My 33 year old childcare business is floundering. Through no fault of our own. I believe in my program. I am especially impressed with my staff, whom would be more accurately described as my family. Ashleigh has shown her true colors as an amazing teacher. Every day she reads our children stories, teaches them about the calendar, letters, phonics, numbers, shapes and more…in both English and Spanish! She works with each child individually and in small groups every single day to help them learn how to read, write, count, find patterns, etc… It is not an accident that most of our kids are reading and solving simple math equations by the time the are kindergarten age.
Blythe is amazing in her creativity, her constant search on Pinterest for arts and crafts that our kids will enjoy, immerse themselves in, and learn from. Her patience with the children is extraordinary! Nick is our outdoor specialist, hahaha! He loves to play with the kids outside, goofing around and joking with them, and playing games. The kids especially love his “Crab Dance”. He likes to let the older kids help cook dinner!
Between the combined efforts of myself and Bob, we have created a playground and a classroom that would be envied by many! Impressively, all of my staff work together as a team. An amazing, synchronized team. We are all on the same page. TK is a great place for kids. I really believe that. The unity and combined knowledge of myself and my staff, and our awesome playground and classroom, provides our kids with a safe and structured place to learn, grow, and thrive. We take kids that the “other” schools don’t want because they are too “challenging”. We take them and we succeed with them!
And yet, my enrollment is down. We only have 7 kids in the morning, where I have room for 12. I find this very difficult. I am having to cut “man” hours, because we don’t have enough kids enrolled to justify the payroll expenses. I go through this every so often, but it is still hard to deal with. It is scary. This business doesn’t have enough of a profit margin to survive these low periods easily. Don’t get me wrong…we HAVE survived them, TK has been in business for over 30 years…but it seems to be getting more difficult. Maybe I am just getting a little older and a little less brave. Tears have been shed in private, sleep has been lost. The big worry shadows my days.
I haven’t written much in my blog lately because I was determined that this blog would not be a blog of whining or complaining, and I have been having a difficult time being enthusiastic about too much when I have to buy food for my kids with a credit card, creating a debt that I have no foreseeable way to pay off (until I get more kids).
My mood vacillates from being extremely depressed to talking myself into being hopeful. I remind myself we have been through these low spots before and TK always survives them to continue on for another year, or two, or thirty. I try to think of creative ways to “spread the word” since most of my business comes from word-of-mouth. I advertise on craigslist and FB, and I start passing out business cards and asking people to spread the word.
The good news is that it will only take one or two kids to really help that financial status of TK. We have an opening for an infant, or maybe a toddler or two, or some preschoolers. And I know that the moment we get a new kid in TK my hope and enthusiasm will be bubbling, again. I guess I just need to have a little faith.
So, I guess I was whining a little. Sorry about that. This is also a call for some action! We need a little help! If you know of anyone who needs childcare, preschool, or infant care, please please tell them about us! Send them to my website! Share us on Facebook or twitter or your church, or whatever you do, wherever you go! Pick up some business cards if you are nearby. I still believe that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertisement!
Thank you for your help!
Here is the website for my school. It is really packed with information. Philosophies, holiday and daily schedules, hours and prices…it is all there!