Michelle Smith-Lank has been in the Child Care Success Academy for several years and a true definition of a Child Care Rockstar. She talks about how she got into the field and came to open Kids World Learning Center and the lessons in growth, marketing, and expansion she has learned throughout her career.
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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:
- When Michelle purchased Kids World Learning Center originally, they were licensed for 69 children; over the past couple of years they have grown to be licensed for 156 and are considering expanding again.
- Michelle comes from a strong business background due to her previous work at Scholastic and has experience as a college representative. This knowledge in aspects of the educational field helped her when opening her preschool.
- In this industry, it is important to have a mentor. Michelle advises that you should find someone that supports your growth, encourages you to dream big, and helps you develop a road map to achieve those dreams.
- Michelle’s program is fully enrolled and she is looking at adding another building adjacent to her current location that could increase her licensed capacity to over 200 children.
- Michelle builds in flexibility to adapt to the situation and the needs in the community.
- Kids World Learning Center receives funding from the Early Learning and Literacy Grant and healthy grants to support fresh and organic food for the children.
- It is truly a family affair, as Michelle’s daughter, son, and mother all have important roles in running the school.
- Michelle was born in Germany. When she was younger, her family was in the military which taught her to embrace different cultures so everyone can benefit. Because of this, she says she can’t wait too long before embarking on her next travel opportunity. She loves to travel.
- Michelle joined the State Association which is where she discovers some of the grants they apply for. She is also part of the Quality Rated System in Georgia and the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. She says it is important to put yourself in a space where you find out about grants that may be available to your program.
- When she got back from the Summit in Orlando in 2015, Michelle was so inspired that she had a list of over 70 things that they needed to do, change or implement in her business. She got busy with her team and completed every single one of her 70+ to-dos in less than a year’s time.
- A clean environment helps with workflow and productivity.
- Michelle is all about #experiences this year. She works 1-2 days a week out of the center, and practices self-care to keep herself fresh and rejuvenated.
- Michelle found strong resources and support when joining the Child Care Success Academy. She has received tons of help, advice, and support from Kris, the coaches, and other members.
- Michelle leaves us with this key advice: Take action. You can learn the best material but unless you put it into action you won’t see the results that are possible for you.