with Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care provides flexibility to working families, and is the ultimate bring-your-kids-to-work job, where you can trust that they are receiving the best education and care possible.
Hajira Khan, multi-Academy owner in Fort Wayne, brings her children to work with her each day. In fact, it was the inability to find quality care in her area that led her to open an Academy in the first place. “After speaking with other friends and families about their child care difficulties in Fort Wayne, my husband encouraged me to look in to opening our own child care business. I had experience working as an assistant director for another child care provider prior to teaching kindergarten, so it was something I was familiar with. The Kiddie Academy mission statements and philosophies met with what I was looking for for my son and what other families wanted in Fort Wayne.”
“Owning a Kiddie Academy franchise is very rewarding. It is very hard work, but you get what you put into the Academy. My family is doing better overall and I am a much more confident person from the awards and recognition the Academy has brought.”
Franchisee Katie Moore in Chicago, Illinois told us about how she balances her career with raising a family as a multi-Academy owner:
“[Owning a Kiddie Academy franchise is] very rewarding and a really great way to be able to balance your family life as well. So, for me, one of the reasons was I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom. I wanted to work but I wanted to be able to have a flexible schedule to spend time with my children. So now I’m at the point where I’m able to go pick up my kids from school at 3:15 and be able to take them to their activities and still get my work done during the day and everything that I need done while still owning two locations.”
Katie adds that the foundation of this freedom is built on trust and training of her team, “It made it easier for me to be able to back off a little bit and enjoy my kids.”
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