Marcia St. Hilaire Finn, Managing Owner and Director of Bright Star Early Care and Preschool, lights up wherever she is with her enthusiasm, energy, and positive attitude. She joins the show to talk about her start in Dominica and how she ended up in Washington D.C., her advice on setting smart goals, and shares her logistics on her teacher engagement and culture of fun and dedication. Marcia also discusses how her background in Pediatric Nursing helps Bright Star stand out, along with their attention to serving the children and their families using music, language studies, and healthy living.
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Key Takeaways From This Podcast:
- Marcia is originally from Dominica in the Eastern Carribean and traveled to America as a nanny over 35 years ago. Her love of helping children and their families led her to become a pediatric nurse.
- After Marcia gave birth to her two daughters, she wanted to explore the child care market, and wanted to combine her leadership skills with real-life child care experience.
- Fun fact: for the longest time, Marcia was known as Chris on the island! It took a while for her to adjust to Marcia.
- Bright Star has been NAC accredited for six years, and Marcia was very grateful for the help and support while they put together the application themselves.
- Bright Star adds the component of art to their STEM program, making it STEAM. They serve children from six weeks to eight years old and offer project-based experiences where children can make things and follow them all the way through to see how they operate.
- A few of the things that Bright Star offers that help them to stand out from their competition is that they offer onsite home-cooked meals, a garden, yoga, music history, and of course, Marcia’s background in pediatric nursing.
- Marcia works from home one day a week and uses her in school time to engage and have lunch with teachers and children and her one-on-one meetings.
- Marcia has a deep love for music and appreciates the way it can uplift and connect us. She is always singing to her staff and celebrating their birthdays and big achievements.
- The teachers and Marcia have monthly one-on-one meetings, where they can discuss tangible issues, goals and future plans. She also brings them to annual team building resorts and provides ongoing educational support.
- Marcia’s advice is to visit a lot of schools so you can see different types of leadership styles. Also, be sure to work in a daycare or with children so you can see what it feels like, and will appreciate the hard work of your team even further. Also, be sure to keep an eye on your finances, and keep track of the money in the business so you can make your program bigger and better without having to worry about payroll or a rainy day fund.
- To Marcia, a child care rockstar is someone that embraces the best in the children and helps them improve to be a better citizen and leader for tomorrow.