In 2011 after the buyer of Over The Rainbow Child Development Center backed out of their purchase, Lisa Giancarli found herself inherently becoming the owner and operator of the school. Having no prior experience in child care, with the exception of raising her own children, Lisa quickly became overwhelmed and wanted out of the business. It wasn’t until 2015 that Lisa discovered the Child Care Success Summit™ from an email that her husband had forwarded to her and she decided to take a leap of faith and go see what the summit had to offer. She was instantly “wowed” by the amount of knowledge and resources provided and by the end of that weekend she had joined the Child Care Success Academy™ and hasn’t stopped positively transforming her child care business since then.
We asked Lisa to share her story of transformation and business growth since working with the Child Care Success Academy so other child care owners across the world can be inspired by her results.
If anyone would have told me 8 years ago that I would be the owner of a daycare, I would have said “yeah right, and Donald Trump is going to be the next president.” I was obviously wrong on both counts.
In 2011, my “realtor extraordinaire” husband Joe approached me with a potential property. He said it would be a great investment for us and that it had great rental income potential. What he didn’t tell me was that the purchase included a daycare center and I needed to run it until that December when the buyer he had for it could close. At the time I was a stay home mom, what the heck did I know about childcare other than having children of my own! December came and the buyer backed out and I was now the owner and operator of Over The Rainbow Child Development Center. I had 44 students with a license for 180. Out of desperation, I kept the remaining staff and relied on the director to teach me all that she knew about the childcare business. After a few years, we were still struggling with enrollment among other things. Joe kept trying to encourage me to make a go of it and was always searching online for childcare expertise. It wasn’t long until he came across Kris Murray. He kept bombarding me with her emails, training videos, and links to her website. I kept resisting. I didn’t want to learn, I wanted out. After ignoring his emails for quite some time, in 2015 I opened one up and read about a summit that she was having in Orlando.
I attended the summit with my director, and I was wowed. We learned so much from Kris, her staff and guest speakers. I also was able to meet many owners who were having the same problems as me. By the end of the weekend I joined the Academy at the Gold level (now Growth). I was excited and encouraged to go back and make a go of my business. My director tried talking me out of spending so much money on the academy, but I knew we needed something more and these people seemed to be experts. It was a decision I’ll never regret. I came back very overwhelmed but was able to implement several changes like how we answered the phone, and how our center looked and smelled, developing unique values and a Facebook page. I also invested in Childcare CRM and began to track our marketing and enrollment.
The following year I attended the Phoenix summit and decided to move to the Platinum level (now Freedom). I left a little less overwhelmed and came back and made more changes. I did it again and again; went to the summit, came back a little less overwhelmed and made more changes. Additionally, in late 2017, I was blessed to get Brian Duprey as my coach. Not only does he give me great guidance, push me out of my comfort zone and keep me accountable, but he really cares about the success of my business. Coaching is such an important part of the academy, and who better to learn from other than a successful childcare owner who really understands what you are going through.
To date, I have a wait list for my infant and toddler classrooms. Last month I was able to add a new classroom to accommodate the growth that we are having in our preschool age group. We are currently at 82% FTE and growing. We are also planning to expand our school within our building, so I think I’ll work on that for now and maybe a second location down the road.
I could not have gotten this far without joining the academy. I’ve also made so many great connections with so many owners who are willing to share and to encourage. Each time I come back from a summit or mastermind meeting, I learn more and apply more. It’s an on-going process. For you newcomers out there, don’t get so overwhelmed, go back and make even a little change, it’s better than doing nothing. Most importantly, keep going back. Great things will happen.