15 Years of Childcare Ownership – what I’ve learned!

15 Years of Childcare Ownership – what I’ve learned!

Every October we’re celebrating our birthday! Woo hoo! And this year is 15 years! And that’s a pretty long time to be in business. So, what lessons have I learned during my 15 years of childcare ownership?!

Oh my goodness…so so many! And I wanted to share the top ones with you, so you can learn from them too.

Get stuck in, Ninja! I’m all about helping you grow, so read on!

15 years of childcare ownership

Some days I wake up and I cannot believe it’s been a whole 15 years since I set up my first childcare business from my home. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come on my childcare ownership journey! Not to mention the all star teams I’ve brought along with me for the ride…

And along the way I’ve made some epic mistakes that have helped me grow as a childcare business owner. I see every hurdle and challenge as a lesson, and I think that’s the key to being a successful entrepreneur. We learn from every mistake we make. And I’m sharing some of these lessons with you because I was out on my own back in the day and wish someone had told me a few of these!!

It’s a marathon not a sprint!

This one is a key lesson, Ninja! If you don’t take it seriously, you’ll burn out and you’ll struggle to succeed. Running a childcare business isn’t the way to overnight success. Trust me. I’ve seen childcare owners come and go because it all seems like too much hard work. And do you know what?! It is hard work! It’s certainly not a get rich quick scheme.

Owning a childcare business is more than just babysitting! It requires stamina and an understanding that success will take time – just like a marathon.

childcare ownership marathon not a sprint

Always look forward!

Yup. I said it. Reflection is all well and good – we learn from our past after all! But the key to being a successful childcare business owner is constantly looking forward. Don’t spend so much time looking back that you forget about the present and where you’re headed.

You’ve got to have goals that stretch you, that help you grow. You should be aiming for them and you can’t do that if you’re facing backwards, can you?!

Commitment is foundational!

The only reason I’ve managed to grow my business year upon year is that I have remained committed! I have never given up, even when things looked bleak. Knowing that showing up everyday and putting in the work WILL eventually lead to growth is so important. Sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle, but the view from the top is awesome!

Build the foundations of your childcare business by committing to it. Know that the work you put in now is going to make a solid beginning for your empire to come!

spike lee be committed

Done is better than perfect!

Well I certainly wish I’d learned this one in the early days. I used to waste so much time worrying about things not being ready and then never offering that particular service or advertising a type of class…all because I was being a perfectionist! It had to be perfect or it wouldn’t happen. And do you know what?! It was never perfect. So things never happened.

My advice to you, Ninja, is to remember that perfection isn’t always possible and therefore if you have an idea JUST GO FOR IT! This is a daily challenge for me and I am often reminding myself and the rest of my team: done is better than perfect!


If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I LOVE the bang on about this one! It’s all about mindset and going for gold. You’ve got to aim high and think bigger when it comes to the goals you have for your childcare business. I’ve written about that more here.

It reminds me of this quote: Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star. Meaning that you should have an ambitious goal and truly go for it. Remembering all the time that, should you miss the goal, you might still achieve something special. Because sometimes, even when things don’t go as you’d planned they can still turn out to be a success!

shoot for the moon

What you do matters!

Oooooooofffff. This one means so much to me that I’ve just had a whole batch of team t-shirts made with “What I do matters” sewn onto them!

Your job, your business, your passion… they all matter to your families AND to your community! It’s so helpful to remember the bigger picture, especially when you’ve had a bad day (as we so often do!). Every single day you are out there making a difference in the lives of others. What you do absolutely matters. And this is also a great reminder for the kids in your care too.

And there are more lessons I’ve learned in 15 years of being a childcare owner…

So I’ve put together a celebratory video for you here!


Every week I share a video on YouTube especially for you, Ninja! Join me every Monday when I release a new video for you to make moves in your home childcare business to make your childcare ownership journey Simple. Fun. & Successful! Subscribe here.

I hope you enjoyed the essential lessons from my journey of 15 years of childcare ownership! My mission is to help you minimize the amount of time in learning these lessons so that you can reach success much faster than I was able to!

If you’ve loved this post, please leave me a comment below, or share the lessons you’ve learned so far!

That’s why I set up my community over on Facebook, where you can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!

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Creating a great onboarding system!

Creating a great onboarding system!

Hands up if an onboarding system has slipped down your To Do list? I know so many childcare business owners who are winging it on this front. You have people knocking on your door before you’ve had a chance to create a team to take care of the kids! Sometimes this leads to panic hiring, and – let’s be honest – this is a disaster for everyone!

Rushing to fill the gaps in your team is nearly always a mistake. You want to have time and space to find the right fit, and having a great onboarding system will make this easier! And we’re in the final quarter of 2021 and 2022 is looming, so now is the time to sort it out!

Let’s do this, Ninja! I want to share with you my expertise on how to create an onboarding system that helps your new team members settle in but that also keeps you on top of the paperwork you must do!

What is an onboarding system?

This is the processes you have in place for hiring someone new for your childcare team.

Firstly there’s the hunt for people to interview. Then there’s the picking the right people for interviewing. After that there’s the actual interviews…and that’s followed by all the legal paperwork that needs to be completed. And once they’re hired, it’s important that you nurture them so that they stick around and help you grow your business through consistency!

It can be a whole lot to deal with, so I want to help you as much as possible.

Why do we need an onboarding system?

In this industry we have a ton of rules and regulations to follow when it comes to bringing a new member of staff onboard. There are legal requirements that must be adhered to and we cannot afford any errors. The state needs us to have certain things, wherever you’re based!

And actually it’s not just about the legalities…it’s about saving you time and money! Hiring the right team member in the first round rather than third time lucky will make a huge difference to your business. You want to make sure the onboarding system includes elements that brings the right person into your business.

Hiring a team can be hard!

Hiring is one of the hardest parts of running a childcare business. Where can you find your dream team?! Make sure you’ve got your job description sorted out, you’ll want to head out and start looking for those new key players. Obviously you can use the internet to place a job ad. You can look on Indeed, Craigslist…there’s a tonne of other places to put your job description on there. Set up a Facebook page where potential staff can come to you and you can let local people know that you’re hiring right now.

I’d recommend using a mix of digital and traditional in your search for the perfect team! “Help Wanted” signs still have a place. Word of Mouth is still great too, so make sure you tell parents and the current team that you’re looking for help. And I know I’ve found some great extra help from teachers who are looking for some additional income over the summer holidays. Plus you might have some newly qualified trade school students in your area who are looking for some work.

More tips for where you can look for new staff are in this week’s YouTube video!

Nail the interview process

You can ensure that your interviews go well by having a set list of questions that are really tailored to your daycare. It’s no good having generic questions, because your business is different and unique to you. Make sure that your questions reflect that and are open enough to allow your interviewees to feel at ease so they can answer to their best ability. I’d also recommend including an orientation session and maybe a “meet the team”, so you can get the team’s feedback.

Also, this process is as much about you as it is about them. You want to be giving the right signals to your potential new team member. How do you want to come across? What do you want to be known for? Remember the old adage: people remember not what you say but how you make them feel.

File your paperwork!

Unless you love having really difficult conversations (or WORSE receiving citations!) from the inspectors, you must make sure all the forms get filed properly!!

It’s very easy to forget what has or hasn’t been done, so the best thing to do is – you guessed it! – create a process!

Checking off things the list as we get them done will help us keep track of where we’re at. In order to do that properly, it’s great to sit down and think the process through. Consider all the steps like how are we getting the people in our doors, getting paperwork filled out, training, and getting them used to your children, parents, and the rest of the team.

Bringing them into your business

Once you’ve hired your new team member – a newbie or someone who’s done it before – you want to get them settled in. Give them time to learn the processes and routines. Let them get to know their new colleagues and the kids and parents.

It’s important to make their probation as positive an experience as possible, so that they want to stay. It’ll save you time, money and energy if you can retain your new team members and not have to go through the hiring process over and over again.

Watch my video to find out more about how I create my onboarding system!

I hope your takeaway from this is that you need to get an actual process in place! One that’s written down and ideally in a checklist form, because it definitely helps things flow easier! Trust me on that!

if you haven’t already, So I really want to encourage you to set that up your onboarding system in the next few weeks. To help you get started, go and download my FREE ‘Hiring and Onboarding for Success’ guide.

Tell me in the comments…Do you have any onboarding tips? What works for you?

Join us over on Facebook for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! You can hang out with like-minded and aspirational daycare owners. Or if you prefer Instagram, we share inspiration, ideas and tips there too. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!

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The 4 Biggest Challenges You Face As A Childcare Owner

The 4 Biggest Challenges You Face As A Childcare Owner

On my own childcare business journey I have faced many obstacles along the way! And in helping other childcare owners for the last decade or so I’ve been able to observe what the four biggest challenges are that get in the way of success.

I’m going to share them with you in the hope that, because you have a heads up, you can overcome these challenges more effectively and efficiently!

So what exactly are the 4 biggest challenges you’ll face as a childcare business owner?

Read on to find out what they are and how you can successfully deal with them!

Challenge #1: FEAR

One of the biggest challenges I faced when starting my childcare business was F.E.A.R. Not just your average “oh no, I’m scared of the snake” kinda fear. I’m talking about what F.E.A.R. actually is! And that’s: False Expectation About Reality.

You see, Ninja, what happens with FEAR is your brain magnifies it. Imagine blowing something up, totally out of proportion! That’s EXACTLY what our brains are hard-wired to do. It’s how we survived as a human race! This makes the “risk” feel so much bigger than it actually is and you get more anxious, more concerned and more scared. It does this to protect you.

And I get the fear too. Perhaps a fear of the unknown, the uncertain. Fear of failure, and fear of judgement. But when that niggling little voice raises its ugly head, this is when you need to trust yourself, believe in yourself and have the courage to take the uncomfortable action. Because the other side of fear is magnificent.

Take that one teeny tiny step. By doing that, you can move to the other side of fear… and let me tell ya – the view is glorious!

Challenge #2: SELF-BELIEF

This challenge is one I come across all the time. Self-belief is something we all need to nurture within ourselves. No one else can give it to you. It’s like a muscle that needs flexing. You’ve gotta warm it up to get the most out of it!

So, you’ve been thinking about starting a childcare business…Actually, you’ve been more than thinking about it: you KNOW deep down that you WANT to do this. 

For me, it wasn’t just about wanting to, I had to. I was an unemployed single mom who had no choice but to provide for my children. But I was scared. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. However, I made a promise to myself, and that promise was that I would never again work for someone else. I had to make it work and I had to believe in myself.

You need to make that promise to yourself, Ninja. In order to live up to that promise you need to BELIEVE in YOU.

believe in yourself

Take a moment right now…ready? Close your eyes. Imagine you start your childcare business. Really visualize it! It’s amazing, right?! And then picture yourself opening another daycare centre. Suddenly you’ve got multiple childcare centres…are you feeling this?!

Now you have the flexibility and freedom you’ve been craving. You’ve got the success, and it’s all down to you. Because you’re AWESOME. Are you seeing this? This is you, and you can do this, I know you can. You have to believe in yourself. You got this, and I got you!

Challenge #3: MONEY

One of the biggest reasons I hear from ambitious women about what’s holding them back is: “I don’t have the money”. Ninjas, this is a safety excuse. I get it, I do. This helps you to protect yourself. Sometimes it’s a genuine problem – putting food on the table and a roof over our heads comes first, right? However in most cases this isn’t what’s actually going on.

So I want to ask you something. Remember the last time you downloaded something free? It might’ve been a free e-book, a course, whatever it was. Did you complete it? Did you give you it 100% of your efforts? NO!

I can tell you the very simple reason why. It’s because you didn’t invest in it.

Now let me ask you something else: what is NOT GETTING STARTED costing you? Ninjas, I had no money when I first set out as a business owner. Nada. Zilch. Zero! I learned all the tricks to get this thing going from home on a shoestring budget. I made small investments and made sure I got a good return on my money. The old adage, “you’ve got to speculate to accumulate” is famous for a reason, after all!

As such, investing in myself now has become the single most important place my money goes these days. You’ll see. For now, just remember you get in life what you focus on. So I highly recommend starting to focus on abundance, learning and taking action. You got this!


Have you heard about this buzz word? Imposter Syndrome? In nutshell, it means: I don’t think I’m QUALIFIED or CREDIBLE or GOOD ENOUGH to do this. Are you kidding Ninja?

Are you a go-getter? Do you love and have a passion for children? Perhaps you’re a mom too? Then you can absolutely do this! Imposter syndrome happens when you spend too much time looking around you at what everyone else is doing. Stay in your lane. In fact, SLAY in your lane! 

you're good enough Lady Gaga

And sometimes it happens when you’re trying to reach everyone and as a result don’t actually connect with anyone. So narrow down your target focus. Think about who you’re trying to reach to grow your business. In your daycare, which kids do you want in there? Where will you find their parents? How can you help these parents? What problem are you solving for them? What will make your childcare centre unique and stand out? By narrowing this down, you’ll feel more confident and passionate to do this!

Another thing you can do to combat the imposter syndrome, is join our Club Membership. When you’re walking this journey alone it can be very overwhelming. But when you’re in a family with women on the same road as you, you will feel confident and empowered! Let’s do this! Sisterhood for the win!

I’d love to know which of the 4 biggest challenges you’ve found the hardest so far?

If you are ready to get to the other side of fear and get your childcare centre started click here and join The Club membership – a place for childcare business owners to come together, be inspired, learn and get empowered!

you got this

Join The Club now!

Interested in becoming more involved in the community and to grow your business? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too! We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!

childcare ninjas logo 2020

Why you need an advertising plan for your childcare business

Why you need an advertising plan for your childcare business

You might be wondering whether an advertising plan is relevant to you as a childcare business owner, especially if you run a small day care center. After all, you’ve got a great reputation and word of mouth clients are keeping your business afloat.

But I have learned over the years that living on a wing and a prayer when it comes to finding new clients doesn’t always work.  So I want to take a moment to explain how valuable having an advertising plan can be.

Read on to find out why you should have an advertising plan – even if you run a home day care!

Okay, firstly: what is an advertising plan?

As you already know, I do love a plan and being organized. But this one is extra awesome. Essentially, an advertising plan is the blueprint for how you can use advertising to promote your childcare business. It’s how you’re going to reach out to new clients.

I think this is a genius plan

Having a plan in place means that your childcare’s marketing budget isn’t wasted and that the money is put to good use! By creating a plan, you can also make sure that your advertising reaches the correct audience! Yay!

Why does my childcare business need one?

Every business needs an advertising plan! I like to think of it as a kind of guide to promoting your business. Your plan will tell you who your target clients are and how you can reach them. Most importantly, it’ll point out where things aren’t working and what needs more focus.

Instead of struggling on doing the same old thing, having a plan allows you to correct your direction and helps your childcare business to thrive. Putting together a plan means you can save yourself time and money. It’s going to get you attracting your dream clients – you know, the families that you really want to work with! The ones that will be a good fit for your services and the ones you want to support.

we need to start advertising - brunette woman gesticulating the point

What if you’re a home day care?

There are benefits to creating an advertising plan for your Childcare business whether it’s a smaller or a larger center.  Sometimes when you’re running smaller business you can feel a little bit like a small fish in a big pond. So you wonder how you can pull clients in when you don’t have as much money to allocate to it. And you’re limited on the time you have to spend on marketing. You can’t afford to waste time or money on the wrong things.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking an advertising or marketing plan is only for bigger providers or centers. Because if you have goals for your business then you should make a plan.  Just because you may not be as big as them, it doesn’t mean you can’t put together a plan!

You can create a plan that’s right for your childcare business. One that will help you bring in the ideal clients that you’re looking for within your allocated budget!

When should I make an advertising plan?

Don’t do what I did and wait years before creating a plan! Do it as quickly as possible so you can start to grow at a faster rate, and call in the right clients from the get-go! It’s not impossible to create a plan once you’re established, but it’s much easier and you’ll waste so much less cash if you plan your advertising properly right from the beginning!

that's the master plan - mulan - mushu

How do I begin to create an advertising plan?

First thing’s first: what do you want your advertising plan to achieve? Are you trying to attract new families to your day care or are you trying to encourage current customers to book more sessions? Or maybe you’re offering a new service or are opening a new center? I’ve learned that the best goals are super specific. For example, what kind of increase in enquiries are you looking for and in what time period?

Next you need to figure out what your budget is. How much do you want to spend on promoting your business? If you already have some ideas in mind, how much will these ideas cost you to execute?

Now it’s time to get super clear on who your ideal client is. What are they like? Where do they hang out? What problem are you solving for them? It’s really important that you know how they tick!

I know what they like

What next?

Once you’ve established who you’re speaking to, it’s time to put together your messaging. This is where you communicate all the benefits that your services can provide your clients. You want to make sure your advertising is perfected so that it resonates with your audience and entices them. You want them to feel an urge to learn more about your day care and maybe even book a tour or call with you. (Remember your goal!)

And then you can start to plan how you’ll advertise. What medium will you go for? Purely digital ads or will you have some printed pamphlets as well? Will your budget stretch to bill boards or radio? So many options!

Once you’ve created the plan and implemented your strategies, it’s then time to analyse how you’re doing. But that’s all for another time! 

here's to success

I hope this blog has helped you to see why having a plan for your advertising will help you to achieve more in your childcare business. By creating this plan, you’re going to be able to grow at a quicker rate.

Want to find out more about how advertising plans can help you build a successful childcare business?

Join me in the Facebook group tonight where I’ll be talking about how to make an advertising plan. I’ll be going into more detail about what you need to include and why! I’ll be sharing some things to consider whenever you’re working on that plan and the additional benefits of having an advertising plan for childcare business whatever your size.

I love it when a plan comes together

We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup! Interested in becoming more involved in the community and to grow your business? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too!

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Let’s celebrate childcare business owners!

Let’s celebrate childcare business owners!

As if it’s nearly halfway through 2021 already?! And this month is a great time to celebrate your team and yourself! We had International Workers Day on May 1st, Mother’s Day is coming up, and it’s soon to be Teacher Appreciation week. All of which are relevant to you and your staff. So why not celebrate the progress you’ve made so far this year!

At this point in the year, I like to take some time to reflect on how far I’ve come, and to assess where I’m at in relation to the goals I initially set in Q1. I know how easy it is to get swept up doing the day job, so much so that the wins can slip by unnoticed. Or the dreams we had at the start of the year are forgotten.

It’s time to take stock and celebrate the steps we’ve taken!

May the Joy be with you

Every year, May seems to be a month of celebration. Singing the praises of teachers and moms and workers! Yay! But I wanted to shout out all the brilliant things you’re doing too! As childcare business owners we step into our families’ parenting shoes and we do quite a lot of teaching as well.

You are amazing community leaders, supporting parents to do their jobs in difficult times, and nurturing their babies! You’ve helped keep your country’s economy going. We are superheroes! Where’s your cape!? Let’s celebrate the last few months together!

childcare superheroes

Where did you begin 2021?

We all had high hopes for 2021 after 2020 and the Covid-19 drama…we thought we’d have moved on by now. But the reality hasn’t been as great as we’d hoped maybe. In January I remember me and my teams all sat down and went through plans for the next few months. Not just the day-to-day learning and care stuff, but I wanted to encourage them to be a part of my vision.

It’s easy to get caught up with the business of life and the Childcare Business but make sure to take stock of all those amazing plans we made at the start of the year.  So what did you set as your goal earlier this year? Revisit your vision board and your goals list.  Are there any bigger goals that got left behind? Because there’s still enough time to do them, choose to go all in!

Did you have a foolproof strategy in place to ensure that you took action? I’d love for you to reflect on the goals you set yourself. Where are you at in your journey towards them? Have you been meeting your SMART targets?

journey together finding our way

Where are you at now?

We’re almost halfway through 2021! Can you believe it? It’s like I blinked and FebMarchApril happened! Anyway, time is flying! So as we approach the midpoint, now’s a good time to reflect and check in and assess where you are.

Check your progress in detail. Imagine your goal as a destination; Whereabouts are you on the road to it? Reflect on some things like what’s working? Where have I gone wrong? What changes do I need to make? We need to look at all these things and push forward and put in place the things that need to be done so we can accomplish our dreams for 2021.

Make a note of the steps you’ve got left to take. Perhaps as we’re almost 6 months in it’s time to buckle down and zoom in on the bigger goals. Let’s take those dreams – the ones we are passionate about – and shout out: “Yassssssssssssss!! I’m going to finish it this year, I’m going to smash it!” Now we’ve got to get laser focused, give it 110% and throw everything we’ve got at these goals and go for it!

celebrate be proud of yourself

What can you celebrate?

So please use this month as a time to give yourself a pat on the back for making it through such a weird year, for being a shining light in the darkness! Clink a glass or two to celebrate how far you’ve come since January. Even if the wins seem small, it doesn’t matter!

I also want to celebrate and thank all the Childcare Business owners with it being Teachers Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day coming up!

As day care and childcare providers we definitely teach like teachers and care for kids just like moms do! SO this is my big thank you for EVERYTHING you do for your families and for the community you serve.

Celebrate you! You’re appreciated, your work is important and essential, and you ARE valued!

One of the ways I say thank you is via my freebies! So please head over and download resources that you’ll find useful. I think you’ll love my Weekly Planner – so you can stay on track to achieving your goals!

Interested in becoming more involved in the community and to grow your business? Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too! We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!

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