You can always tell someone who works with young children – an enthusiasm for life and an alternative perspective are usually giveaway traits. Gareth Samuel investigates what makes working with children such an appealing lifestyle and how investing in a compliant franchise, is almost never a bad decision
Ask any primary school teacher or classroom assistant – working with children is as frustrating as it is rewarding. Franchises that enable owners to work directly with children, therefore, are thriving, as a universal societal push sees parents and schools look for a more diverse range of activities for them to do.
For many franchise owners, investing in a franchise that enables them to work with children is a chance to forge a closer relationship with their own children and still bring in an income. Jo Weaving made her investment in a music group for children, Musical Minis, in South Wales. Previously she had worked as Store Manager for Carphone Warehouse, but when she fell pregnant with her first child, she knew that her lifestyle had to change to accommodate the new addition to her family.
Jo Recalls: “I knew I didn’t want to have to put Jack in childcare all the time and, even though on paper I don’t earn as much with Musical Minis as I would have done at Carphone Warehouse, I actually take home more because I don’t have any childcare costs and as any parent knows, they can be huge these days. More importantly, I get to fit my business around my family life, I never miss a school concert or play and I’ve got a fantastic team behind me to allow me time off when I need it. It simply couldn’t be better.”
Jo has certainly reaped the benefits of working with children and now 10 years on, Jo has a large team of operatives, which sees more than 90 children per week classes which she runs in church halls and community centres across South Wales.
Many franchise owners are spurred on to invest in a franchise, such as Musical Minis, YogaBugs or Banana Moon, because of the extra time it allows them to spend with their own child during their crucial developmental stage. Being your own boss is a key appeal of the franchising model for expansion and the freedom that comes with this.
LIPA 4:19 is a truly revolutionary franchise in its field. The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is one of the most respected academies for performing arts in Britain – the 4:19 branches of the academy’s success represent the franchised arm of this particular organisation. Since the franchises’ inauguration, the business has become well respected as an industry leader within the performing arts training market.
Kate Allerston is the Principal of the Runcorn Branch of LIPA 4:19. She says: “I find managing LIPA 4:19 at the Heath incredibly rewarding, challenging and stimulating. The artistic development of the students is always so affirming and to watch them grow in confidence and self esteem is a true privilege.”
Kate works another paid role within the school where the franchise is based, but clearly enjoys the support her role gives to young people in the local area. “It is the Heath School that invested in the franchise,” she adds, “as they are very keen to support young people within the arts. They felt the students of the school and other children of the borough would benefit from the performing arts academy set up and the school also wanted work in partnership with a prestigious establishment such as LIPA.”
For Kate, the LIPA 4:19 franchise has provided more than just a job. Through the business he has shared in the emotional joys of the visible growth of children under her tutelage. She adds: “I have worked within the arts most of my life and young people within the arts for over 12 years and with LIPA 4:19 for four years. Some of my proudest moments have been through working at this academy, watching students and staff develop talents (sometimes previously undiscovered) and perform to their utmost ability in shows and events. This adds real perspective to my life as I find the more we strive creatively, the more we want to achieve, which brings huge positivity in all aspects of life. “I find it very important to love your work..and I do.”
Few franchise owners who work with children are, it seems, millionaires – but for the majority of investors in this growing area, that it not what it is about. Investing in a franchise that allows parents to develop a stronger relationship with their children and give youngsters the chance to discover their individuality provides the proprietor with incomparable riches of a different kind. Franchising opportunities to work with children really do appear to be every bit the key to occupational happiness.