The Child Care Business Podcast

Episode 7: Systems You Can Implement to Become a Child Care Boss | Andrea Dickerson

May 27, 2021 Procare Solutions Season 1 Episode 7
The Child Care Business Podcast
Episode 7: Systems You Can Implement to Become a Child Care Boss | Andrea Dickerson
Show Notes Transcript

By the time Andrea Dickerson was 31, she was the only woman in her community with two of the largest child care programs, a billboard marketing strategy, a fully operational night care program, telephone enrollment systems, online website funnels and more. 

In this episode, you’ll hear about Andrea’s journey growing child care organizations from six children to a licensed capacity of 200 children each day, and how she took everything she learned to begin helping other child care providers grow and succeed. 

You’ll learn about:

·        The importance of establishing systems (i.e. trigger systems)

·        How to adopt a business mindset

·        Giving each day of the week a theme (i.e. Money-Making Mondays)

·        Approaching your center like a CEO

·        Creating helpful habits

And as a bonus, Andrea is giving listeners access to one of her courses for FREE – just visit  

About Andrea:

Andrea Dickerson is the founder and CEO of IOWNADAYCARE.COM, an organization committed to empowering and equipping childcare business owners with proven management solutions to systemize, organize and maximize their childcare business and their life. 

As an award-winning childcare CEO and Entrepreneur, Andrea has been recognized as one of the Best Childcare providers of the year and is a recognized expert often quoted as an authority figure on childcare growth topics.

Her services and expertise have been featured on early childhood platforms, the National 

Association of Early Learning Leaders, the National Association For Family Child Care, Florida Family Childcare Home Association, Special E Connection, LRP, and many more

You can find Andrea at

Additional Resources:
To get more insights on ways to succeed in your child care business, head over to our Resource Center at

Contact Us:
Have an idea for a podcast or want to be a guest? Email us at  

Speaker 1 (00:08):

[inaudible] welcome to the childcare business podcast brought to you by ProCare solutions. This podcast is all about giving childcare, preschool, daycare, afterschool, and other early education professionals, a fun and upbeat way to learn about strategies and inspiration you can use to thrive. You'll hear from a variety of childcare thought leaders, including educators, owners, and industry experts on ways to innovate, to meet the needs of the children you serve from practical tips for managing operations, to uplifting stories of transformation and triumph. This podcast will be chalk full and insights you can use to fully realize the potential of your childcare business. Let's jump in. Hello.

Speaker 2 (00:53):

Hi everyone. And welcome once again to the childcare business podcast. Uh, as you probably know by now, my name is Ryan Gwaltney, uh, and I'm really excited to have you join us today. And I'd like to really quick introduce you to today's guest. Um, Andrea Dickerson is the founder and CEO of I own a It's an organization committed to empowering and equipping childcare business owners with proven management solutions to systemize organize, maximize their childcare business and their life as an award-winning childcare, CEO and entrepreneur. Andrea has been recognized as one of the best childcare providers of the year and is recognized and is a recognized, excuse me, expert often quoted as an authority figure on childcare growth topics. Her services and expertise have been featured on early childhood platforms. The national association of early learning leaders, the national association for family childcare, Florida, family childcare, home association, special ed connection, LRP, and many, many more. So, uh, want to give a warm welcome to Andrea Andrea.

Speaker 3 (02:01):

Hello. Thank you, Ryan. It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much. I'm doing wonderful. How are you?

Speaker 2 (02:07):

Fantastic. You know, we were talking before we went live. I know Francy sometimes says, um, we don't need to like roll through dates on the podcast or anything like that, but just for what it's worth, it's Monday morning. So I'm still drinking coffee. What time is it where you're you're physically?

Speaker 3 (02:23):

So right now it's about 12:35 PM Eastern standard time. And I already had my coffee.

Speaker 2 (02:32):

So walk me through a typical Mo and I don't know if today's a typical Monday morning because we're doing a podcast. Although as we talk about your business a little bit, I think this is probably somewhat standard for you, but what does a typical morning routine look like for Andrea?

Speaker 3 (02:47):

Well, first of all, I'd like to begin my week with trigger systems. So Monday is my money-making Monday. And so what happens is I have a four 30 morning wake up, I get up around about four 20, get dressed and I hit right into my workout area. And I work out for a good 30 to 45 minutes. Um, I do a lot of cardio and, um, apps, and I might do a little weight lifting, and then I go and rehydrate. And then I sit down, sit down and I have my morning meditation and prayer time. And so that takes me about to like seven. That gives me time to write a journal. Every single day I write down no less than five reasons why I'm grateful. And that helps me stay centered. That helps me have that self-care time. And then after my seven or 8:00 AM cut off, I start my day. I started getting prepared for my day. And while I'm getting prepared, I'm listening to someone like Terri Savelle for, or, um, ITI or, um, just several other, um, Google rules that talk about success and, you know, they help you start your day off. Right. Okay. So,

Speaker 2 (04:09):

So I got to unpack that a little bit then. All right. So, so you roll right out of the tick, go straight into a workout, cardio like, so what's card, is this stair steppers it treadmill? Is it it's a treadmill. So you get the heart going early in the morning. Absolutely. And then, but at what point then in that routine is coffee involved because coffee is a really critical part of my morning. And for you before coffee go straight to work out and then meditation journaling is coffee involved at that point?

Speaker 3 (04:43):

That yet still not yet. Not yet. You're hydrating, right? You're hydrating. So you're drinking your water in the morning, right? And so are you ready? I'm ready. All right. So after I'm lit, after I complete my get ready phase, um, now it's time for my makeup. So I have an artist come in and we go through makeup and that's when I grabbed my coffee. And I'm grabbing some more audio. I'm still still self care. No, no, no. Yeah. Still self-care then after my makeup, that's when I sit down, I feel good. I look good. I've had my first cup. Then that's when I made, make my second cup and I'm planning. I'm going over my day. I'm preparing myself for my day, writing down some, some of my top three tasks that I want to make sure that I get done no matter what. And then after that, I go right into my office and I'm ready. So run about nine o'clock. I would have accomplished so much more, um, in my day than the average person. And then I go right into just tackling those tasks that I have set for my day.

Speaker 2 (05:53):

I love that. So we're obviously going to spend some time talking specifically about how, what you just described translates into your, your work in childcare and early education industry. But I, you know, that morning routine is interesting to me cause I'm a big routine guy and I love my mornings as well. I always talk with people about, uh, years ago when my kids were little, you know, you start realizing like, all right, life, you've got to balance life work and everything else. And anytime your kids are asleep is time where it doesn't cut into family time. So you learn that early mornings are a time where you can get some of those things done that are important for your own mental state and physical state. Have you always, has that been a morning routine? That's always been a part of who Andrea is or is that a learned behavior over time?

Speaker 3 (06:40):

Well, I think it's one in the same. When I first started in childcare, I didn't have this routine. Right. And it reflected in my, in my results. And then as I started desiring a different lifestyle, a different result, a different mindset, and I wanted to make a better impact on my team. I realized that if I didn't prepare myself for the day, I wouldn't be able to accomplish what I wanted through a team or as much as I would like. So I realized then after times of spinning with my own mentor and coach that, you know, what, if I'm going to change anything about my results, it's going to begin with how I start my day. So I mastered that and I've been doing that for years. Um, I don't even need an alarm most of the time because I've gotten so acquainted with it, but there's still that fight. This body doesn't want to get up and get on that treadmill. So that's why I have to put in the right content so that I can produce the right results because I am still training my body that no matter what, this is my plan, this is how you're going to start your day.

Speaker 2 (07:48):

Yeah. You're going to do hard things. I mean, you know, really it's those things that we maybe all kind of shy away from and the things that are difficult and they're easy to say no to, but when you kind of push yourself into, um, uh, it creates discipline and it creates strength and it creates empowerment. So I like that. So let me ask you this, just to talk a little bit, like transition a little bit into what you do for a living and how you support our industry. Um, if somebody asks you, Andrea, what do you do for a living? Describe your business to me. How do you describe that to individuals that you meet? Who ask you what you do?

Speaker 3 (08:24):

Absolutely. Well, I help childcare business owners create a franchise type model by having the right systems. And I caused them to think big dream big and go for it.

Speaker 2 (08:36):

I like it. So, and how did you start that? Cause I know you're a, I want to rewind a little bit and then we'll talk a little bit like tactically about how you operate and the types of things you do for providers. But rewind for me to like 18 year old, Andrea paint the picture for our audience. What did 18 year old Andrea look like? What were you doing? And what was your career vision at that point? If you can just,

Speaker 3 (09:04):

Well, like many other teams, you don't know your gift and talent, unless you stay committed to it and stay focused. And so during that time, I remember helping my dad build his company. And so my dad started out with a used French store and I didn't realize that I was a systematic thinker at that time. I just knew that my dad was really good with sales and I was good with setting it up. I was good with setting up, uh, the, um, set up for everyone to choose the furniture going behind the scenes, setting up the cash, register the money. You know, I didn't realize that I was doing that. That was systems. You know, I didn't realize that I could talk to people about my dad's furniture and, and have a $2,000 day at 18 selling used furniture. You know, I didn't realize that I was doing it.

Speaker 3 (09:53):

And so over time of me just, you know, being my own business owner, because I remember working maybe about four jobs throughout my whole life, but most of the time I've been in the position where I've created my own lifestyle, basically I've created my own money. And so that's when I kind of like started getting started with thinking about, wow, you know, you've been helping your dad run business since you've been 16. Okay. He he's left a lot of responsibilities in my hand and I could handle it. I can manage this. I could take his idea and bringing it to fruition. And so that's how I supported the family business. And um, so I thought, well, you know, this isn't the type of money I want to make. I want to make more money, let me go get a job. And so then I started working for other industries and I picked up so much from those different industries and I was able to help those industries as well with systems and filing and organizing until I was like, Whoa, there's something to this because I have an eye for, and I also have an ear for it.

Speaker 3 (11:00):

And um, so then eventually I started evolving into wanting to work for myself again. And I got quiet one day and I heard clearly that I needed to start a daycare. And so I, uh, went into my dad and I was like, I need to start a daycare because by this time, um, I had gotten fired and I was evolving into like being a real boss. And it was hard for me to sort of be a part of a team where I wasn't in management. And so my dad was quick.

Speaker 2 (11:32):

I don't want to interrupt you cause I want to hear the flow of this story. But when you, when you felt like, Hey, I'm supposed to start a daycare, was that completely out of left field? Or was there some context, had you been involved in that kind of business before,

Speaker 3 (11:44):

Out of left field? Completely. So I, I had no management experience, no childcare experience, no children of my own. All I had was the love and the desire. Like I never ever walked into a childcare or daycare before.

Speaker 2 (12:02):

Wow. So brand new, it wasn't the furniture business. Wasn't anything else you're supposed to open a daycare. And so you went to your dad and you said, okay,

Speaker 3 (12:13):

I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to start a daycare. And so that's when we got started, I started looking for a building. I started, you know, visualizing and thinking about the impact I wanted to make in my community. I wasn't thinking a lot about money at that time. I was just thinking about the impact. And so, um, within the year's time here I am managing 11,000 square foot building and no management experience, not knowing anything at that time, almost 20 years ago, the state didn't require for you to have a lot of policies and procedures. And, um, they, the background requirements weren't as tough. And so I got started and within a year's time, I was like, this is much too much to deal with this.

Speaker 2 (13:08):

So do you remember the early days, like when you were starting the daycare? Cause I know you, you do a lot of consulting now for other providers as well. What do you remember about those early days? Was it hard to find a building? Was it hard to get your name out? Do you remember what the initial enrollment, after you finally got open, found the building, found equipment, put the pieces together. Was it hard to, to find families and get enrollment or did it all happen pretty quick for you?

Speaker 3 (13:35):

You know, I always tell my clients never ever lose your hustle. Never let your adrenaline go out because you know what, when I got started, I had so much get up and go about myself until the journey was, was like, I gotta do this. I gotta do this. You know? And so during that time it took me 12 months to have an enrollment of 60 children. And because I wasn't using matrix or I wasn't measuring myself, I had nothing to compare to. I wasn't thinking business minded again. I just wanted to impact my community. You know, I felt like, wow, I'm, I'm doing something. But I realized like my, my facility is licensed for almost 200 children. Like Andrea, you really are just touching the surface. It's more you got to do. And at this time I'm frustrated. I have, there's no coach, there's nobody around to lead and guide me. My dad doesn't understand childcare. You know, I'm still his baby. So he's just, you know, encouraging me to along the way. And so as my husband and so I had no one to really pour into me principles that lead to success or systems, or to really say, Andrea, listen, you can do this. And so I looked for a way out.

Speaker 3 (14:52):


Speaker 2 (14:52):

I want to hear about that, but I want to ask you this really quick and maybe this will lead into what you were just going to say. And actually first point it's Andrea, I'm calling you. I've been calling you, Andrea. I apologize. I'm going to pronounce it. Right, Andrea. Um, Andrea was there at that point, were you making money? Were you making ends meet financially? Was the business sustainable?

Speaker 3 (15:14):

Yes. I was making more money than that than I had ever made. You know? So you, can you imagine going from hourly to 20 and $30,000 every 30 days? So they, yes, that was a big difference for me, but I didn't understand how to manage that. I didn't know. I didn't understand how to make, um, more money from that. I didn't understand all of that. So as far as the, the business, Oh, it was off to a great start, but I could have done better. My son comes down with Bell's palsy. Cause by this time the Lord blesses me and I, and I have my own baby. And so he's like maybe a month to two months old. And my mom noticed is that he's not receiving the milk well. And so I take him to the doctor and I found out that he's paralyzed on the left side of his body.

Speaker 3 (16:01):

So now I'm running this big daycare that I don't know what I'm doing as far as managing people. Right. I got enough hustle. I got enough get up and go and I love baby. So it was working for me. Okay. It was generating money just off of the strength of that. And now I got this newborn baby I'm newly married. I'm like, I got so much going on. So I started looking for a way out and we, um, we sold that location. And I remember, um, the day when I sold it was the day I was like, why did I do that? And um, and so, um, my dad had gotten ill and so it was just so many reasons to give up, but now I would never advise anybody to give up when the going gets tough. That's the ground. That's preparing your seed for harvest,

Speaker 2 (16:52):

For harvest. Oh, I like that. So you, yeah, there's a lot going on for you at that point. Life just got heavy. There's a lot of different things outside of the business going on. So instead of buyer's remorse, you had seller's remorse, immediately sold the business. What did the path forward look like for you after that then? So you sold the business and you're taking care of your son. And then what, what does it look like?

Speaker 3 (17:16):

All right. So now then I sell the business. I'm in a, I'm not in the best financial shape because my lifestyle has been built around a type of income. And so, um, I find myself now my credit score isn't the best. Um, I don't have as much money as, or access to as much money as before. And I'm back looking for a job because I was like, I got to do something now that my son is well. So on my way, um, back to my city, I'm thinking, and I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do next. And I figured out I'm going to go back into childcare. My sister calls me, she's saying, you know, since everybody keeps asking me, you know, where are you at? Where are you with your, your business? You know, when are you going to open? So I was like, really, because I'm just now thinking about it again.

Speaker 3 (18:07):

So I get started, but this time I start from my home, I start from babysitting and I start from babysitting. I buildup. Then I opened up what we call a family with six children. And then I go from six to 12 and then I went from 12 to 24 and then I opened up a second group and now I got 36. And then within two years' time, I opened up my larger facility, which was a key Buckhead of me. And then I just started really taking off, uh, building enrollment. What took me one year to do, I learned quickly how to get it done in less than 90 days. So we're at full capacity, big facility, two years later, I opened up the next location. Then I started nanny agency and then I started full-time coach.

Speaker 2 (18:53):

Yeah. And then it's just snowballing downhill from there. So yeah, I love it because you learn from like, like you said, you wouldn't have changed anything, but at the same time, looking back to your very first center and then the period of time in between that center and kind of getting back into the business, it sounds like the second time around the, the measure of success in terms of enrollment and the business kind of taking form happened a lot quicker. What were some of the main things that you did differently? So obviously there were some learnings from the first center you opened to when you got back in the business, how much time passed between the two. And is there anything that you can point out as the biggest differences between the first center and what you did when you kind of reestablished yourself?

Speaker 3 (19:39):

Okay. So when I reestablished myself, my passion for my community was still there, but then now I'm entering into the market as a business owner. So my mindset began to shift. I know I, it was about my community, of course, but I understood that in order for me to service the community or the capacity that I wanted to, that I needed to run my, my facility like a business. And so of course, I start now taking business courses. You know, I understand how parents work now. At first, everything was so emotional, but now I'm stronger. I have more stamina, I have more wisdom. And so now I'm evolving and as I evolved, so did my business principles the way I managed my business, the systems I set up. So the reason why it had so much success is because now I started out with systems. Now I understood, okay, this is how enrollment is going to work for my type business. This is how I have to manage my type employees. So now I have more information. I have a business coach and I'm equipped to really master my craft to master your, instead of, instead

Speaker 2 (20:48):

Of maybe just looking at it. Cause I think you're right. Like that's an interesting take on the approach to running childcare in a community. Cause I think most providers that I've worked with, that we work with as a company, you know, for the most part, get into the business because they have a passion for the work and a passion for their community and the impact they can make on people's lives. But you have to be able to run a sustainable business in order to do that. And so finding that right balance between service to the community and, you know, an example I would give of that is, you know, you've got families at times who may be, um, aren't paying their tuition on time. It's like, I have a great relationship with you. I care about you and your family, but in order for me to do what I'm doing for you, I also have to have business policies. And that policy is you got to pay your tuition type of thing. Did, did, um, for you, did you manage the business different in a sense of your role personally? Like I'm going to make a guess that in your first center you were probably do everything. Like I'm the director, I'm the administrator, I'm the owner, I'm the accountant. Did you end up segmenting that differently the second time around? How did your role look different in phase two than it did in phase one?

Speaker 3 (21:58):

Absolutely. The second time around, I was not a part of the organization structure. When it came to daily operations, I was not a part of that. I definitely did not make my center a part of my daily, um, responsibility as far as a role in the company. So I can say, um, proudly that over those years of owning my facility, I never had to become a teacher to work in a classroom. Um, I didn't have to work as a full-time cook. I didn't have to work at my front desk to run my program. Full-time I've always made sure that I safeguarded. So I talk about that with my VIP clients, you have to safe guard your potential in your talent. Otherwise you will find yourself working in a role that can be delegated to someone else at a rate. My potential is what creates the wealth for the company.

Speaker 3 (22:53):

And so I safeguarded that and I made sure that I had a team around me no matter how tough times got I made sure that I had a team around me that would do the work so that I could think from a different perspective. Once you find yourself running your classrooms, once you find yourself in that kitchen, that takes your mind from your CEO task. And it, now you're thinking about the measurements of milk, how many, uh, how much milk meat did you add to the spaghetti? So I have to advise everyone if you're going to be successful is not going to be in your kitchen and we love our babies, but you're under servicing your children. If you are in that room because they need your brain power.

Speaker 2 (23:37):

That's amazing. So how do you for clients and I, two questions that I want to ask one is I want to talk a little bit about, you made the transition from entrepreneur business owner childcare owner to consultant. Like what led to that? Was it somebody asked you somebody wanted to tap into some of the things that you were doing or was it like a calling that you felt like you had and then maybe as a follow-up to that I want to ask about how do you instruct providers when they come to you? Cause I, it here's the reason I asked this question, I hear from a lot of providers and I hear a lot of providers who are very reactionary to their business, meaning I have this plan and I showed up today with a plan to be proactive for my business. And then I opened the front door and teachers called in sick and parents needed my attention and the cook needed help. And so I ended up responding to all the different things happening in my school. And I didn't get to guard, like you said, kind of that skill set that I have as the owner. Um, so two questions I have is how did you make the transition to consultant and then how do you instruct providers to guard their time? And w is there any tactical tips you can provide to owners to be able to do that?

Speaker 3 (24:48):

Absolutely. So I definitely want to give, um, my real life experiences of how I became a consultant and then literally came from a desire to own a childcare business. Um, so I knew that I needed the income, of course, in my story, I talked about how things weren't as well as I would like for them to be with my credit and access to funds. So, because I believe in my goals, I began consulting others at a price to help them get open, took that money and made them money to, um, to help me get myself started as well. And then I found myself blogging and, um, creating YouTube videos. And I found myself, um, um, posting on Facebook and just by a pure, um, just helping others, just being who I am online. I just, people started visiting my blog and I wrote my first book.

Speaker 3 (25:43):

And when I wrote my first book, I put it on the website of my childcare facility and owners were buying my book from my childcare facility site. So I was like, hold up, this is something. And then of course, you know, you evolve again. And as I began to evolve, that's when I got started with, okay, I'm going to start consulting. I'm going to start reaching out to more people. And as I started consulting and reaching out to more people just through my blogs and just following up and being friendly, that's how I became more into the consultant space. And then I started traveling, going to different, um, events that were being hosted by your different childcare organizations got on certain platforms. And while I focus and dedication got me here. So if there's owners that are listening today and they're thinking, man, I know there's more to me.

Speaker 3 (26:36):

I want to get more done. I want to accomplish the greater that's on the inside of me, Andrea, how did you safeguard your day? What are some principles you use? What number one, the way you begin your day is definitely going to show forth in how you end your day. So you start your day off with what we talked about earlier, which is your daily routine. And then you have your three top goals that you want to accomplish, but you set your goals up around your trigger days. See many clients. What they do is they go in on their business on Monday and they expect that they'll be able to get the closet work done. They want to make sure they get the bulletin boards done like Monday is not that type of day in childcare. Monday is making sure that all your logistics are set up and ready for execution for the full week.

Speaker 3 (27:22):

So when you go in on Monday, this is not a clean your desk day. This is not a a day where you're making sure your teachers have their bulletin boards done. Nope. Mondays is for you to focus in on your clients, focusing on your money, focus in on your enrollment. And then so moving forward, you give each day a trigger day so that you can stay focused. Now, once you are focused, you manage your team as such. You have your team also operate on a trigger system. So they'll know on Mondays, this is what our focus is Tuesdays. This is what our focus is. And of course there are going to be times where things are inevitable, but this is the business that we are in. Childcare is a business like no other, I don't want for those that are listening to think that it's sweet as pie.

Speaker 3 (28:09):

It's a sweet business, but you got to know how to take your slice of the pie. You got to know what to eat and what not to eat. Right? And so when I talk to owners about that, I let them know that there are going to be things that happen. That's inevitable that you have to tackle as an owner. But what happens is you get back on track because you have to have this subliminal messaging in your head to know that this is Monday, Tuesday is take a look Tuesday now on Tuesday. That's when I'm taking a look at what's happening with the operations of my program. Wednesday, that's working Wednesday. That's when I'm working my systems to make sure that I have my staff coming in to make sure my enrollment is building Thursday. That's task Thursday. That's when I make sure that all of my tasks for the next following week is set up Friday.

Speaker 3 (28:54):

That's future planning Friday. I need to address all of my team members to make sure that they understand what our future holds for the next week. So it's triggered systems like that with those three top tasks that you want to accomplish. And when you do, you go home and you remember to congratulate yourself. You remember to write down that I did accomplish a childcare success strategy or something in my business, because if we don't remind ourselves of how powerful we are, of what we have accomplished, we would leave drain because it's a people-based business. That means you're giving children and parents and staff your very best. So when you get home, you got to replenish yourself and Pat yourself on the back

Speaker 2 (29:36):

Recharge. So I got to ask, so that's a great description. You answered a bunch of questions that I probably would have asked. So I appreciate the kind of the narrative, but talk to me about trigger. You, you keep using the word a trigger day or a trigger system. Explain what that means to you. How do you define that for your clients?

Speaker 3 (29:52):

All right. So in childcare you have to have, um, a flow and rhythm and flow, right? And so that's the first foundation that I encourage childcare owners to do is time management. And so with time management, in order for you to block your time in order for you to manage your time, you give your a days up a name, which means it triggers you. So you don't have to wake up on Monday, trying to figure out what do you need to do in your business any longer, you don't wake up on Tuesday any longer. You give it up, you give it a theme, and then you put the right daily tasks around that theme. And then you run your business like that. So that now you become a creature of habit because that's literally who we are, creatures of habit. And so in order for you to love the childcare business that you manage, you must manage it with love, you do it with a rhythm and a natural flow. All right? And so the same thing for your classrooms. Once you manage your time, then you create your classroom schedules to be a natural rhythm and natural flow for what will naturally happen in your business.

Speaker 2 (30:58):

I like that. And then, so how do you, so talk to me about just some practical application that, so if I'm a client of yours and walk me through what that process looks like, if I were to reach out to you asking for assistance, how are you doing a discovery to identify where those areas are in my school that need the most assistance. And then is there a way that you track results? Like how does a client know, okay, Andrea, you and I worked together, we identified some areas that need some work in my business. And then do you have kind of a plan for actually measuring results to make sure that the things that they're doing are actually working?

Speaker 3 (31:39):

Absolutely. So one of the practical foundational principles that I work with my clients on putting in place is of course their day. And then I always had them to take a look at their classroom schedule. And the reason why I say classroom schedules, because everything that your business will produce will come from that classroom. All of the teachers there that will enjoy what they do for your organization is going to come from that classroom with parents, enjoy what children enjoy will come from that classroom. So of course, classroom is the next big focus. And so, again, we're talking about that natural rhythm and flow. And so a lot of times when childcare owners are saying, you know what, I'm all over the place I'm scattered. I can't get nothing done. They're constantly calling on me. I say, okay, let's look at your 90 day training system.

Speaker 3 (32:27):

Let's look at, are you training based on your natural rhythm and flow of your classroom? So for instance, I train my clients. I say, you know what, when you get ready to bring on or onboard a team member, make sure you them off with the first task you want for them to accomplish and know in your business. And that is the daily schedule. And so I know that may sound different for some, but for me, that's how I accomplished building a team. And so it would start with our daily schedule and we would create what we call your daily task list for the classroom. And so let me tell you this story, Ryan, when I first got started, I knew I needed a task list. I knew I needed to for my team to know what they needed to accomplish, but instead of me having it based on rhythm and flow, it was just do this, do that, do this, do that.

Speaker 3 (33:17):

And so when I became a systems, um, implementer is when I said, okay, it's not about the task list. It's about me teaching them how to become creatures of habit. It's about me teaching them how to run this classroom off of a second nature habit. So that's when I then took my task list and I made it where they would follow the actual task list for the daily schedule and not just be scattered. And so once I get my clients to realizing that this practical change in the daily schedule would change how they train their staff would change how they onboard staff. It would change how parents and children respond to the daily schedule. That changes a lot for them.

Speaker 2 (34:03):

So start in the classroom, like number one, it's a manageable problem to go look at and it's taking bite size or small bites of the problem and slowly fixing it. I don't know if from the ground up is the way to describe it, but I think if I heard you correctly go into the classroom, that's where it all starts. That's where your parents see you. That's going to be what makes your business sticky to them. So let's go make sure the classrooms dialed in. And then it's almost like a trickle up effect. If I heard you correctly, once that gets structured, everything else will start to kind of fall into place too.

Speaker 3 (34:37):

Absolutely. As

Speaker 2 (34:41):

I, yeah, we keep, we keep like looking both. I have questions and you want to keep answering to, so what, what are you excited about moving forward? So you you've, I believe if I'm not mistaken, do you still run your own childcare centers or is it a hundred percent consulting for you now?

Speaker 3 (34:56):

I saw 100% consultant for me at this time. Yes.

Speaker 2 (35:01):

And what are you excited about as you look, you know, maybe over the next six months, next year for your own personal business and maybe even the industry as a whole, like what, what, um, any changes you see coming? What are you excited about?

Speaker 3 (35:16):

Absolutely. So I'm excited about helping at least 25 childcare owners create their franchise model. You know, so many childcare business owners have a goal and desire. They dream a bigger dream, but they don't know how to bring that to pass. And so I've been working diligently on teaching childcare owners, how to take what do every day and to create a franchise type model for it, how to really master their craft, become an expert in their field of authority across the nation, and really create a system that can be duplicated no matter where they are anywhere in the world, they can literally serve it, service more children

Speaker 2 (35:57):

Love it. I love it. And then what about for you personally, just, you know, being respectful of time and, and maybe winding up a little bit here. So I get the impression from just getting to know you for the last 45 minutes that this is probably a major part of who you are as an individual, but outside of the business, uh, what does, what does Andrea like to do? How do you spend your time if you're not helping childcare owners, uh, improve their business?

Speaker 3 (36:23):

Absolutely. So I just got finished, um, doing some jet ski activities on yesterday. Yes. So we were out in the ocean on yesterday and, um, it was such a breathtaking experience just to really just get quiet and enjoy being on the jet skis, doing some boss moves and enjoy life. And then I love taking trips. I traveled several times throughout the month. I enjoy our, um, um, local beach here we walk, we go bicycling. And so I really live a great life. I live an active life and I do believe that childcare business owners have to plan that in their day. You have to plan to enjoy life. Life will happen to you if you don't change how you're thinking and put your own plans in place. And so we definitely enjoy life. Now, of course, as a consultant, I enjoy traveling because we're coming up where we're going back outside. Now, I'm looking forward to getting more owners, um, outside and enjoying life and, um, just breathing and resting and getting, you know, recouping so that they could get back in their business and give out more. Cause I know during the pandemic was a lot,

Speaker 2 (37:34):

Took, took a lot out of people, but you're right. You know, also through like you were saying earlier through kind of that hard work and grinding through some difficult times, I think there's a lot of really great fruit. That's going to come out of this in the months and years to come. What about when you talk about traveling, maybe final question for fun. One place in the world, Andrea gets to pick to go travel to anywhere you want to go. I don't know if it's been somewhere you've already been or somewhere that's on the bucket list, but where would it be?

Speaker 3 (38:03):

So, absolutely. And I'm glad you're talking about it. So I want to, and you got to give me the name of this place. Right? Right. You gotta help me out because it's where you go and the houses are on top of the water.

Speaker 2 (38:17):

Yeah. So like little, is that like, is that like Bali? I think Bali hat is that barley. All right. So that's the spot you want to go walk out on a little like catwalk or bridge and then your little bungalows out over the ocean somewhere.

Speaker 3 (38:29):

Yes. And imagine like you have no doors, no windows and you wake up and you're in this bed and, and the breeze has the white curtains flying in and, and you're sitting in your bed and you're gazing now. And all you see is this beautiful blue sea. And, and you just get your warm cup of coffee and you just go lean. And you're like, Oh, what a day?

Speaker 2 (38:52):

Yeah, that sounds great. And then after coffee, you run back flip or front, flip off the front of the bungalow onto the jet ski, then the jet ski you're playing all day. Right. And doing your thing. All right. I can get behind that. That sounds like a lot of fun.

Speaker 3 (39:08):


Speaker 2 (39:09):

What a life. Well, Andrea, I'll tell you what, it's been a lot of fun getting to spend a little bit of time with you this morning. Tell our, our audience, if anybody wants to find you online or connect with you or is interested in some of the things that you've shared today, what's the best way for people to find you?

Speaker 3 (39:26):

Well, definitely I I'm a giver. So I want to give you the audience that are listening. I want to give you all an opportunity to, um, take advantage of a free opportunity, which is a course, which is my six bigger And so you guys can go to my six figure or I own a and you guys can get that free opportunity to just really get the behind the scenes of everything that I talked about today. Get the behind the scenes of it and really see. And let me train you on how I accomplish so much in my business. And thank you guys so much.

Speaker 2 (40:00):

Yeah. Thank you, Andrea. Andrea Dickerson have a wonderful day.

Speaker 1 (40:04):

Bye. Thank you for listening to this episode of the childcare business podcast, to get more insights on ways to succeed in your childcare business, make sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app. So you never miss an episode. And if you want even more childcare business tips, tricks and strategies, head over to our resource until next time.